Saturday, April 11, 2009

Small Wonder

The Tata Nano is out. I haven't booked it yet. A lot of people seem surprised that I haven't booked it. I know it is just a matter of time. I've been reading reviews of the car and I think the word that would best describe this little beauty is: CUTE.

Somehow I still find a lot of people who haven't warmed up to the idea. I am still the object of ridicule at get togethers because I am the one with the lowly ambition of wanting to own a Nano. Because, you see, the one little Nano that I buy will clog the roads. Believe me, if I told people I wanted to buy a Merc or a BMW, I am sure they wouldn't think of it as something that would clog the roads.

I've now confirmed (to myself) that it is the fact that "everyone could own a car" that's driving the anti - Nano sentiment. It didn't happen when everyone got cell phones (or phones for that matter). We like it that our milkman, maid and newspaper vendor have phones. Yet, we grudge them the luxury of a comfortable commute, should they be able to afford it.

I put off buying a car until I absolutely needed one. I continued to use public transport or a car pool long after we had our car and long after I started driving. (I still do.) I might not buy another car until I absolutely feel the need to. I have nothing against people who own more cars than they need to. I have a problem when these very people start their Nano-bashing. Is it that we want to maintain the difference between the haves and the have nots?

I am sure that everyone will have their two bits to say when I do get my Nano. Yes, it will be an inexpensive (not cheap) car and maybe my milkman will have one too. But I doubt this will make any difference to someone who's been ridiculed for 2 years now for owning a "taxi". People forget... or they simply don't know... that Mercs are also used as taxis.


sra said...

You know, Raaga, I was thinking about this very issue this morning. I think the clogging issue comes from the fact that several more people all at once can now own cars (Nanos). In the case of Mercs and Bentleys, it's a much smaller number that can afford them, so the pollution issue there doesn't seem big. I mean, even if it's your fifth car and you didn't buy it for anything but to collect cars or show off, who cares about pollution - all they'd talk about is how rich and grand you are, and perhaps bask in the reflection off your limelight. :-) Some would say wasteful too, but pollution doesn't become an issue there.

Also, I've heard arguments both for and against - business says that it's the Government's duty to provide good infrastructure and regulate traffic while those against it say businesses should be socially aware, but I guess when one's in business, one can't put off such plans, esp as they are positioned on making several people's dreams come true (as in how Nano does). I am myself confused about this issue.

Did you tell that person to stop blowing smoke at you with the pollution argument? I hope you did. :-)

Destination Infinity said...

I think you are right about the wanting to maintain a difference between haves and have nots factor. Because, people are ambitious about making a lot of money and they want that (making of money) itself to make them happy! They are clueless about intelligent management of spending their money that they just made!! And when making money doesn't make them happy, they would rather want to gain happiness by comparing themselves with the havenots! Now if the havenots start getting cars, they would miss that too!! I pity the haves!!

Destination Infinity

Vikram S said...

Hi, just read some of your blogs, the
recipes and this. Thanks to facebook. Didn't know you were a blogger. Very nice posts on both fronts. Keep it coming.


Start Again said...

Hi Raaga, nice crisp, NANO is indeed showing India of possibilities. Nothing wrong if Auto-density is increasing with Tele-density. At least this will make infrastructure development a obligation, government can't discount dream of 54% middle class of India.

Malesh Ponnusamy said...

Way back in 2004, toyota camry was the most advertised and sought after car in India when it launched. If you owned one you were supposed to have arrived in life ;) But then i land up in Dxb and find every other taxi a Toyota Camry!!! And merc's aren't even in the radar of elite cars as it was considered back home.

Radhika said...

Your blog makes an interesting read however I feel that you get easily offended and also judge people randomly…mindlessly.

I feel that everyone has a right to their opinion (the way you do) and you must try and respect the same. Instead of writing whatever you wrote for the ‘GUEST’ who made anti-nano statements and who according to your imagination doesn’t even know the spelling of Nano, I wish you could be more loving and respectful.

I also believe that people share their point of view at a place where they feel comfortable and not judged.

I am just wondering, how you must be making people feel when they come to your house or when you are around a group of people!!! I for one am scared and uncomfortable already.

Lastly, if you are anti smoking, why do you bother hanging around such people anyway???

Raaga said...

@Sra: I agree that there's a huge affordability factor here. Somehow people are happy for the richer than rich when they buy their 5th car, but not for the lower middle class who may be on the threshold of their first car.

@Destination Infinity: Yeah... money doesn't seem like the means to an end :)

@Vikram: Welcome to my blogs. Nice to be back in touch.

@Start again: I hope the government takes notice and does what it should.

@Malesh: What we don't know usually doesn't hurt us :)

@Radhika: I wish you'd read my blog more carefully. At times, one is unable to choose who one comes across at certain places. This is a perfect example. This is my blog and this is a space for my rants. If the cap fits, wear it.