Yesterday was Bhai Dhooj, a festival celebrated after diwali festival. So Car showrooms were open and empty. I decided to make my way to do site visit to these car show rooms. How they are connected to Drawing. This shall be revealed in some time only. Please keep eyes, ears and all senses open to the maximum. I on the other hand, am thinking how will create this link ? I am equally worried since I have promised to do so.
My first visit is to Renault show room. Its near badarpur, on the high way called as MATHURA road which leads straight to Mathura, a religious place of worship. All the car showrooms are lined up on this road which have another line in the sky, the metro running above. Everything happens between two metro stations, or maybe more than two metro stations.
Starting from Lamborgini’s parked, to Audi, BMW, Volvo, Tata, Mercedes, Ford, Toyota, Renault, Kia to JEEP compass, everything is here. Some have closed down, some have opened up. Yes, I forgot Hyundai and Honda, of one which i visited. The conversations with the Salesman are similar. They will say the same thing, what they did in 2017 when i had bought two new cars. Yes, how could i forget the Indian brand – Mahindra.
Drawing plays a crucial role here as it can, and it does shape your thinking. It also shapes how you see and to what point you want to see. I will open up this conversation here before I go any further. Please break for Diwali Mithai at this moment. Have your Moti choor laddu, Mysore Pak, burfi, dry fruit ka bomb, desi ghee kay mithaa paaray, dark chocolate or just plain old browine, or as my mom would call it… Biryaani, – yes my mom calls the brownie, the biryaani. Its how she catches langauge. I call it a mom problem. Not hearing but just my mom problem. (MP).
Drawing, or regular drawing on a daily basis leads to categorisation of thinking, seeing, it breaks down into
- what is being said
- what is being seen
- what actions are being performed
- what is being presented
What is being said by the Salesman – again someone designates and trains itself to be a Salesperson. To sell me something, to provide me Chai, coffee and give me pen and paper to take notes, leads me to what and how the Car industry functions – the Variants of the Car. The Petrol car, the automatic version, the car with models – the one with fog lamps, the car with rain sensors ( i could sense the rain as i saw those lines ), ah! the music system, especially when they say – touch screen, this model is without or with touch screen. The price difference is 1 lakhs. It goes on. Now there is a model in between Automatic and manual, where clutches change on their own. It gets worse when you put on You tube to see reviews of these cars.
What is being seen is the atmosphere. The experience of seeing it as a whole. The foot over bridge, the walking route, the showroom and the dug up empty plots next to them. How showrooms built their interior and exterior, especially the class distinction between Volvo, Audi and other car manufacturers. You create an architectural play to induce the other to look at you, be attracted towards you. The use of material, the scale of the objects. Seen is prevailing in everything, from what is being said, to being seem to actions being performed, to what is being presented. You are creating a relationship and saying to me, that when you come to us, this is how we will look like. and i can not help but notice that only.
What actions are being performed and are also being drawn out in my mind sketchbook. I don’t have any connection with the actual sale of the car or the car in this moment, but what you do, or what you make me perform is of crucial importance. It is drawing in action in this moment. Something as simple as TEST DRIVE. or folding the back seat to show me space, comfort, features. You show me the engine, the typhoon silver colour or the black or the blue. Actions are actions in the head being performed of everything which folds to actual actions I am seeing. The test drive occurs in a vast empty space behind all the car show rooms. I get to learn what is a TURBO engine. I’m told i should slow down to the speed of 30 km ph and then press on the engine and feel the TURBO !!!!!!!
But i see something else. This is a a space which is a vacant land owned by the government. It is rail way land, and it is scattered with rocks placed all over. There are different cricket matches being played out by boys, teenagers from the nearby colonies. It is covered with trees on one side and i can do anything here. Turn the car in any direction, do a 360 degree turn just like in the MOVIES. drive like mad, flip the car and do stunts.
Instead i lie down on the back seat pretending to be my mother, a bed ridden senior citizen who I am taking a drive to jaipur. I do not mange even a single second. My head starts to spin and I feel like vomiting. Lying down on the seat with head resting in a car is not a good experience. It makes you think that we drive where we are seeing the front view at all times. Our body is made to Sit in a car. Or i should say, Cars are designed that passengers sit and not sleep in the car. I am dropped off at the Renault showroom and now i hop on to the Hyundai show room where i see a foot over bridge which is being misused by motor bikes to cross over.
Both the instances of being in the car lying down and the motor bike are drawings in the making. Drawing extracts from your thought experience what you can draw, what you should draw when you open your sketchbook along with coffee in a cafe as i am a certified Cafe Junkie.
What is being presented is how the Car is not the Car that I am thinking in my head. But the cheated deal which comes my way where there is a pressure to only give this. For example, I am being given – A Car which has 1000 CC engine only, or i pay 2 lakhs more for a turbo engine. Or this forever game of variants. That if i want this upholstery in the car, then this only comes in this model. That i have to test drive so many cars to get to the right feel of the car. That one car has its spare wheel under the car. One car is 7 seater, and the other is 5 seater. That this model has a sun roof, and fog lights. And look here carefully, which i do – That this car has an INDICATOR on the side view mirror. My eyes after seeing that started to actually blink on the sides. The Blinker within me started to blink. I was OUT OF CONTROL.
It doesn’t end here. Online i see that VOLVO, BMW and AUDI are another league. An SUV is starting at 8 lakhs, but for these three brands, it starts at 40 lakhs. Their show rooms from the outside give me a confused feel. This is where there built architecture becomes heavy for me. The question arises – how do these different leagues create themselves on the same planet where all of us inhabit. The idea of Class and, perfection and most importantly for me, from the drawing point of view – Engineering & Design.
So there are segments basically. There are clear divisions where the masses is given a suppressed set of features. All of my life its about the basic model and what i could not own, the Electric sunroof or those rain sensing wipers in the back of my car or that turbo engine which would give me that boost on 30 km. My life is incomplete because I don’t have money for the high TOP END model. Yes, after the TOP END, it has come to an end. And the untouchable are cars which i have no sense about, the TOP BRANDS. walking on the road, the side road of Mathura Road made me feel stupid, so i pulled over to the Haldiram, not for haldi but for:
yes, you guessed it right, for Raj Kachori. The Raja of all street foods. I love street food and i can always be seen eating street food in 5 star hotels. I will pay anything to eat street food on marriages, inside banquet halls, in starbucks and 5 star hotels. I have seen this street food sellers when my car is passing them by.
After eating this and while eating this, or better yet, before i entered this place, I was thinking, i do need a compact SUV ( another bullshit term). a compact SUV is for that Indian who is sick of a hatchback but wants a SUV feel but has no money or parking space to park an SUV. An Indian who wants to go on the highway, known as not City Driving but long term driving, like a Long term FD, not short term FD. So this highway is going to give a SMOOTH Ride with an arm rest. An arm rest is a must. And this Indian, middle class, and there is no point talking about the hand to mouth middle class indian versus the middle class who owns 4 cars but is in the middle of something which we don’t know. He can buy the AUDI but buys the Tata Safari.
Anyways…I am going off track on a foggy monday morning in my writing so let me put on the brakes and shift gear.
So I am the middle class indian citizen who is migrating from the hatchback to the experience of a compact SUV. I want that thrill in life. I want that smooth drive and I have now even thought of driving from New Delhi, my home city to Mumbai as this ride will liberate me of the shackles of being stuck in Delhi.
So on the sunday morning, all the salespeople called me, before I cut my finger wide open, and i said only one thing – How much for the booking amount ? Sir – 21,000/- like its a shagun for a marriage, or 11,000/- fully refundable SIR. Like now i was ready for the adventure. And then pop went the glass jar. and out came the blood gushing on the sunday afternoon. The booking amount turned into – which hospital is functional on a sunday and how many stitches will it be?