FIVE THINGS I LEARNED AFTER DRIVING A NANO FOR 5 YEARS

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1. People really DO believe that if its cheap – it is bad. Poor Ratan Tata – set himself such a stupid task – to provide a cheap car for people who cannot afford to buy a more expensive car. Little does he know that they would rather walk around in 47 degrees than sit in a car that costs so little. If you don’t have to sell your soul to buy a commodity – what good is it anyway?

2. People who don’t have 2 paise to rub will be the loudest in ridiculing something cheap. Like the Nano. They will be in cycle rickshaws and in age old broken down vehicles and wear clothes that have seen better days – and THEY will say – hahha… Nano..with a sneer.    I say – hahaha…really? I am here sitting with a roof over my head while you are out there getting drenched in the rain – and I am the one getting laughed at ?

3. People will make comparisons that are so illogical that either they have to be eccentric geniuses or complete buffoons. I shall not comment on what I think they are.

eg. They will will talk about a Nano not having airbags.  Airbags. I mean seriously. Most cars that cost three times as much don’t have airbags. And if they do – they have all of one – for the driver alone. Like the passengers lives are worth nothing. But nooooo a car that costs so little MUST have them.

Like the bikes they ride have airbags and they have spent their entire lives in a cushioned bubble.

Like the Nano is capable of such incredible speeds that an airbag is mandatory.

Like airbags ALWAYS deploy.

4. There are two kinds of people. The bullies and the ones who are bullied. The Nano is that kid at the school playground who will get pushed around by the kids who grew up too fast too soon. Everyone prefers to be the bully because it beats the other option doesn’t it ?

5. If you are mad enough to say you like something cheap – people will give you that – ‘We know.. you poor thing -grapes are sour’ look of sympathy.

Do you think I should send in an entry for one of those shows – (wo)man vs wild(car) or Fear factor etc?

I mean after all – This is the 6th year of my driving that unsafe, airbagless,cheap,noisy, nothing-better-than-an-autorickshaw car. And I survived.

The Journey Lover

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Airports and railway stations are fertile grounds for the study of the the human specimen. And you could probably write a book just describing the lot.
 
But today is about one kind of passenger. I like to call him – The Journey Lover.
 
Sit in an aircraft and look around. The usual staples are there. There is the man constantly hollering business instructions on the phone. The scared woman whose knuckles have turned white holding tightly onto the arm rests. The pot bellied uncle who will almost immediately open the magazine straight to the in flight menu. And of course not to forget – the ‘I-will-squeeze-this-airline-for-every-last-penny’ who will be pinging the flight attendants from the word go asking for water, whiskey and pillows. The toilet hogs. The snoring orchestra. The debauchee. The travel brochure lady. 
 
But there is sometimes that one man. I have observed him a million times. The journey lover. 
 
He will take off his jacket. Remove his shoes and socks. Stretch out his legs. Adjust the back rest. He will stare in excitement out the window at white fluffy nothingness….. He will polish off every morsel of that dreadful airline food and maybe even burp impolitely….. Then lay his head back and close his eyes. Generally there is a benign smile on his face. When the flight lands he only opens his eyes. He doesn’t jump up and he doesn’t run like the wildebeest of the Mara for the door. He sits still till he is almost the last to deplane. He smiles at the stewardesses and he walks out of the aircraft into a balmy sunny day even on a wintry night.
 
There is the train equivalent of this man. He is the one who goes to the grimy train bathroom to change into a spotless white kurta even for a six hour journey. He will wear his rubber slippers and parade up and down the length and breadth of the train chitchatting with the hawkers and whosoever he finds available. He gets off at every station and stretches his legs and will wait till the very last moment to jump back on the train grinning all the while like a love sick teenager. 
 
Heat…delays…rude co passengers…. endless taxiing on the runway…. Nothing kills his joy. Or ruins his tranquility. 
 
He may be going to Wardha or he may be going to the Côte d’Azur. You won’t be able to tell. 
 
I suppose the destination is really irrelevant if you know how to revel in the journey. 
 
Take a leaf out of the journey lovers book. Take off the shoes and socks and stretch your feet.