Monday, May 02, 2005

Weebtales and the Camry

Again, I sit vella in the office because the computer is down at home thanks to my excessive use of BitTorrent downloads. This means I have to sit in office wait for my stories to be played back to me. So I wait while watching the interweeb.
This is one of my all-time fave sites - Badmash - a site for NRI's - but after meeting so many Kal Ho Na Ho types, those cartoons seems all the funnier.
And of course, there is this one chap who obssesses about Popeye cartoons, and I just discovered that Olive Oyl is over 85 freakin' years old. That has to be the oldest cartoon woman ever. Shizzle my fizzle. Whatizzle. Anyway, I really liked this Bluto page.
The big news nowadays are the two cult movies coming out - Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy and the third (the sixth and last unless LucasFilm decides on a Postquel) and last of the Star Wars prequels - The Revenge of the Sith. The former movie is out and people are still debating if its good or bad, well I kinda liked the book, so I'll donate some money to the Ajjay Bijli benevolence fund (aka PVR Cinemas) and watch this movie. This city seriously needs more movie halls - no wait there are lots of movie halls up north and in the east - SOUTH Delhi needs more halls. Anyway, I believe that the fight scene between Anakin and Obi-Wan really lives up to its billing - in case you didn't know Obi-Wan defeats Anakin (cutting off his legs and arm) and leaves him in a pool of lava - this was known in 1977 so don't kill me for saying it. Anyway, i'll watch that movie whenever it releases too. But I gotta get the first two episodes because I haven't really watched them very well.
Anyway, they came and took the Camry back today morning. And my comments after a weekend remain more or less the same. Yes, it does feel comfortable like a luxury liner, and unlike say the Hyundai Sonata it doesn't wallow when you push it into a corner really hard. Problem one - Toyota should really have put in a reversing aid on the car, really. problem two - It is too freaking big. OK, so everybody and their uncle (or aunt - like mine) owns either this or a Accord in the US. But, Americans don't drive like we do. Nor do they have mad pedestrians intent on getting themselves killed, or auto-rickshaws, and my current numero uno enemy on Delhi roads - those motherfuckingly horribly fucking irritating cargo three-wheelers - which not only will move at 20k's but do that in the fucking fast lane. I sometimes wish I had a Humvee with a gun mounted on the roof, so that I could well.. y'know. No really, these three-wheeler cargo carriers should be banned, and I don't care how many livelihoods it takes away, they are polluting and for gods sake, half of them cost just a little bit less than a Maruti Van, just pay the extra road tax and buy a Maruti Van, at least they move faster.
Back to the point, the Camry, quite unlike my really small Alto is not the car you would want to make these sudden direction changes in, and getting cut off by a three-wheeler is even more frustrating because even if you touch them in one of these cars - the damage repair will cost you more than an auto. That said, something that people forgot to mention in a recent story about Bajaj - their cash cow is not the Pulsar but those three wheeler montrosities - the Bajaj CNG three wheeler costs over Rs 1.45 lakh. That is a shitload of money for something that offers you almost no protection from the elements, is gloriously unsafe and has an engine that isn't even strong enough to pull water out of Delhi's soil. Again, for the last mentioned thing, I guess you'll need 150hp engines in a few years time.
And the Camry's engine might come in hand. If you do press the car a bit, it can move, pretty fast too. I managed to eke out a semi-decent 180-190k's in Lutyen's late late late last night, but the automatic, which was tremendously smooth in tarffic, shifting up and down like soft butter, didn't allow me to play too much. That is why the Sonata V6 and the Accord V6 with their 'H gates' are better. And with a price tag of just under Rs 20 lakh, the little additional width and length the Camry offers is really not worth a few lakhs more than the Accord. Especially, if the Accord V6, which I consider to be the best steal on Indian roads today in the Rs 15-20 lakh segment is a far better drive, and delivers virtually the same 8-9kpl economy. That said, the Camry does look a bit more handsome and has killer legroom in the back.
Anyway, read what I had to read - must go to the Jim now.

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