Diwan Sahib’s Parking Woes

Beta apni gadi shift karo, mujhe nikalna hai, der ho rahi hai”a male voice said.
Uncle aap hatwa do, chaabi to de diya hai cleaner ko”replied a female voice.
Male voice :“Beti nawab na bano, niche aao or gadi hatao
Female voice :“Uncle mai nahi asaakti, aap dekhlo
Male voice :“thik hai, main hawa nikal doonga

I woke up listening to this conversation one morning. An elderly gentleman was arguing with a youngish woman. Many of us had come to our balconies by then. Woman came down, removed and parked her car at a different place. She said reasonably loudly, ” what a lousy character!”

We had recently moved into a new apartment in this locality. For several reasons, we had liked the new place. Apartment was bigger in size. It had open space that is reserved as green space. Being a corner plot, the place was free from din and bustle of locality. Since there was no apartment building right infront, our parking space was less congested.

The elderly gentleman was Amar Diwan. He happened to be our neighbor. He lived on the top most floor, third floor, of our apartment block. After we had moved in, Diwan sahib took initiative to familiarise us with systems in our new neighborhood. He would tell us which contractor to call to paint the house, which plumber to call to install underground water tank, which electrician is reliable and just a phone call away twenty fours a day, which key maker to phone to get a duplicate key made for home. Diwan sahib also knew some local people from jal board, DESU, DDA, even police. People would ask him for advice. Diwan sahib used to relish the importance he was getting.

Diwan sahib had the ability to register vocal protest for any cause he believed in. No matter how flimsy an argument, his opponent may consider, Diwan sahib would plough along. One of his pet irritants, he had many, used to be residents from distant part of our pocket parking their vehicles in the empty area in front of our building.

Why are they parking here? They should part their vehicles near their flats. If I park my car close to their spot, they will damage my car.” Diwan sahib will go on an on.

Though his argument had merit, many of us did not understand where will other people park their vehicles, if there is acute shortage of parking? This reasoning would never register. Diwan sahib would say, “do not buy a car, if you do not have parking?” 

As time passed, number of cars have increased. Our so called sparsely populated parking space is almost full on week days and almost chokoblock on week ends and holidays. Diwan sahib has not mellowed but he is affected by knee pain. He cannot come down from the third floor perch, at the drop of a hat. Now, he fights with people for keeping their vehicles with parking brake on, so that one vehicle can be pushed around to take another vehicle out.

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