Sunday, 24 July 2011

Babul ki duaein leti jaa! So long Farewell!

Over the years I have fond memories of the cars I have been associated with.

The first one was my dad's first car (even though it was second hand), a bright blue Fiat. It must have been an important part of my life because I drew and coloured a blue car to win a first prize in my very first drawing competition as a four year old. Life as a four year old was wonderful and I distinctly remember the joy of standing on the front seat of the car to have a bird's eye view of the world, next to my father chattering to him as he drove around town.

The second car I remember was a steel grey Ambassador, which was bought close to my nephew's birth when I was ten years old. Well, all of us have very happy memories of this spacious Ambassador, which would house God knows how many of us, including the white haired dog (nicknamed "Bidesi kukur" by passersby), who travelled with us with his head poking out of the front left window.

When the grey Ambassador was sold at last, my nephew was close to becoming a software engineer. My dad was nearly singing bidai (farewell)songs - Babul ki duain leti jaa, jaa tujhe sukhi sansaar mile!

I recently read an article in Time magazine "Driven off the road by MBAs"- it discussed a book written by Bob Lutz, former chairman of General Motors who believes like I do, that if we want economies to grow in the real sense, make top class products or provide top class services, we should "fire the managers" and let the technocrats run the show. In yesteryears we believed that if our product excelled, customers would come. But then came the MBAs and taught us what was taught to them- how to try to get almonds for the price of peanuts!

Quoting from the article- ".... a trend toward short-term, myopically balance-sheet-driven management has infected American business."

Our parents used to own and treasure things for longer not just because the culture of incessant buying and throwing away, wasn't rife but also because things were of better quality, made to last a lifetime....because then, the shoe companies were run by shoemakers and auto companies were run by engineers as Lutz suggests should happen.

Nowadays people change cars and jobs easily. I remember treasuring my first watch, but nowadays kids have too much hardware around to get emotionally attached to anything and anyway everything needs updating and changing every 1-2 years.

Consider your mobile phone, which then became smart and then acquired a touch screen and then flattened out to enable you to do everything, while you were on the go. The VCR, VCDs, DVDs and Audio CDs and their respective players replaced cassettes and records and now everything is going to the landfill to make place for downloading ipods. Not only that, everything needs to be synchronized to each other and thus the whole lot need will need updating at frequent intervals. Not to forget the Wiis, Xboxes and playstations. God bless our planet.

Then comes rivalry between competing providers. Last week we spent nearly an hour trying to get the Storz cable to work on the Olympus stack (Storz and Olympus being top companies providing laparoscopic equipment).

So in this horde for possessing "STUFF" from all the different competing companies which needs an upgrade before it is launched.....people are buying more than they need or can afford.

Apart from how it has affected lifestyles and relationships (people have no one to talk to but have 200 friends on facebook), it has done away with singing bidai songs to cars!


Anonymous said...

Very inciteful !


Abhishek said...

Those were days of relationships which were formed for a lifetime, both humans and machines, now both come with expiry date or should I say best before date.

Saras said...

we have all changed subtly and fundamentally. whatever little was left has been over shadowed by hords of advertising educating why one should discard a particurally useful thing for a fancy one.

brightspark said...

I agree