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Old 27th August 2015, 16:11   #1
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Default My Story...and my Dzire's

Any reference to the words “nagasaki clan” does not mean that I've Japanese blood running in my veins. The clan name has been changed to protect our identity. You see, we don’t like attention. When Tipu Sultan invaded Kerala from the north via Palakkad and the brave Travancore warriors readied their defences at Nedumkotta; my ancestors were probably running south, cribbing about the weather and lack of availability of good food!

Dear reader,
As you read this, if you think it is an incoherent, long rambling post which keeps meandering, then you would be correct. But if you are still (in spite of this warning), going to forge ahead and read this post, I thank you! You see, we members of the Nagasaki clan are a persistent lot and we don’t give up that easily. We can take a swift uppercut to the chin; shrug our shoulders and then cheerfully comment, “You see folks; I’ve blocked that punch with my face.”

I think my love for automobiles started when I was a young kid, watching my uncle ride his bike. Before he went to office, he’d give me a ride every morning and I used to love it. As I grew older, my love for motorcycles only increased and I was crazy about them when I stumbled into college.

Yes, I stumbled into mechanical engineering in a government college in Kerala in the early part of this century. To be honest, many of us were not really cut out to be mechanical engineers and I really do not know how we completed the course. I was an average Joe, decent at anything which involved a fair amount of math/physics, mediocre at anything which involved engineering drawing and spectacularly bad at the occasional civil, electrical labs that we had in the 2nd and 3rd year. But I did enough to complete every paper (a few on the second attempt). We members of the Nagasaki clan are an enterprising lot, almost Machiavellian in our scheming. We get the job done in the face of unending adversity.

To give you an example, one of my friends codenamed “thadiyan” was so bad at it that in a heat engines lab, the external examiner was exasperated that “thadiyan” did not know the answer to any question he asked. Out of sheer desperation and a final plea, the EE finally asked, “What does the 800 stand for in Maruti 800” and soon thereafter fainted when pat came the reply, “Saar, it is fuel capacity of the car.”

True story; I did not make that up. That man still lives and walks this every same earth just like the rest of us.

But in college, though bad I was, the only subjects that I really did well was automobile engineering, heat engines etc. Anything related to the automobile I loved and learnt well. I was also crazy about bikes and thanks to numerous friends; I got to ride many different vehicles. Also thanks to an active political scene in college and numerous half baked “political truths” that we had filled our silly heads with; we swore off the car and loved the bike. The car represented the bourgeoisie and the bike represented the proletariat. Now, in hindsight, it all seems so funny.

To give you another example, one of my friends codenamed “Stalin” was so active with a particular party back in the day that he would buy a filtered ciggie, tear of the filter and smoke it. Instead of spouting mallu film dialogs like the rest of us, he would instead quote Marx, Lenin and Che Guevara. When we read modern literature, he would read the Das Kapital and generally thought that he was a boon to the society.

But I digress.

I stumbled out of college and into a job in 2005 which took me abroad for the first time in 2007. That was when the transformation happened; when I fell in love with cars!! I had gone to America on a three month assignment and thanks to terrific company policy; I got to rent a car for the entire 3 months. And that was where I fell in love with the Pontiac G6.
Even today after I’ve driven many cars, I don’t think I will find another car which will take the place of the Pontiac G6 in my heart. It still is the car of my dreams. The car handled brilliantly at cruising speeds, the acceleration was terrific and the red lighting of the console at night made me feel like I was piloting a plane.
After 2007, I lived in the US for a more permanent basis and I realized that this sudden love of cars was more than a passing fling. I ending up loving the thing I had learnt to despise growing up. Somewhere between the ages 23-30, I had truly graduated into a car lover from bike lover. It is something which would have been impossible many Onams back. Hypothetically, if someone built a time travelling machine and somehow hypothetically gone back to 2005 and asked a much younger nivatakavacha if he would ever consider buying a car; I am sure that the hypothetical response would have been, “Stalle Kalippu! Never in my life!”

But here I am today, typing this report up. I am now in Chennai, India and like any white collared worker, I drive a car, my Swift Dzire diesel and I love it. I don’t even own a proper motorcycle now. We just have a Honda Activa. Yes I am married now and what the “Home Minister” decides, she gets. A single raised eyebrow is enough to stop a marauding elephant in its tracks and I certainly do not want to get on her wrong side. We are like Bertie Wooster and Jeeves. I propose grand ideas and proposals and at the end of the day, she gets what she wants.

The car I have is two years old and has 40,000 kilometres on the odometer. Everything that needs to be said about the car has been said in numerous threads on this forum and I really don’t have much to add to that. It is a lovely car and it gets the job done. It has no unpleasant surprises and the service centre in my area is also good.

For our occasional trips to Bangalore and around the state, the car holds up well even with a full load. The only real complaint that I have is rear leg space is so tiny when I adjust the driver seat to my position (which is all the way back). I am six feet tall and bulky as well. Except for that, I really do love this car. So far, I only had issues with the suspension for which I had to replace a few parts.

Since I’ve just joined Team-BHP, I thought I’d also add my personal story on how I became a car lover as a way of introducing myself.

Thanks for reading everyone!
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Old 27th August 2015, 16:44   #2
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Extremely engaging Intro/ownership post!! Wasted as an engineer, you are!
Please, can we have some more?
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Old 27th August 2015, 16:46   #3
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Welcome abroad! Must say you have got a flair of writing, and would have been equally if not more established had you chosen the field of literature and writing
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Old 27th August 2015, 17:19   #4
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Thank you Mayankk and sbanerjee for your kind words! I am excited to be a part of this forum and hope to contribute more.
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