Excerpt from ‘The Arrack Diary’
My latest acquisition is a used Maruti 800 called The Beast. It packs a whopping 796cc under the bonnet, sports four forward and one reverse gears, and it has, as the official brochure proudly exclaims, electric windscreen wipers.
The Beast is the pinnacle of motoring achievement. It is a throwback to a time when car and driver were one, to an age when real machines were driven by real men. Being in The Beast is like standing in your granddad’s garden shed. Driving the machine on Sri Lanka’s roads is like riding a horse across the plains of Mongolia. It is simply meant to be.
The Beast symbolises an independent sub-continent that is wrestling power away from the established, tired, West. One day swarms of Maruti’s will circle the globe in beautiful, choreographed flocks. And The Beast and I will be there to see it happen, man and machine, yin and yang, quietly smiling from the side street.
PK – Merry Christmas