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Old 25th March 2010, 18:21   #1
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Smile Peering through the Side-Windows of My Dreams…

Namaskaaram, fellow BHP-ians!

Hello … I am a newbie on this great forum. I am 32 years of age … by roots a Keralite, born in Bombay (with a ‘B’), brought up in the Middle East, living in Karnataka, married to a Tamil girl, who is actually from Andhra Pradesh … a true cosmopol-Indian! I now live in Bangalore, and am glad to have been granted entry to this knowledgeable community … in the Indian auto context, I believe this forum is a one-off … my kudos to its initiators!

Professionally, I am a copyeditor … I’ve seen the moderators’ instructions on using adequate punctuation while posting in threads. For those who think the moderators are being inexorably demanding, I have news … this is nothing, trust me … my profession involves taking to task the top research writers on this planet … grammar, punctuation, and adherence to set writing styles, etc, etc … if I were to scour these threads for grammar and sensible writing, most of you would end up hating me in a week, flat! But, I would do a thorough job, and the threads would simply sparkle!

I have been an auto enthusiast right from childhood, and my toys were invariably automobiles … my first memory of a car is my dad’s Mitsubishi Lancer (1983 model, 1.4L, four gears). Then he got a Mitsubishi Galant (1992 model, 1.8L, five gears), and I believe these vehicles shaped the manner in which I came to view the auto world. The growing-up period between 1985 and 1995 was marked by gradually blooming interest in cars. My father was offered an Audi 80 as a service replacement in 1990, and he has ever-since been an ardent fan of European cars … the fact that he is a mechanical engineer helped fuel this flame, I imagine. The effect of his extolments were directly obvious on the interest levels of both myself and my kid brother … we became diehard fans of Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, the three giants from Germany.

The fastest I have ever travelled is in the Audi 80, on the Dubai–Al Ain highway, fully loaded with four adults, three adolescents, and two kids … the typical Indian family … and my uncle was driving … I remember sitting in my dad’s lap in the passenger seat, my eyes darting from the speedo to the road, checking for visible differences as the speedo needle rose … 120, 140, 160, 180, 183, 185 kmph … I could hear my heart thumping!

At 190 kmph, the car was ice-cool. Not a drop of sweat…

The Gulf is a good place to be in if you’re serious about cars … every make and every model debuts in these oil-rich countries, and I was to be frequently found in the parking lots of temple-gatherings and school celebrations, and even on the roads, peering through the side-windows of our dreams. Unfettered by the now-ubiquitous BHP counts and torque curves, the measure of a car’s greatness was very simple in those days – the speedo! Higher the max value on the speedometer, higher would be our admiration quotient. Luxury was measured by the number of buttons and switches on the dashboard … power windows were in vogue, but two-door coupes were looked down upon as non-utilitarian! I remember a two-doored, red-coloured Mercedes 560 SEC coupe that we used to ridicule on a daily basis on our way home from school … the thought makes me cringe with guilt today!

Other cars that made a huge impact on us were the Ford Mustang and Pontiac Firebird. Also, this was the period when the Lexus became a hit, and the roads were full of this expensive and exclusive-looking car … the Arab who lived downstairs had one (don’t remember model), plus a swanky 5.0L W126, making him the most envied guy around… We believed the Jaguar XJ series was graceful enough for the Gods, whereas Volvo’s smile was too big and unattractive. Landrover was the SUV, though the world was full of Japanese cars (of which Honda stood apart, even then). Policemen drove around in Mercs and BMWs, yet these cars’ images didn’t, somehow, take a beating…

Known is a drop, unknown is an ocean … I had a friend named Clyde Mazumdar, and this guy was auto-crazier than any of us … he would regularly visit the showrooms of all the cars in the Qurm area, and collect any available literature on the cars. It was he who first started me on Porsche. Until then, these cars were often sighted on the roads, but were probably dismissed subconsciously as part of the unknown ocean. He gave me a bundle of magazines that were dedicated to Porsche … I was stunned! And hooked! The repertoire of great cars in our attention-horizon soon burgeoned to include Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and the Rolls–Bentley medley…

Vehicle brands I have travelled in: Mitsubishi (including the Pajero), Nissan, Toyota, Ford, Mercedes Benz, Audi, Volvo, Chevrolet, Fiat, Subaru, Mercury…

Vehicle brands I have touched – all the above, plus: Alfa-Romeo, BMW, Landrover, Jaguar (ahh!), Porsche, Oldsmobile, Ferrari, Mazda, Jeep (oohh!), Lamborghini, Aston Martin (I have a picture to prove this!), Lexus, Cadillac, Dodge, GMC, Hummer, Jeep, Kia, Lotus, Lamborghini, Chrysler, Peugeot, Daewoo, Pontiac, Saab, Suzuki, Buick, Isuzu, Lincoln, Lada (a cheap Russian car), and Maserati… (yes, touching the cars used to give us a high in those days!)

Vehicle brands I have stared at – all the above plus: the Bugatti, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, and every other car in the world!

Our yearly vacations to India would be filled with short and long journeys on Ambassador tourist taxis. Also, I remember staring at the row-by-row-by-row of Premier Padmini taxis parked at the Sahar International Airport in Bombay, and having to pick my jaw off the ground … a truly amazing sight … there must have been a million PP taxis there!

Back in India after my Class 10, I learned driving by myself, on my uncle’s old petrol Amby, in the small T-shaped space in front of my house in Kochi. Just turning the key in the ignition used to give me a high… There was no driving space to shift to the second gear, so I mastered the ABC pedals by moving forward, reversing, and doing these while turning. In some time, I could do these blindfolded, and then came steering balance … on a trial run in the Haripad Boys Government School Ground with my cousin on an early-morning, on my uncle’s Premier Padmini, I found that I already could steer fairly well … later realizing this was probably because I had been playing driving sim games (TD series, Stunt, etc) since an early age! No one believes me, but this is true. The cars in these games were driven using the keyboard, and the rotary motion of the steering wheel was unknown to my senses … but I tell you I could drive, and I have never had an instructor.

I don’t have one dream car … I dream about all cars, mostly based on my moods. I am yet to hate a car, even the Santro, which lost me my mother in a road accident in Rajasthan in January 2006. For me, the ‘achievability of a car’s ownership’ is very exciting … for example, I cannot assume that one day I will own a Phantom Coupé or a Bugatti Veyron, which are exceedingly exciting vehicles. However, the possible achievability of ownership of a Honda Accord or a second-hand W124 makes these cars very sweet … peering through their side-windows fills me with a fiery longing that only owning them can ever douse … sounds familiar?

In India, I have had a Maruti 800 (1998–2000), a Contessa Classic (2000), a Maruti Esteem (2000–2001), a Santro (2004–2006), and a Ford Ikon (2001–March 2010) (all owned by my dad, even if do I say ‘I have had’). I also was the proud owner of a Suzuki Shaolin (read ‘heavily modded’), and now ride a Hero Honda CBZ.

I plan to buy a premium hatch or entry-level sedan (or a used high-end sedan? The VTEC?) in about 4 months (more threads coming!), and am saving up now … until then, I will be seen on the Outer Ring Road on my trusted ADC, my 1999 Hero Honda CBZ.

And on these forum pages, in almost every section … unless the moderators choose to chuck me out … for writing the lengthiest intro, ever! Sorry, guys!

Cheers,

GP
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Old 25th March 2010, 22:21   #2
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Wow! This was one heck of a review!! Some part of it was humorous, some was quite emotional. Hope you get a good premium hatch/sedan soon
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Old 25th March 2010, 22:50   #3
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Welcome on board, Golden Paradox. I am very glad that I read your post. The title was after all so distinctive. The writing style is admirable.
Sorry about that unfortunate accident involving your mother. May her soul rest in peace.
Looking forward to hear more from you.
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Old 26th March 2010, 19:37   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prateekm View Post
Wow! This was one heck of a review!! Some part of it was humorous, some was quite emotional. Hope you get a good premium hatch/sedan soon
Thanks, Prateek. Great to receive appreciation on the first post...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Utopian View Post
Welcome on board, Golden Paradox. I am very glad that I read your post. The title was after all so distinctive. The writing style is admirable. Sorry about that unfortunate accident involving your mother. May her soul rest in peace. Looking forward to hear more from you.
I am now scouring the threads, since I do no want to post questions that have already been asked and answered. And, yes, I have many, many questions, so you'll hear lots from me ... thanks for the reply.
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Old 27th March 2010, 07:20   #5
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Whoa!! This should be the best opening thread ever

Welcome aboard!
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Old 27th March 2010, 08:44   #6
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Welcome GoldenParadox, that was indeed a very nice introduction. Sorry to hear about your mother, that loss can never be filled.

Talking about rules, don't forget rule#12.
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Old 27th March 2010, 22:15   #7
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That was a really nice writeup GoldenParadox.
Pretty humorous!
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Old 31st March 2010, 20:40   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ph03n!x View Post
Whoa!! This should be the best opening thread ever

Welcome aboard!
Thanks, ph03n!x ... that's very high praise indeed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Welcome GoldenParadox, that was indeed a very nice introduction. Sorry to hear about your mother, that loss can never be filled.

Talking about rules, don't forget rule#12.
Yes, Samurai … there are some things in life that you cannot replace. Or get over.

Regarding rule 12, the Administrator seems to be telling us to avoid overusing dots, whereas my usage are all of ellipses … commonly used to indicate omission, but also used for smoothly interfacing ideas. In my writing, I use them a lot to avoid the feeling of quick-change in the direction that an idea is flowing. If you notice, I tend to use the three-dot version, and not the four-dot one.

This is perfectly grammatical, and hence I hope is OK ... would love to hear your PoV…

(By the way, I think your Avatar is awesome…)

Quote:
Originally Posted by aman9393 View Post
That was a really nice writeup GoldenParadox.
Pretty humorous!
Thanks, Aman. The incidents are all real-life, and that, as someone said, is often funnier than fiction!
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