The iconic “Fill it. Shut it. Forget it” advt. that launched Hero Honda more than 20 years ago. The Forget it part – after filling and shutting the petrol tank lid was best evident in a recent news item.
It was not Hero Honda bike but a 16-year old Hyundai Lantra car and the location was
The 81 year old gentlemen driving it “forgot” something remarkable . To return back to his wife !
Let us first read this Australian news report
Wed Nov 18, 2009
Steward, who did not know where he was, eventually approached a policeman at a petrol station and asked for help late Wednesday.
"This little old man came up to me saying he was lost. He handed me his mobile and asked if I could speak to his wife," said Victorian Police Senior Constable Clayton Smith.
Steward, who was reunited with his family on Wednesday, said he took the wrong turn and just kept on going.
"I just went out on the road to have a drive, a nice peaceful drive," he told reporters, adding he did not need a satellite navigation device as he'd only been lost once.
(Reporting by James Grubel, editing by Miral Fahmy for Reuters)
When I consulted Google Maps to provide me driving directions to Geelong VIC,
A suggested route from Yaas to
is quite long : Distance : 666 km . Travelling Time: 7 hours 35 min . Geelong
Will you believe that in search of one newspaper, Eric went on three long stretches of 263, km, 310 km and 48 km. apart from 12 other smaller roads or sections ?. He turned left and right and entered and exited the roads with great vigour, confidence and missionary zeal.
The press report is silent about whether he stopped for a rest room or an eatery for a sandwich or a large glass of Foster beer ( although this route is famous for serving Sydney rock oysters, Hunter Valley wines, Balmain Bugs, Illabo milk-fed lamb, Gippsland beef, Meredith lamb, Malle squab, corn-fed chicken, etc if Eric had some time on this rather long drive).
Ironically, his family name Steward – among other meanings – also stands for somebody who is a custodian, keeper, defender, guardian, protector, shielder , caretaker, conservator, curator, etc. hence the chances of his getting lost himself adds a twist to the story, lightly speaking.
The admirable part is that at the age of eighty plus, he had the enthusiasm to out in a car and buy a newspaper, had a car (1993 Hyundai Lantra.) which will not trouble him, had a health that permits him to forget the hunger, thirst and fatigue ( he had slight dementia – no pun intended – but who does not have?). He said he stopped for petrol!
Again, he did not much bother about his wife ( and vice versa – at least for first few hours ) sounded very confident and somewhat self-effacing – which is truly admirable . Thanks to his long married life – the couple seems to have very deepest level of mutual affection and understanding and the little bit of forgiving bend of mind. If it had been a modern day young couple , a good number of spouses generally become demanding , less tolerant and fussy – to an extent of becoming nagging. Often mountains are created from mole hills. But when it comes to a great grand ma and a great grand pa, things are entirely different.
This also indicates , that inspite of some degree of forgetfulness (dementia) – very pardonable at this great-grand-fatherly age -, he had the mental strength of not suffering from Amaxophobia - Fear of riding in a car, Autophobia - Fear of being alone, or Catagelophobia - Fear of being ridiculed., Anthropophobia - Fear of people or society , Chronomentrophobia - Fear of clocks, Claustrophobia - Fear of confined spaces or Dystychiphobia - Fear of accidents. But the he went ahead undeterred. But he certainly seemed to have a trace of Androphobia - Fear of men, Ecophobia - Fear of the home and Xenophobia - Fear of strangers or foreigners. That explains why he went on and on , without talking to any one, away from home.
But this can not happen in
. With our city roads full of pot holes, cattle, unruly traffic, wrongly parked vehicles, diversions, encroachment on both sides by hawkers and shop-keepers and the harassment by traffic police once they get interested in stopping you , it is unimaginable that a man of sound body and mind, able and alert, of youthful disposition , with best of the car can get away from the home so far and so fast. In fact, if he is trying to run away from home, the traffic conditions may be, without his knowledge or intent, bring him back to his own apartment! ( Let mention one exception: in my town there is a very respectable old lady , an educationist and social worker. She is past 80 and has robust health - lives alone and drives her Maruti 800 car with grace and gusto. Long live the praiseworth Pushpaben) India
But the effervescent spirit, his enthusiasm, vivacity , buoyancy, ebullience, excitedness, excitement, exhilaration, exuberance, gaiety, happiness, high spirits, joy, liveliness, vim, vitality, volatility & zing that takes the cake was amply visible when Mr. Steward shrugged off suggestions that he better invest in a Global Positioning System (GPS) for his car. "Why would you want one of those? You can't get lost. There is no fun in that," he said.
Some one has mentioned that the Guinness Book of Records has the story of a couple on a one day trip to
All said and done, no one can beat our Lone Ranger great grand pa Eric. And that is why, any noble French person will shout with joy and a salute : ”Vive l'arrière grand-père Eric” !
We too can join him in chorus, shouting : Long live great –grandfather Eric !