Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Jeep Alert

The image in this post is of a Mahindra jeep. One of the old one's that shares its genetics with the great jeeps of the past. A jeep that came to be associated with either Hindi movie police or with hill station-roaming romantic heroes. What do people think when they see a jeep like this? What are the first impressions, the first reactions to a machine like this. If you ask today's yuppie, hatchback loving, ipod toting youth, they'd sneer back with a sarcastic, demeaning retort that would include adjectives like old, obsolete, rust-bucket, ugly and may even suggest a one-way trip to the junkyard. These demeaning words would be a by-product of their conditioning. They have been accustomed to farting around in their petrol hatches, which they adorn with decals, aftermarket exhausts, spoilers and whatnot. Their ideal dream car would fall somewhere between a Bugatti Veyron and a Porsche 911. Splendid as these cars may be, they are objects that one can only desire, with no hope to own or drive them. When anybody (me) even suggests that a jeep like this is a beautiful machine, one that I am saving up to buy, one that gives me goose pimples every time I spot, one that I feel looks more beautiful than a bikini-babe in the Mid-day, the immediate response is one of utter disbelief. Parents, friends, strangers all unite in the collective debasing of this worthy machine with no respect to its heritage, its practical and no-frills outlook and its completely delectable looks. I may be mad, but I know when I am right.


A jeep like this is a work of art that was created in an automobile factory by men. Its the ultimate weapon that men built against bad roads, potholes and traffic. Its a throwback to the times when men drove machines built for real men. Men that understood that power steering and air conditioning were for the weak. Hard tops, doors, lumbar support, and soft suspensions were overrated. Aerodynamics, sensors and ECU chips are for aircrafts, not cars! Men drove these jeeps with the canopy down, the wind in their hair and the rest of the world would look at them and go "there goes the Man". Compare that to the cars we see today. Most of them are silver or grey, low, sound like an electric shaver, and try their best to insulate the driver from the wind, the sun, the cold and everything else in Madam Nature's handbag. Many others are either pink, green, aquamarine and every other colour that Maybelline lipsticks can dream up. People lose sleep over things like losing their car in the mall's parking lot. Simply because there are so many similar cars around that they cannot identify their own. What does this say for an individual's identity, "I drive around in the same car the rest of the world does". Why this need for uniformity, for blending in, for being well adjusted and for being recognized as "normal". Is it really that difficult to imagine a world where you drove a car that you could instantly identify as your own? A car that you spent the whole of Sunday tinkering with, and cleaning, and polishing, then ruined the entire effort by going for a joyride in the mud the next morning? A car that does not offer the comforts of your bedroom. No reading lights for the passenger, no music system to drown out the voices in your head, no drive computer, no power windows, no roof for God's sake! I'll tell you why. Because we are all sheep. Yes. You heard it. We will do what the sheep next to us in the herd does. We will do it without giving it a moments thought, because that is what sheep do. We will eat, sleep and die, just like the sheep around us. Pathetic, really. I'd rather be that sheep who got eaten by the wolf when he ran out of farm at night chasing butterflies.

4 comments:

GS said...

Legendary post man...you hit the nail on the effing head with a jackhammer!

Lets go get us a jeep now...

Naveen Roy said...

Nice post!!

Am looking for one too!

bandrabugger said...

The jeeps the thing. I first had a Willys left hand drive. Which I put a standard 20 engine into. You had to maually pull the accelerator pedal up thus shutting off fuel supply to the engine and that was the only way to shut it down. Once there was a fire under the bonnet with an electrical short but the engine kept running. It never ever stopped onme. It didnt start when i wanted it to most times but once it started it never stopped. So if we were driving bombay pune when we stopped for wads the engine would be kept running. I then upgraded to a CJ340. take the canvas top off drop the windscreen down and you're as close to heaven as youre going to get in this life. Goona get back to a jeep one of these days. for now i get my fix when i go to Goa and hire one for the day.

Shrinivas Krishnamurthy said...

Good to see you here BB! Glad to know we share a craving for jeeps. My bro's got a gypsy now, and it is put to work off the road all the time. Waiting for the Mahindra Thar to hit the market before I take the plunge myself. All the MM 540's and 550's seem to be making a remarkable comeback these days, with people quoting 3.5 lakh INR and above for abused specimens! Thanks for reading, Cheers.