NEW MAHINDRA SCORPIO
An ode to the enchanted world of automobiles and motorcycles that is haven to those born with a maverick streak
It’s birthday time for evo India! Personally, I am thankful to Sirish and evo for giving me a chance to get back to writing after a hiatus of almost two and half years. As you can imagine, it is not easy to write a column for a spanking new automotive publication – and more so when you represent a car maker. My life as Chief of Adventure at Mahindra is good fun and I can generate many good stories, but there is a limit to how much you can plug your company and activities, right? But over the months I think I have managed to identify general topics that I could gloss over and my apologies if a few additional pinches of Thar or Adventure made up most of the text matter on occasions.
There is a famous line by David E Davis Jr, of Road and Track and Automobile magazine fame, which I quote freely on any apt occasion. “Automotive journalism is all about driving great cars to great places, to meet great people”, or something like that. To me, that has been the litmus test for everything we did at BS Motoring during the 15 or so years that I spent there. “If it ain’t fun to drive, it won’t be fun to read”, claims another school of journalism. But then with 99.9 per cent of all cars that are produced and sold in India being front-engined, front-wheel drive hatchbacks, one wouldn’t be able to fill pages of a magazine. The point I am driving at is that evo India has managed to establish a niche in a country which does not have 100 years of automotive history – and that in itself is a big achievement. We don’t have generations of brand patronage, racing heritage and enthusiasm incubators of any kind, to spawn hordes of automotive fanatics who will lap up anything that a dedicated publication can dish out. But still, evo India has done quite well over the last year. Despite the per capita Ferrari ratio being poor, evo India has succeeded in selling monthly editions with supercars on the covers. Cheers to that.
Do you know what makes a good automotive publication? It is the people who put together the stuff. You have got to love cars and motorcycles first, then you should be able to drive or ride them to save your life and then comes the most important facet of a motoring journalist – you should be able to tell a story every time you hit a keyboard. If you have the above three in your skill set inventory, I am certain that Sirish Chandran has a job for you.
Unfortunately our industry has accommodated a few who desperately lack, at times alarmingly more than one of these three tenets of automotive journalism. And that results in essentially boring communication that cannot convey the spirit of magnificent machines that make glorious noises and move at great speeds. Thankfully evo
You have got to love cars and motorcycles first and tell a story every time you hit the keyboard
India has some of the finest writers and photographers on its roster – some of them, like Sirish and Ouseph, I know well enough to say that if you offer them a choice of a night out with Megan Fox or an Aston Martin Rapide on a winding road, both will choose the latter. (Or so I think!).
The fact that you are reading this magazine and you have reached the last paragraph of this particular column means that you have more than a ‘normal’ level of interest in automotive journalism. So why don’t you become one? Isn’t it time to chuck that accountant/banker/broker tag and do something that you really love doing? Perhaps some of you want to take up automotive journalism as a career after college. Here is a little bit of advice from someone who quit a career in law to do motoring journalism – start reading now. Read everything and anything from selfish blogs to pulp racing novelettes. Read auto magazines again and again. Allow that dormant enthusiast to come out and become a nut case. Once that is achieved you will start eating, sleeping and perhaps, writing about cars. Trust me, life will never be the same again.
Imagine the day when you wake up, pull aside the curtains of your second floor house to check what you will be riding/driving to work? And then imagine Porsche 911s and Ducatis filling up those parking lots? And lastly, imagine being paid to do that!
I really don’t know what you are waiting for!