Posted by: Aadisht on: November 22, 2003
It so happens that my masi’s driver, who also doubles up as deliveryman for the thermal vest firm she runs with my mum, has run off to his village to settle a property dispute. Property disputes being what they are, it wouldn’t be surprising if Jagdish, the aforementioned driver has been declared dead. At any rate, he’s been gone long past his return date. So, today auditions were held for a replacement driver.
Anyway, this guy came over today to test for the position. He turned out to be an even worse driver than me (though, with constant practice over the past five months, I have improved a lot).
He got into the very new Palio, turned it on, and drove it straight up the drive into the very new aluminium door and window frame of the house.
Here’s the interesting thing, though. While the aluminium frame collapsed inwards and now looks like something lining the floor of a tunnel to Zion, the Palio is unaffected. Unscratched, even. The bumper absorbed the entire impact, and came out looking like new. Jeeves could take lessons in absorbing shocks from that car.
Two things have come out of this incident.
The first is that I have newfound respect for Italian automotive engineering. True, the Palio takes a couple of years to go from zero to sixty, and true, it can’t turn properly. But as far as crashing into things and emerging unscathed is concerned, it stands alone.
The consequence of this is that now, on the rare occasions when the Palio is able to get up to sixty, I don’t need to slow down, halt or turn for cows. I can charge straight into them, and send them flying over the moon, without inflicting any injury to the Palio. Of course, I shall continue to sedulously avoid mowing down pedestrians, innocent or guilty.
The second thing that comes out of this incident is that I have written to Vikram, and asked him how I can get in touch with Ram Avtar, that prince among chauffeurs. Ram Avtar left Vikram’s service earlier this year, as he didn’t want to move out of West Delhi. My masi lives in Rajinder Nagar, so that is not really a problem. If all goes well, Ram Avtar may become the newest person on the payroll of The Banyan Tree.
All in all, things look pretty good.