Parking at your Gate

Isn’t that an inviting signboard? The letters are beautiful, the colours rich and vivid. It’s tragic that despite the undeniable beauty of such signboards, they go unheeded and uncared for by a stark majority of the population in the capital. If you live in a house adjacent to a huge clinic that is frequented by people seeking treatment for their fevers, pains and skin rashes, you will sympathize with me better.

I belong to the distressed-house-inhabitant-of-next-door-commercial-establishment-clan. If there was a contest asking us to describe the excuse-building segment of our brains, I would nail the gold medal for sure. In preparation for such an event, I already have a little study on the various slots the err, parking people who know best – lets call them Pests in short, fall:

1. The Five Minutes Only

Pest drives down the lane in a sparkling limousine the size of a small lorry and parks his little beast right in front of our gate. Disembark from the car – Pest and his wife/sister/friend/car-partner? – and proceed to the clinic. Dad stops on the stairs and Mom and I follow suit, wondering how on earth we were to steer our automobile through the metal body of the black demon.

Mom: would you mind shifting your car closer to where you are supposed to go?
Pest turns around to look askance at us but lady partner bestows us with a genial smile.
Lady: we will just be five minutes madam – I only have to collect my free skin-program voucher.

Our legs ache with standing on the stairs for the next half-revolution the hour hand of the clock completes. Seems to me, free skin program vouchers obliterate a prep-school sense of time.

2. The Caregivers

A golden-yellow spaniel barks at us through the window of the car that collides with a potted plant at our gate. As we rush to apologize for ruffling the canine’s tempers, two Pests get down on either sides of the vehicle. An old lady arranges her walking-aid on the ground and manages to stand up after a while. Looking around at the clinic next door, we find the courtyard full of unobstructed air.

Grandpa: there’s plenty of space next door; you could easily park right there.
Pest 1: don’t you see we are escorting our old mother to the doctor?
Grandpa: that is precisely why I asked you to do so – she will have less walking to do.
Pest 2: (shaking his head) here we have an old lady who can barely walk and all that house owners can do is bother about car parking.

We gesture Grandpa to let them alone. Not everyone, after all, is up to a sensible suggestion.

3. The Learners

A pretty twenty-something female Pest swerves her long, sleek monster horizontally opposite our gate. She fidgets with her sunglasses before getting down and walking towards the clinic. It is an early November evening and almost time for the pick-and-drop cab of our tenant to arrive. Sensing there was no way of making it to the cab short of jumping over the gate and on to the roof of the monster, he calls out to her.

Tenant: I am afraid I need to use the gate – could you please move the car away?
Pest looks flustered and runs a hand through her machine-made curls.
Pest: (hesitantly) I am not sure I will able to get that done…I am still a learner when it comes to parking.
Tenant: I can help you out if you wish.
Pest: (raising her eyebrows) I am not that dumb a learner you know.

The cab arrives and there’s a loud beeping of horns, even as Pest continues sporting her too-smart-for-my-shoes expression.

4. The Argumentative Indians

Pest arrives on a picnic-cum-medical tour, replete with his family of ten stuffed up in a car paid for in one hundred and twenty-one EMIs. There are two chattering kids, disposing their third packet of wafers right into our garden. They are joined by the mother, who reprimands them for littering the insides of the car with burger-wrappings and shows them the path of virtue by shooting the wrappings neatly into a watering can.

Mom: it would be nice if you didn’t litter our premises. And nicer if you read the signboard.
Pest: (glancing at the board) so where are we supposed to park? There’s no space next door.
Mom: and what happens if we need to go out? Moreover, who will clean the mess your kids are making here?
Pest’s Wife: Why, doesn’t the society have a sweeper?

The weather is glorious, the clouds low in the sky. We are unwilling to squander such loveliness on an argument that shows all the signs of transforming into an epic. Fortunately, the Pests’ appointment at the clinic can not be honoured and with a final huff and puff of smoke, they are off.

~

Sigh! The travails of being one of the clan I tell you. Makes me crave for life in a farmhouse, it does.

*all incidents reported in jest
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40 thoughts on “Parking at your Gate

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  5. We have ppl who park just in front of the entrance, now how does one get out of the building……(HEre most of the buildings open up to the alley or road directly)
    Nice write up

  6. πŸ˜€ One twenty one emi’s. I thought a happy go lucky girl would’t be the least cynical. A very enjoyable write up and I have been in your grandpa’s shoes one time too many.

    And I have resigned to believe that its people’s prerogative to behave like imbeciles.

    • Cynic, who me? πŸ˜€ I am just being a err, critic. πŸ˜€
      I have to agree with your consensus. Sometimes, no matter how much we try, there can be no other conclusion.
      Glad you enjoyed the post!

  7. Maybe you could have an slightly offbeat board outside the gate like, ‘People who park here obstructing others way will go to hell – but you’ll go to hell anyway! :)’ – Insult + Humour works for atleast 1% of the cases.

    Destination Infinity

  8. Hahaha this is very funny!!! I really enjoy it.
    Annoying people are something we can’t escape from.
    You should write about pests who don’t know when to stop smoking in public πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks a lot Novroz! πŸ˜€
      Aha yes – the Smokers in public places certainly form a major population of Pests. I will surely do a post on them sometime. πŸ˜€

  9. Hey Deboshree
    You have beautifully written it with its dose of humour.Ha!I know those pests..I couldn’t imagine what I could’ve done to them..going crazy that’s for sure. It is really sad how some people can be difficult and fail to realise the importance of respect..they are like its my way only if not none can get through. They suck.

    Cheers
    Vishal

    • Hey Vishal. πŸ™‚ Delighted you enjoyed reading the piece.
      Seriously, some people forget they are being menacing to others in so blatant a way that it’s almost funny. I hope civility and consideration for others do a major comeback soon.

  10. Please add “Nonchalant Spectator” to the list. They can see that you are being troubled because of them but they do nothing about it. I have come across such pests 😦 😦

  11. Yikes! I would be about ready to kick some of those a$$ after a few days. To block someone else’s door is the height of uncaring selfish behavior.

  12. We don’t have a commercial establishment near our house, but we do have a tree across the road from our gate. And since it’s the only shady tree in the whole lane, any visitor coming to any of the houses in the lane parks there. Several variations of the scenes you mention have taken place here too. But a bigger problem than that is the vacant plot behind that tree. Though we try all we can to keep it clean by giving extra money to the street sweeper, people still mistake it for garbage dump plus an open loo. 😦

    • Ah! So the pests do not leave alone dear, old, shady trees either! I can imagine the scenes Jyoti. πŸ˜€ The vacant field problem sounds dismal. There is this wall near our place which people mistake for a free loo and though some residents got together to tile it up with religious photos, they haven’t served much purpose. People I tell you.

    • Parking woes in the qauint old Trivandrum sounds an engrossing subject. I would love a post on the same. πŸ˜€
      They did didn’t they? πŸ˜€ They reinforced my belief in Delhi’s intelligentsia.

  13. here we get this when they say “its the Chippy innit”.. or “I was jsut going” etc etc and I reply to them well mate that bag of chips instead of costing you a pound has jsut cost you 81 pounds and 3 points …

    and beleive it or not its Indians here also who do this, I get irritated cause I had paid the council to get a Drive made in the front of my house so i ca npark my cars easily and some moron will see the carks parked and yet come nad put there car in front of it ..

    I usually sit in my car with the hand on the HORN and soon the whole road is out and these guys look sheepish then not knowing what ot say .. here its a CRIME to do that …

    • Bikram – how I wish we had a point system here too. Three points for a bag of chips, four for burger wrappings, fifteen for obstructing someone’s way out.

      It’s sad how some people just can NOT abide by the rules. Ha ha… your car horn seems like a great Pest controller. It will be great if the Pests here can also be told that their piece of nonsense qualifies as a crime. πŸ˜€

  14. Ooh Deboshree. I could relate to your post totally. I live on the ground floor which comes with its own set of woes. Me thinks that you just may have inspired me to do a post. πŸ™‚

  15. We have pests too. In house ones. Living in an apartment, they don’t have the sense to get their vehicle inside their “allotted” parking area also. Always in front of the gate. Stupid, people are. Once they had a dog too, and they didn’t even care that there is a 9 month old baby in the ground floor flat. Used to leave the dog free when it had to go get into the car. Sigh!

    • Yuck, in-house ones must be equally bad I am sure. Its strange how weird people can be; they cease fitting into the stupid category. Gosh, a doggie pest sounds horrid. I wish the poor thing had more sensible owners. πŸ˜€

  16. “Pest’s Wife: Why, doesn’t the society have a sweeper?” Oh my God! The nerve of this woman! Did your Mom promptly take out her broom, sweep the garden and then gather up the dust and dump it on her car? Then the conversation can go something like this:
    Pest: What do you mean by throwing trash on our car?
    Mom: Don’t you use a car wash?

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