Monday, June 25, 2007

Car Shringar

I am not sure if that's an actual shop name or if I really did think it up! It just sounds lyrical and so perfect for a big neon signboard in Milan Subway, Santa Cruz.

Because that's where we were last Saturday---getting 'artificial leather' seatcovers fixed on our beige car seats before they turned a muddy brown in the rains. So anyway, we tried hard to find a shop closer to home, but all roads (and inquiries) pointed us towards Milan Subway (what a shady name!) and so we headed off.

Milan Subway is a lane leading off S.V. Road (Swami Vivekanand Road) and is a complete mayhem of cars (new, old, and skeletal/rusty remains), illegal parking, swift mechanics, muddy puddles, grease, tiny slivers of shops and excellent salesmen. We tried bargaining with the young man with the skull cap but he patiently refused. I felt a little ashamed when I later caught sight of a not-so-prominently placed sign that said 'Time is money. Don't waste it bargaining'.

So while 3 pairs of deft hands fixed our seat covers, we waited in a tiny shop and looked around, wide-eyed, at every possible thing one might want to add to one's car as part of the beautification process. As we inspected the shelves, a middle-aged man came and asked about car-reverse tunes and was treated to two (really loud) options: the standard tuk tuk tuk tuk and, what realy surprises me, A.R. Rahman's tune for Airtel. The poor composer could never have dreamt that instead of alerting you to calls, his tune would soon be telling people to jump out of the way!

Side door protectors, car perfumes, swivelling/revolving/rotating/alternating/musical lights for the car roof, brake lights, golden and red designer slip-ons to cover your brake/clutch/accelerator pads, little fans, video screens, car alarms, car covers...stickers, tiny glittering models of Mecca complete with green glowing lights---the glass shelves were quite a treasure and I would have enjoyed getting a closer look at it all. Two tiny, amputated-by-half fans spun away crazily to beat the heat. All around us cars tooted, braked, screeched, parked, banged, got was like a beauty-parlour and hospital rolled into one, for four-wheelers!

As we drove away, I caught sight of another shop called 'Car Jewels' the complete jewellery store for your car'! Beauty really is an indsutry! And so very subjective!

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