Sweet Carol becomes part of the family.

That was the name given to our first car – a Honda Civic. After much research looking at Blue books and magazines (there wasn’t much internet or car sites in 1994), we had decided to buy a Civic – the ABS was a must have feature to help us drive safer in the snow. Now I know that ABS doesn’t help driving in snow much at all but you need traction. Only an EX model had ABS and we agreed to shell out the extra couple of grand. We settled on a white car. I read that a white color indicated sophistication of the owner while a red color indicated brashness. Whatever, the logic it made me feel that much better. we got the car back to our apartment and would proudly look out the window at our first big possession with a lot of pride.

In a day or two, we were supposed to go to the Aurora Temple to visit the Gods and get our car blessed! First we were to visit Ranga’s home and then go to the temple. From Ranga’s home we had to stop back at our apartment to pick something up I guess. Rama went in Ranga’s car with Hema and Vikas. I was supposed to follow them.

My phobia of the big, bad trucks and the expressways was still very much present. I had asked Ranga to go to the temple for the same reason so that I could follow him on the expressways for the first time. Slightly away from his apartment, I managed to loose him and make a turn. This happened to be a ramp to Rt. 290. Before I know where I was, I was on an expressway. I started pushing the gas while sticking to the right lane. I thought that I definitely will be crashing the car sometime soon.

I saw a tool booth approaching and I naively asked the toll person ‘Is there an exit nearby?’. He nodded. There is always an exit nearby on an expressway in Chicago dude, that is what he should have thought. I saw an exit to ‘Golf Rd’. This was a road I knew well by now. I managed to drive for a few miles and get back to the apartment. In those days, we didn’t have cell phones. By the time, Ranga, Hema and Rama were getting worried. They were relieved immensely to see me back safely. We made to the trip to the temple in Ranga’s car.

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