On August 3rd 2009 after about 9 years and 107000 miles, I traded my VW Jetta for a brand new Infiniti EX 35. The Jetta was my first automobile – ever. Before her, I never really owned a vehicle of my own (other than bicycles). This post is a heartfelt goodbye to a good loyal friend.

I laid my eyes on you in July 2000 at a VW shop in Concord, New Hampshire. It was a hot day and your silver was shiny and clean. I must say I had not done much of research and analysis that usually goes into buying a new car at that time. With you, it was love at first sight. The world outside felt right when viewed from your windshield and the road ahead seemed inviting, and that was plenty for me to make you my own. From that day on, you became my only witness and companion in my discovery of America. We travelled to many exciting places together: the majestic White Mountains of New Hampshire, the beaches of Cape Cod, the great city of Boston , from the rocky Maine coastline, to the biggest of all cities – New York city. It was through you that I first saw the spectacular skyline of the Big Apple and the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center while driving on the New Jersey Turnpike. You were the one who drove me to my first US Open where I saw tennis legends like Pete Sampras and Martina Navratilova. It was you who took me to the Nation’s Capital for the first time, I still remember the thrill of seeing the great marble buildings and monuments of Washington DC driving on Constitution Avenue. You took me across the Allegheny Mountains to the Steel city and then further West into the vast open expanses of the Buckeye State. You were there when I received many a friends and family and you were there when I saw them off. You were there when I lost my job after that fateful Tuesday in September 2001. You took me to all the job interviews for the next three months and accepted me every single time when there was rejection all around.

You were the one who took me to the airport when I left for my wedding and you were there waiting eagerly when I brought A home for the first time. You were a little jealous I could see, but you welcomed her with warmth (your heated seats sure helped) in this cold country in January 2003. You helped A secure her driving permit and eventually, became her loyal friend.

You were the means to get to many happy occasions and a few sad ones. You were like a protective shell when you drove me to the airport when I had to leave for India for an extended time in early 2007 (when my mind was racing from bad thoughts to worse, you kept it sane on the road). You were there when I returned, you provided the much needed reassurance that not much has changed – “I am still here and ready for you”. You helped me assimilate back to my regular life after a long stressful hiatus.

You and me, we travelled thousands of miles, some good some bad, but mostly good. You got me where I am today safely and mostly on time. You did not ask for much attention and did not give up on me when I had given up on myself. You were true to your function and sometimes more. You have passed on but remember, dear friend, you will always be the “First”. Remember that. Drive in Peace. Adios.