Why I won’t be buying an XUV500

Since its launch in India, I’ve been obsessing over the Mahindra XUV500. I missed the boat on the first lot of bookings and was then stunned to know that bookings had been suspended. Earlier this month, Mahindra re-opened them for 7,200 cars to be delivered across 19 cities. But I’m no longer interested.

Dr Pawan Goenka, President, Automotive and Farm Equipment Sectors wrote a rather moving letter to potential customers last week. This actually worked and I was still interested… but over the preceding weekend, I realised that my chances of actually getting one are slim. Moreover, the money we pay Mahindra for the booking will only be refunded after a month (or within, I think) according to the ‘draw’ T&C.

(This whole draw aspect reminds me of the 1980s when people waited months for phone connections or vehicles.)

The trouble is, that according to the numbers, each city would be allocated about 378 vehicles. I am positive that from most cities, there will be at least 1,000 applications each. That itself puts my chances at 38%… 1 in 3. There is no mention of how many vehicles are being allotted per city if in case this is the approach.

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The indicator has two meanings…

Pune’s roads are notoriously unsafe. And free-willed at the same time. They run on the will of the drivers. Who run about freely without any regard for safety or rules. Ergo, free-willed.

So last weekend, I had a minor run-in (of the verbal sorts) with one such free-willed driver. While planning, attempting and then being halfway through the U-turn, the following ensued:

As I flicked on the indicator and initiated the right turn, I realized that I wasn’t going to make the turn unless I started a tad wider. So I made the minor adjustment and then proceeded to turn. In the meantime, an enterprising driver decided he should go ahead from my right (while I turned). Upon suddenly finding my car blocking his way, he became angry. Rightfully so. Who would want their progress stalled suddenly by a car across the road. He proceeded to reprimand me for my callous ways…

Driver: Kidhar jaata hai?

Me: Right ko.

Driver: Haath to dikhao…

Me: Indicator on hai…

Driver: Indicator on hai to kahi bhi turn lega?

Me: Right ka indicator hai, right turn hai, main right turn le raha hoo… problem kya hai?

Driver: Gaali kyon diya?

Me: …

Driver: Kidhar bhi turn karega kya?

Me: …

Driver: Right turn lena hai to haath dikhao.

Me: Indicator chalu hai boss.

Driver: Indicator ke do matlab hote hai. Yaa to tum right le rahe ho, ya mujhe aage jane ko bol rahe ho. Tum mujhe aage jaane bol rahe the…

Me: … … …

Driver: Vroom

Me: … !!!???

This is a real life story. No fiction. Really.

I’ve been robbed

Late last night (so I assume), my car window was broken (smashed) and my music player panel was stolen. The perps decided nothing else in the car including deo, sunglasses or even CDs were worth their time or effort. So here I am at 7.30 am with a nice hot cup of tea when the building guard notifies me “Sahab, wo gaadi ka kaach toota hai”. Incredulous as my look may have been, he did not even blink and proceeded to report that the said panel was also missing.

Now I have a question as to whether he took it and then reported the break… it’s possible, eh, that only the window was broken and he made the most of an available chance? But then I also found out that another 3-4 cars had suffered a similar fate. Hm. Theory 1 stands unsubstantiated.

Despite all that, the fact is that I have to spend about Rs 1,500 to get the window replaced and get a new panel… that I guess would cost another 2-3 thousand. What a waste.

P.S.: Last year on June 17, my car had an accident (I was driving) that cost me about Rs 10,000. It’s July 20 today. Any ideas? Should I visit an astrologer?