Tuesday 31 December 2013


The next time some one asks me if I went to IIT, IIM, I can truthfully say answer in the affirmative. I was at IIT KGP in 2012. And in December 2013, Deepta took me along to an alumni reunion at IIM Ahmedabad. It was largely uneventful for me, but what happened to me upon my return left me in a state of shock of an order from which i am yet to recover fully.

It happened the morning after my return. The car door would not open. I struggled with it for some time to no avail when suddenly the car started speaking to me. Turns out the car wanted to know about my trip.

So how did the recall go? Did they fix her or has she come back none of her faults resolved?
What, are you talking to me ? What recall ?
Yes I am talking to you. If there is a problem, there is a problem. It is not your fault. There is no need to be defensive.
I don’t get it, what are you talking about ?
Last week, you went to IIM Ahmedabad, did you not, you went with Deepta.
And did she not go there where many of her batch mates were present?
That’s the batch recall I am talking about. How was it.
This was no batch recall. It was a batch reunion.
Now now, again you are getting defensive. There is no shame in admitting to a problem.
There is no problem with Deepta.
Come on man. What about her poor sense of direction? What about her tendency to straddle two lanes when on a highway ? I have heard you rant about it. I have often wondered why you don’t send her back for repairs if you are this unhappy about her driving.
That’s not something IIM Ahmedabad can fix. In any case, this is not something that I can send her back for.
Aha, we are making progress. You are finally admitting that she is defective. You are just saying that this was not the right factory to get this fixed in. Do I also hear that it is not for you to send her back, because you are but an accessory? May be you are not an approved accessory, may be therein lies the problem. It happens with us, cars, too. If a car is fixed with an accessory which is not from an approved source, it goes out of warranty. Is that what happened?
Nothing. Because nothing needed to be fixed. Not in me, not in her. I am also not an accessory. Ok?
Ok ok, no need to get angry. Getting angry will not change the fact that you are just an accessory.
Bull shit.
Don’t swear at me when I am holding up a mirror to you. Are you from IIT, no. Are you from IIM, no. Did you not hear about the Oswal groom hunt? Every dad wants his daughter to marry someone who went to a better college and can therefore provide better for the girl.
But I did go to a better college, I studied at Yale, one of the best universities in the world.
Did you even finish your Ph D, no. Your MA is a far cry from an MBA.
Nonsense. I am the CEO of IRIS. And let me tell you, Deepta is not an MBA, she only has a PGDBM.
How terrible you are. It is Deepta and Balu who made you CEO.
Come on.
Sorry to prick your ego, but you are only an Iyer, she is an Iyengar. She is well read and talented. I am convined that you must have slipped in through some CSR program.
Stop stop. I thought you wanted to discuss the batch recall, sorry I mean the batch reunion.
You really are rotten. You are prepared to change the subject to save you own face. But you know, we cars are trained to be more focussed, else we won’t be able to take you places. So yes, lets discuss the batch recall.
Honestly, Honda san, this was no recall, this really was a reunion of her batch.
You know just before I came to you and was still in the factory, they had a recall of the batch of September 2013 Gurgaon factory. They all had a carburettor problem which needed to be fixed. Tell me, was the whole batch recalled ?
Not all of them could not make it to the reunion. And the only recall was of memories.
I wonder why the batch sent back without repairs. It happened to the July 2013 batch in our factory. The engines were heating up, so the batch was recalled. The company though sent the cars back without fixing them as it was too expensive to fix. They found some loop hole in the sale contract which allowed then to get away. The same must have happened here. I get it. Since this is the batch of 1989, the manufacturer would have invoked what you call the statute of limitations since it is 25 years since manufacture. Nothing lasts for ever you know. And no warranty can be to perpetuity, obviously.
But let that be. You know the fun part of batch recall for all of us is to see how different owners have accessorised their cars. Did this happen? Though I must admit that this cant be fun for the cars that are getting compared.
If you wish to compare like for like, as you should, I don’t I think there was anybody quite like me. There were some 25 women in Deepta’s batch of which only 8 or so showed up. Most of the 8 had opted for what is called comprehensive placement on campus itself. Deepta was the only person who showed up with a spouse like me. So, no comparison, sorry to disappoint you.
Another thing that happens during our batch recalls is to see how well the cars have been maintained. I am sure the humans would have done the same, na?
Arey, these are friends, they are batch mates. They have come together to rekindle old bonds.
If you are trying to tell me they don’t compare, you need to wake up. You don’t think people were comparing the marketcap of Rashesh, Bichoo and Nirmal ? Hell, why do you think Roshni, Dingo and Rashesh made a pact to finish ADHM together ? To avoid embarrassing each other withe the recall happening so soon afterwards. At the same time, you need to ask why Roshni did not show up at the recall. Because by finishing with the men, she was showing that she was better. Of course they compare, they kept comparing all the time. The men were even comparing which of their spouses had been better preserved. I don’t know what world you are living in.
I am tired of this. Let me tell you once and for all that this was a batch reunion, where friends got together, not a batch recall. Human beings don’t get recalled in the way cars do. Before you get started again, yes we do die. I think you could call that a recall but that is by God, our maker.
Do you know this God. After fixing you will he send you back?
Depends. I have heard that the more spiritually evolved among the humans don’t come back in physical form, unless they choose to. They become one with the universe, they blend into what we call universal consciousness.
That happens to us too. I have heard in the factory that those that cannot be set right are sent to the scrap yard after which we are melted down and become one with other metal.
Scrap. Consciousness. I have never heard of them being equated. And seriously, when you think about it, batch recall, batch reunion, same same only. Na?


  1. That was one hell of a conversation with a Car. I am really awed by the brilliance of the writer in you, Swami sir. Awesome script, nice flow to the story line and the many moral-of-the-stories in there... Glad that I read this one.

  2. I smiled and pondered at the same time.. Which I think i should do more often. Thanks!

  3. I want to know Deepta's reaction to this conversation :)
    I just laughed my way through this....


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