While a new car with sleek aerodynamics and cutting-edge technology is a novelty in itself, the mere sight of a classic or vintage car gracefully strolling the streets impresses one with an overwhelming sense of desire. Vintage cars in their great elegance are impressive, almost real. They have captivating designs that are an arts and crafts brand. Something that modern cars can only dream of due to the need to generate pure power. The mere presence of a classic Buick or Cadillac convertible is an indicator of the bygone days of honor, pride, and royalty.
Once summer begins to recede in late June, it’s almost a family tradition or more of a ritual to escape for a quick mountain retreat amid the peak of the waning heat and the approaching monsoons. In the absence of a concrete plan for a getaway, decisions are often impromptu, made on the spot. Most of the time we head to the highlands to experience the wisp of mist that descends on our faces and a cloudy vision that gives the whole atmosphere a touch of mystery. The winding roads that circle the circumference of the hills, the wooded paths and a blast of fresh air all combined begin to crown an arched road that welcomes us to a forbidden realm, a mythical land that lies beyond, unknown to the people of the city. I have had my driving license for a year. My dad’s slender red classic Cadillac sat idle in the garage like a gift on the Christmas tree tempting all the kids. He rarely saw daylight outside the garage as it had become a treasured masterpiece, a trophy to remind him of the glorious past. Every other weekend, my dad would come down to have some fun alone to keep churning his pieces and keeping it going, but all inside the garage or, at best, on the front porch. That’s all the vintage red Cadillac had ventured into in its quest for fresh air.
In the Northern Highlands, the first downpour brings great relief to the landscape, infusing a surreal feel to the surrounding nature. Nature is truly at its best in the Northern Highlands during this time period. The gurgling of the waters flows in streams in every second mountain stream, the flashes of lightning accompanied by a raging storm and a flickering light in the distance, it is as if nature has been waiting for this moment to combine all the elements of its arsenal. to present an unmatched canvas. The changing landscape from orange to gray and dark gives the looming sky a mystical witness to everything that is unfolding below. A smell of damp earth in the air, raindrops trapped in leaves, bustling bushes, the formation of a misty haze, and the wind caressing your face are exactly the ingredients that Mother Nature had retrieved from her warehouse to prepare a dish worthy of our audience. . In such circumstances, a road trip is the ultimate tribute to an unprecedented display of unadulterated natural beauty, excitement, and adventure. It was decided. All forces of nature were conspiring to build up to this point just to allow and encourage me to trust my instincts and go on the journey of my life. And yet the journey would be made easier by my father’s precious red vintage car.
I could almost visualize the image in my head even before we could embark on our long-awaited road trip. A serene and winding road with the first rays of sun breaking through the thickly forested canopy above it, tracing itself around the hills and a spectacular dazzling red beauty on wheels cutting its way through it all. It was almost like it was a divine visual relief by deliberation. Man imposing his authority in the heart of nature. Nature’s natural struggle versus the combustion power and speed generated by a man-made machine. The feeling of excitement kept him from sleeping all night. So at 4 in the morning, I jumped out of my bed, to begin my long-awaited ride on the slender red beauty on wheels. Fortunately, the traffic was low as it was still early in the morning with heavy fog sliding over the cityscape.
After driving through empty streets for a while, skipping traffic lights at every traffic light, with no one stopping me, I wanted to make a pit stop for a short break. I stopped at a gas station restaurant for a quick meal, and found many admirers huddled around my beauty on wheels in the parking lot on my way back. I interacted with them and offered them answers about the make and make of my car and a little talk about its history and ownership. Shortly after I took off my red beauty to the disappointment of the viewers who were left wanting more. When the air began to show signs of a slight chill as I crossed the road in my speeding car, I felt like the hills weren’t far away now. I was rejoicing inside, at the thought of finally being reunited with the landscape I’d been dreaming of all night.
The uphill paths were very smooth and from above, they reminded me of a tar carpet that had been laid out to welcome my arrival. It was a fascinating mountain resort with its deeply forested hills and rich traces of rampant flora and fauna. While I had a strong desire to capture images of the naturally blessed landscape from my stylish smartphone, I stopped doing so, intending to let the atmosphere settle within me. I was excited, but didn’t want to let the excitement get the better of me. At the summit, I felt like a king. Absorbing the spoils of my treacherous climb to the top.
Yet surprisingly, I met a young man from the middle of nowhere who seemed to be unusually pleased to see me. He had a good-natured smile that also made me love him. As he got close enough to me, it seemed like he had something in his power that he wanted to show me. He still had a word to say. Smiling gallantly, he showed me a painting, rather a painting, an oil painting on a normal canvas, without finishing in a hurry. To my utter amazement and delight, I was speechless at what I saw. It was a perfect painting that captured the beauty of my car as it navigated the winding roads, giving way to the top. The artist revealed that he was spending time just thinking about what to create when he noticed the red car driving down the road. He was so fascinated by its unique style, color and shape, and its aura in the midst of this natural landscape, that he decided to capture it on his canvas. I had no idea that the car would eventually climb all the way to the top and meet its driver.
This incident touched me very much. I spent more time with the young artist appreciating his talent. I took him to my car that was parked outside the wooded area and allowed him to take a closer look at the beauty that fascinated him so much. He lived nearby, so I offered to drop him off at his house when he got back. I had fallen in love with his painting and on the way back I offered to buy it for him, but even before I could speak the words, he insisted that I keep the painting as a memento of the time we spent together and refused any money for it. . I insisted that he should receive some reward for his efforts, but he politely declined, saying that the experience itself and the ride in the car were more than just a reward for him. The painting is still on the wall in my living room today, right above the fireplace. The lone red vintage car gliding down the road surrounded by a canopy of thick vegetation on both sides.