March 9, 2009




When I first moved to Jaipur, I used to drive around town with my friend Vicky. She had an eighteen-year old Ambassador which we all loved.

Being both new to Jaipur, we didn’t know our way. So we’d often stop to ask for directions. Without fail, and whatever we’d ask for, the answers were around these lines:

Man 1: Sexy. Pssst Psst. Sexy. SEEEXY SEXY!

Man 2: Heeeeeey, hellOOO, pretty, hellOOO, vatisyournaaaaaame.

Man 3: KISS ME baby!

So we gave up and learned the hard way: by getting lost over and over again and trying to remember benchmarks.

“See the tree in the middle of the road? That means Cottons will be on our right in 2 minutes. Keep going. That’s a really clever benchmark.”

But Amby, as we called the über-vintage car, soon started to get tired. After two years, it wasn’t braking anymore, and we could only enter it through the passenger’s door. It was getting a little scary. I had to wave the other cars down while Amby cruised through, like a blind man at a fun fair.

After two years, Vicky finally got a new car. But Amby is still parked outside her house, the tires flat and a muddy cover protecting her battered body.

When I direct taxis to the house, I tell them: “Stop at the old broken Ambassador”.

Amby has become a benchmark.


7 Responses to “Amby”

  1. Sunny Side Says:

    Hi Fanny, happy to read you this so lovely story. Do you know that your blog is REALLY GREAT !!!! First time I print your posts and I enjoy so much reading it ! It will be my favorite to learm english too !!! You should make a book of it !
    Have a nice time !

  2. J Says:

    I really like this one. And even though I share no memories with “amby” it forces out a tear

  3. jasmineandtheelephants Says:

    @ Sunny Side: thank you thank you thank you!!! Your comments are always so SWEET!

    @ J: I know, poor Amby, I hope we give her surgery one day…

  4. Sunny Side Says:

    Heeeloo are you in Goa for the Full Moon ? I miss your post !!!

  5. jasmineandtheelephants Says:

    Hey Sunny Side!
    I was in Delhi and then playing Holi…
    Re: the article you sent, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was true. When the girl’s family refuses to keep paying the “dowry” it’s common for the girl to get burnt (kerosene on sari+matchstick). It’s awful.

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