Saturday, March 22, 2014

The New MCPs! (written when Maruti was introduced)



 This is not a feminist protest against the atrocities of the male chauvinist pigs (why drag that poor animal into it?) Nor is it a thesis on their behaviour patterns. In fact, it has nothing to do with this much maligned species. This is just an observation of the emergence and evolution of a new class of people called the ‘Maruti-cultured pseuds’. If again you think this is the result of grapes on my table having soured, you are wrong. I’m one of those hapless ones who had to surrender the allot­ment letter without the com­pensation of a premium, as it came after the prices were hik­ed. Notwithstanding, I’m a staunch believer in the tested and tried and swear allegiance to the good old Fiat. However, I’m digressing. The purpose of this exercise, to repeat myself, is to study the MCPs (as they shall be referred to herein).
One of the predominant characteristics of the MCP is his aversion to refer to the vehicle as ‘car’. He no longer says ‘I’ll park my car’ or ‘I’ll send for my car’ or ‘I’ll fetch my car from the garage’. He must instead say, ‘I’ll drop you in my Maruti’ or ‘my wife has taken the Maruti to work... ’ It is said with the same air of exclusive pro­prietorship as the kings of yore who clapped their hands and called for their chariots.
Then, there are the greedy MCPs. They hog the road. Whizzing past in their red or blue or white wonders, they smoothly wriggle themselves between the lesser breed of cars — they don’t believe in the dic­tum, ‘they also move who wait for their turn’ because they think it’s a sin to let their engines idle.
At traffic signals, try and avoid being next to a Maruti. You will end up getting such a massive complex that you are tempted to drive your car to the junkyard and walk home. The MCP, impatiently tapping his finger on his steering wheel, takes a leisurely look around and focuses his attention on your car — wondering what you are doing on this planet in­stead of being on Mars. Cultivate the art of looking him in the eye. He’ll turn away soon because it is below his dignity to spar with incomparables.
According to a survey con­ducted by the SPWD (Society for prevention of women drivers), six out of eight MCPs in the last three years are women. Indulgent husbands gift a Maruti to their wives on their birthday and upwardly mobile professional women find the Maruti a congenial companion. With the wind in their hair and power in their hands, the women MCP’s drive past — proving that the ‘hand that drives the Maruti, rules the road’. Unless one has suicidal tendencies, other ordinary mor­tals, keep their distance.
The most amusing MCP is the one who has a chauffeur driven Maruti. It’s like asking an older brother to pedal your tricycle for you while you sit back and suck your thumb.
All said and done, the little wonders have stolen the show. At long last, here is a bauble that any snooty Indian will like to possess — in spite of having a ‘made in India’ stamped on it. So, we shall salute the MCPs and slightly alter their name — we shall call them the ‘Maruti Cultured Patriots!’