In India they have such antique cars…. What do you call them? Vintage? The government of India has had to make a law that no vintage car can be taken outside India. There is no need to make any law, the cars could not go anyway. But Americans are ready to purchase them at any price.
In India you can find even the first model of all kinds of cars. In fact in Bombay or Calcutta you will still see such ancient cars that you cannot believe that you are still in the twentieth century.
Once, by the way, the raja and I accidentally met in a train, and his first question to me was, “Why didn’t you come?”
I could not immediately remember what he meant by “did not come”…so I said, “I don’t remember that I had to come.”
He said, “Yes, it must have been forty years ago, you promised to come and take my car to the school.” Then I remembered! He was right.
I said, “Wonderful!”…because he must have been about ninety-five and he still had such a good memory. After forty years, “Why did you not come?” I said, “You are a miracle.”
I think if we meet somewhere in the other world the first question he will ask me will be the same, “Why didn’t you come?” because I again promised saying, “Okay, I forgot, forgive me. I will come.”
He said, “When?”
I said, “You want me to give you a date? For that car? After forty years! Even forty years ago it was a car in name only. What can have happened to it after another forty years?”
He said, “It is in perfect order.”
I said, “Great! Why don’t you say it is just like new, as if it had just come from the showroom? But I will come; I would love a ride in that car.” But unfortunately by the time I got there, the raja had died…or fortunately, because I saw the car! Forty years before it used to go at least a few feet; now, even if the raja had been alive, the car was dead.
His old servant said, “You came a little late, the raja is dead.”
I said, “Thank God! Otherwise that fool would have made me sit in this car, and it could not possibly move.”
He said, “That’s true. I have never seen it move, but I have only been in his service for fifteen years, and it has not moved in that time. It just stands there in the porch to show that the maharaja has a car.”
I said, “The ride would have been really great, and very quick too. You would enter from one door and get out the other, no time wasted.”