I wasn't believing myself when I saw myself type on a chat window "Yaar,go for santro, it perfectly suits your budget and is a really good value-for-money car. If in case you can stretch a little, try Swift." and the guy (ok, mark this word, its a GUY !!) at the other end asks "What about i10? Hows the performance? " and I type without thinking twice "i10 is very good, but then don't you think its over-priced? " "Aur WagonR? kaisa hai? " and I reply confidently "Thats the ugliest looking car ever produced by man.. absolute waste!" We exchange a few more pleasantries and I end the conversation.. beaming like a first rank holder! Guess why..
Barely 2 years back, a car for me would be as simple as something that runs on the road, has 4 wheels and a cover on top. My knowledge of car (or any automobiles for that matter) was an absolute zero even though I had a valid driving license. And that I possessed coz I thought it would look odd in today's world not to hold one once you complete 18 yrs of age. After all 18 is the age to scream aloud to the world am finally officially an adult!
I think we are deviating from the primary topic of interest.. cars.. yes, I was mentioning how ignorant I was about cars. Back in school, I had this friend N, an absolute tomboy, who used to be such a car-lover that it was hard for me to resist all the gyan she gave me then! So though I despised that topic as much as Social Studies, I knew Celio (or was it Ceilo?) was a car which was big.
After school, it was again a state of pure bliss (read ignorance) about automobiles. And in I walked into the hustle and bustle of bangalore city, I meet this dude. He loved traveling, enjoyed having all kinds of food at all sorts of places, was ready to take risk and sit through many super-duper bollywood flops and.. loved his car (then an Indica) n bike (then and now a Pulsar 150 cc) like crazy!
Harmless, I thought. Though interests were aligned in exactly opposite directions we got along like a house on fire.
Unfortunately I didn't realize that spending a year with a car-lover means you might subconsciously expand the thesaurus meaning I had created for a car to little more than what a normal human being would.
The car-word got bigger and bigger and took different shapes in its meaning. Today I attend Auto Shows (huh!!! I would have committed suicide had I the power to predict the future 2 yrs ago!), can tell between different kinds of alloy wheels, can even imagine how they would look and hence choose between them, confidently comment that small cars look bad with a spoiler, and that European cars have extra performance and power and US cars, like any other market fall under the age-old "just looks" categories, watched the Tata Nano videos like some crazy car-enthusiast ;-)
Man, whatta transformation... now I read all the car columns in newspapers, and guess what, when a reader pops a question of which car would suit his requirements I am already ready with the answer that is usually in line with what is given by the professionals :-))) lolz...
And I still don't know if I ever loved cars... or even driving one!