Avik Chattopadhyay: Lucifer at the Auto Expo!

27 Feb,2020

By Avik Chattopadhyay


Lucifer was getting bored. Almost dozing off when God walked up to him and said: “Want to taste a new kind of hell?” “Sure, tell me more…” “Read on social media that the Indian automobile market is hellish.” “Hellish…or actual hell?” “Check it out for yourself. Lazing on that ottoman is making you fat.” “Okay, okay…don’t push it. Where exactly do I start? Heard that country is a huge maze.” “Seems there’s an auto show somewhere up in the north. Good place to start.” “Terrific! Never been to an auto show. Beam me down…now!”


Oh man! Look at all those people streaming in! Seems the whole world is here. Imagine when they all come up…


“Excuse me Sir, your pass please. Others are waiting behind you.”


“Oh yes, here it is. Sorry.”


So, what do we have here? They call this an SUV. Popular name here. That one there too is an SUV. Didn’t the guys in the previous hall also have a couple of SUVs?! “How is your SUV different from that in the previous hall?” “Oh, theirs is a traditional SUV…boxy. Ours is a coupe SUV. Sleek. We also have a mid-size SUV. There…” Next hall. Now, what do we have here…a tiny vehicle with bug eyes…wait, they are calling this an SUV too! “What SUV is this?” “This is a compact SUV.” As I stepped out I see a very interesting SUV parked outside. Two types of wheels. “Excuse me, what SUV is this?” “This is a tractor!” “Wow, a tractor-SUV!” “Where are you from, weirdo?” How offensive! One can get confused…this thing also has high seats and a high roof!


Alright, so what do we have here? The description says “face-lift”. What could this be? “Excuse me, which part of the face did you lift?” “Ummmm…well the grille now has two chrome stripes on it…previously had one. Also, the DRL has been repositioned over the headlamp. And…” “Call this a face-lift?! More like a nip and tuck, is it not!” And there are lots of nips and tucks all around. The crowd must be liking all this stuff. A bumper here, a light there.


And what’s with this “Electric” mania? It’s all over the place. This electricity is blue in colour! Fancy that!! That’s why the blue lightning streaks, outlines, highlights and letters all over. Wonder if red or green electricity works equally well. The red one would surely go with my eyes!


But, where are those ‘half-vehicles’ …the ones with just two wheels? They were all over on the roads. “Excuse me, where are the ones with two wheels? Do not see them here.” “Oh, there are just a couple here. Most have stayed away. You will find them in Milan and Cologne.” “Close by?” “Where are you from, weirdo?” Now, that’s the second time in a day. Third time and I burn this place down.


This green stuff on the floor is sure interesting. “That’s artificial grass!” “I see. Whatever for?” “Because we believe in green technology! Can’t you get it?” “Pardon me. You have blue electricity too. Is this the same stuff?” End of polite conversation.


“You back already?”




“Okay, am all ears…”


“Do not bother.”


“C’mon, humour me…”


“Okay…sample this. They say it’s winter, but I found ladies standing next to vehicles shivering yet hardly wearing any clothes. They say India is a market of 1.3 billion people but when I was beaming down I saw innumerable people on feet asking for money from those in vehicles. Understand?”


“Oh hell!”



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