The painting on the wall in the living room

While a new car with sleek aerodynamics and cutting-edge technology is a novelty in itself, the mere sight of a vintage or classic car cruising elegantly down the streets strikes one with an overwhelming sense of desire. Vintage cars in their high elegance are impressive, almost majestic. They have captivating designs that are a mark of art and craft. 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 bygone days of honor, pride and royalty.

Once summer begins to recede into the background at the end of June, it’s almost a family tradition or rather ritual to escape to a quick mountain retreat between the height 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 wispy mist that descends on our faces and blurs the vision, giving the whole atmosphere a touch of mystery. Winding roads circling the circumference of the hills, wooded trails and a rush of fresh air all combine to begin to crest an arching highway that welcomes us into a forbidden realm, a mythical land that lies beyond. unknown to the people of the city. I have my driving license for a year. My dad’s classic, lean, red Cadillac sat idle in the garage as a gift on the Christmas tree, tempting all the kids. He rarely saw daylight outside of the garage, as it had become more of a prized masterpiece, a trophy that reminded him of the glorious past. Every other weekend, my dad would come downstairs for some quality alone time to keep churning out his parts and keep him in working order, but all inside the garage or, at the most, on the front porch. That’s as far as the red vintage Cadillac had ventured in its search for fresh air.

In the Northern Highlands, the first downpour brings a great relief to the landscape, instilling a sense of surrealism in the surrounding nature. Nature is truly at its glorious best in the Northern Highlands during this time period. The gurgling of waters flowing in small streams in every second mountain stream, lightning accompanied by a raging storm and flickering light in the distance – it is as if nature has been waiting for this moment to combine all the elements in its arsenal. . present an unrivaled canvas. The changing landscape from orange to gray and dark gives the sky looming over a mystical witness to all that unfolds below. A scent of damp earth in the air, raindrops caught on leaves, bustling bushes, the formation of a misty nebula, and the wind caressing your face are exactly the ingredients Mother Nature had scooped up from her storeroom to prepare a dish worthy of our audience. . In such circumstances, a road trip is the best tribute to such an unprecedented display of unadulterated natural beauty, excitement and adventure. He was determined. All the forces of nature were conspiring to build right now just to allow and encourage me to trust my instincts and go on the journey of my life. And the trip would be made easier though by my father’s precious red vintage car.

I could almost visualize the image in my head even before we could set off on our long-awaited road trip. A serene winding road with the sun’s first rays breaking through the forest canopy that covers it, gliding around the rolling hills and a single dazzling red spectacular beauty on wheels traversing her path through the middle of it all. It was almost as if it was a deliberate divine visual relief. Man imposing his authority in the heart of nature. The natural struggle of nature versus the power of combustion and the speed generated by a man-made machine. The feeling of excitement ensured that I did not sleep at all all night. So at 4 AM, I jumped out of bed to begin my long-awaited journey in the willowy red beauty on wheels. Fortunately, traffic was light as it was still early morning with a dense fog rolling in over the cityscape.

After driving around empty streets for a while, running through lights at every stop light, with no one to stop me, I wanted to make a pit stop for a short breather. I stopped at a gas station restaurant for a quick meal, and found many fans crowding around my beauty on wheels in the parking lot on my way back. I interacted with them compelling them with answers about the make and make of my car and small talk about its history and ownership. Soon after, I removed my red beauty to the disappointment of viewers who were left wanting more. As the air began to show signs of a slight chill as I crossed the road in my fast car, I felt that the hills were not far away now. I wallowed inside, at the thought of finally reuniting with the landscape I had been dreaming of all night.

The paths up the hill were very smooth and from the top they reminded me of a tar mat 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 burning desire to capture images of the naturally blessed scenery on my fancy smartphone, I stopped myself from doing so, intending to let the atmosphere settle within me. I was excited but I didn’t want to let the excitement get the best of me. At the summit, I felt like a king. Soaking up the spoils of my treacherous rise to the top.

Surprisingly though, I met a young man from the middle of nowhere who seemed unusually pleased to see me. He had an affable smile that also endeared me to him. Getting quite close to me, it seemed like he had something in his possession that he wanted to show me. He had yet to say a word. Smiling gallantly he showed me a painting, more like a painting, an oil on plain canvas, not rushed. 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 drove through the winding roads, giving way to the summit. The artist revealed that he was just spending time 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 the aura of it in the midst of this natural landscape, that he decided to capture it on his canvas. He had no idea that the car would eventually climb 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 so fascinated him. He lived close to him, so I offered to drop him off at his house on the way back. I had fallen in love with his painting and on the way back offered to buy it from him, but even before I could get the words out, he insisted that I keep the painting as a memento of our time together and refused to pay for it. . I insisted that he should receive some reward for his efforts, but he politely refused saying that the experience itself and the ride in the car were more than rewarding for him. The painting is still on the wall in the living room of my house today, just above the fireplace. The lone red vintage car gliding down the road surrounded by a canopy of thick vegetation on either side.