Speed Thrills…

No, it doesn’t kill. Nothing, apart from of course smoking, ever kills. Now if you’re about to add some cyanide to the equation, let me tell you that I’m not interested in discussing any further.

Now, you might have read a lot of useless pieces since you became old enough to read. And no, I’m not talking about textbooks. I’m talking about articles, storybooks, novels, biographies and all other forms of written work. The ones who have tried to read ‘The Casual Vacancy’ will be touched, for there never was and there never ever will be a novel as ruthlessly boring as it was. And with my first attempt at writing, I’m certain that this will go down and get added up to that list of useless reads. Still, I’m motivated. If you’re still with me, congratulations and read on!

What the hell is speed? Is it the measure of how fast we go or does it have something to do with our emotions or possibly, our thinking? Is it subjective? I have known guys all my life (of 19) who, after their so-called adventure near the red line, practically jump while boasting, ‘Bitch, that was almost 140’. I even know guys, no sorry, girls, who literally have their hearts in their mouths when riding pillion with a guy who’s cruising at 80. This sometimes makes me wonder, how fast is really fast!?

If you happen to touch 150 with someone like Kimi Raikkonen by your side in say, a McLaren F1, you’ll obviously be the one to yell out first while all he would do is shrug, that too if you’re lucky. People who regularly see and experience speeds of over 300kmph don’t give a damn about your 140.

I’d ride just a notch above 40 with my mum and she would start yelling at me in front of everyone. Get the hint?

So yeah, to me ‘real fast’ is that speed which takes your breath away, makes you open your mouth wide enough for a Golf ball to fit in and makes you take a mental note of bragging about it the next time you sit with your favorite brand of Vodka with your closest pals. It is subjective and why not? After all, a movie like Ramleela grossed up 100 crore.

So, the Veyron is the fastest, yeah? Bloody no, it’s never only about speed. Its never about the number of cylinders or the number of horses screaming beneath the hood or even the rear wing doing a lap dance above the rear bumper. The car you’re driving should have the ability to put a grin wide enough to fit America on your face. It’s all about driving pleasure at the end of the day, it really is. Even something like a Ford Fiesta or even a VW Golf has the potential to make your time behind the wheel worthwhile.

But, as with everything else, we do have a flop side to this. Going verrry fast isn’t always synonymous with going comfortably. Rather it rarely is. As long as you have control over the pace, feel free to cross the redline. But always remember that you have loved ones waiting for you to get home. Uh, that escalated quickly.

As for my personal best, I’ve been inside a car which at one point, touched 180 kmph. No it wasn’t a race track, it was the Kuala Lumpur International Airport Extension Highway that connects the KLIA to the KL City. And I swear the speed wasn’t causing discomfort in any way. Neither to me, nor to the ones who were in that car with me. And considering that my aunts and uncles were there with me in that car, that’s saying something.

Yesterday at about 7 pm as I was strolling about near my house doing nothing but gazing aimlessly on the lock screen wallpaper of my iPhone, which incidentally, is a tachometer (yeah, call me boring), I heard a howl. Instinctively, it made me turn around so fast that a young lady on a bicycle who was approaching the area where I was, braked and began to look suspiciously towards me. Little did she know that I had eyes only and only for the bright white silhouette that had just begun to materialize behind her. It wasn’t a ghost, c’mon. It was a smooth, gleaming, gorgeous, showroom-fresh, brand new 2013 Mercedes CLS Class. It really made me do a double take and made me forget that this was Nagpur, where the most we get to see is a Jaguar XF. No but there she really was, her lucky pilot putting her through paces racing towards, and within the next blink, beyond me.

That was the inspiration behind this piece. It made me wonder about speed and speed in general, made me forget that I was a student of the CA course and that this should have been the last goddamn thing on my mind. This was long overdue, considering that I wanted to write something about cars since I was 16. But here it is, I have finally taken what was on my mind and put it to paper even though I knew that it couldn’t have gotten any more worthless. And here’s the bad news, I’m excited for more!

P.S.  In case you were wondering, the Bugatti Veyron is the fastest road-legal car in the world, capable of getting to 100 kmph in about 2.8 seconds and doing speeds in excess of 400 kmph. Without breaking a sweat.

How much time did it take for you to read this?!


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