– Do you have an idea of how fast can this thing go?
We are ready to start the trip. Hakim sitting on a sexy pose (isn’t always his poses sexy?) me ready to turn it on (the car, not Hakim) and with my feet on the pedals. It was about time, at this moment around the car we have like 50 harijan staring at it, and I’m afraid the news are flying fast. Everybody wants to touch the car, to see it. Such a nice vehicle. The backseats I managed to fill with cushions as I wanted, but I didn’t find a quick way to fix curtains to the windows. We found there was a compartment for our goods (I think it was called ‘luggage’) and I filled it up with packed wine, bread, and snacks, in addition to an extra tuxedo for each. One bottle I left with Hakim, so we can drink on the way. Unfortunately, the auto was coming without manual, therefore I’m not sure of the meaning of some of the dials. But one of them, really prominent, was saying FULL in plain English, so probably we were able to run without care for a while. I guess….
– Does it matter? Let’s try it out! To the Fountains!
– To the Fountains! – I repeat, while turning the key. The purring sound grows noisier, and we hear also some cracks, but we don’t move. I press one of the pedals, and suddenly we feel the push, to the point that we are jammed on the chairs. – Wow! – Hakim says. I keep the pressure, and one of the dial arrows (speed?) goes quickly from 0 to 20, whatever it means, then to 30, then to 45. There I keep it. We roll down our hill smoothly, no more accelerating, the shudra around waving us as we’re war heroes. Controlling the wheel I feel great, like a prince, what the hell, like a brahmin. With power over the life and dead of my fellow villagers. For a moment, I want to press harder, get more speed, so that I can drive over them. Because, when I was a boy, they didn’t like me at all. But I know how to forget. And I want them to remember me as that dalit, that white and dirty boy, that managed himself to go as high as the Emperor of The Middle Kingdom himself.