Rums, you asked why I respect two particular auto hacks who have never touched a steering wheel in thier lives. Thats because, many of the auto hacks that do drive as slimy snivelling bastards. No let me rephrase that - actually forget it. And anyway pretending to drive and actually being able to drive are two different things altogether.
Let me narrate story of adventures of driving incapable hacks.
Hyundai had just launched the santro Zip Plus, and since Subbu (more hair version and he still hasn't forgotten the Gayatri Joshi incident - Rums to note) liked to organise drives for all and sundry and since at HT the term junket meant a free for all, I went. Now mind you, me at HT was minion by rank, but I used to allot myself on junkets. Kind of like, "Oh yeah, I'll come, no don't worry, I don't have to inform anyone."
Drive was from Bangalore to Goa. ToI Bangalore has some chap called Darling Hector, no really. Now the highway from Bangalore to Hubli is a small extremely narrow two-lane road, just like all the roads in all of south India. The concept of wide roads are alien to them. So there I am in a Santro with darling and some other chap from AMS magazine and me at back trying to sleep off the night before when I had caught up with some friends from Bangalore, but am unable to shut my eyes. Now Darling is told to wear seatbelt just after taking the wheel, I mean, its OK to drive like a maniac, but maniacs should still wear belts.
Public Service Message time - Kids always wear your seatbelt while driving.
Now, what would a sensible man do when told to wear a seatbelt, pull over or something. No Darling doesn't do that. OK, so I also wear my belt sometimes while driving. However, Darling goes into advanced gymnastics to wear his belt. trying to fit his body between the straps of the belt, both hands off the steering. Now this would have all been quite OK if
a) I was not in the car and...
b) if there wasn't a huge Volvo truck headed for us.
This was it. Crushed to death in a Korean car, my ignominy in life would be complete. OK, so unlike some of my (male) friends from school/college who were (and some still are) virgins, I'ld enjoyed the pleasures of the flesh, but there were better ways to die. Like y'know.. OK there is no good way to die, but you get my point.
And I wasn't even driving!
Anyway, the fcat that I'm alive proves that :-
a) I almost shat in my pants
b) AMS hack and me made a lunge for the wheel and steered us out of trouble
c) Volvo Trucks have amazing brakes
d) All of the above
Choose, there is no wrong answer.
However, that said, my next auto near death experience was totally my fault. A year virtually after this incident we (a bunch of hacks on Hyundai money again) were driving from Bombay to Goa. I almost killed Dilip Moitra of Deccan Herald, which might not have been a bad thing. I most certainly almost gave him a heart attack. Maithrayee and Bijoy as witnesses. Spinning a Hyundai Accent CRDi 180 degrees on NH17 just outside Chiplun. Keeping control of the spin throughout, lucky that there was no oncoming traffic, very lucky in fact, missed a tree by less than a foot.. etc etc. I'm alive, thats what matters.
Anyway, I have the joy of reading a Powerpoint presentation right now, so I'll write more some other time.
Just a couple of interesting things I thought I'ld share before that.
The Darth Side
America, america, america *sigh*