The Hari Putar Dialogues - 16
(The Asian Age, London, 30 July. London, July 30: A British designer has come up with a sports car that can be folded in half to park it in tight spaces. Daniel Bailey, 22, has revealed that the BRB Evolution jacks up on its nose with its back wheels sliding underneath on two rollers, and thus uses 50 per cent less parking space. He says that motorists will have to step out of the car before it morphs into its "upright" parking pose. He adds that the car will run on electricity or hydrogen fuel, and will be more "sexy, sleek and mean" than other eco-cars. )
Putar: According to a report in the Asian Age today a British car designer has come up with a sports car that can be folded in half to park it in tight spaces.
Hari: I read that story, putar.
Putar: I'm sure that there can be a big demand for that kind of vehicle in places where property prices are at a premium.
Hari: What do you mean putar?
Putar: Well, for example there are many places in the world, where property is very expensive, and if you can have a smaller garage, then you save a lot of money.
Hari: That's true, putar but why not simply have a smaller car?
Putar: Many people like to impress friends and colleagues by having a large flashy car. This kind of vehicle gives you the benefit of having a larger, more impressive car on the roads, but also one which takes up less space at home.
Hari: Yes, if you are rich you quite often want to flaunt it.
Putar: This particular car that is mentioned in the report doesn't actually reduce its size but stands up more erect occupying less space.
Hari: Just so long as it achieves its objective.
Putar: What about creating a car design which allows you to have two shapes.
Hari: What exactly do you mean putar?
Putar: Perhaps it will be possible one day to have a larger shape and a smaller shape for a car, you know. You push a button and the car changes to the smaller or larger shape. On the days you are going to be on a six lane highway with less traffic you roll out on the bigger car, and on the days you will be navigating narrow lanes you fold up the car, and use the smaller version. That will stop your car from getting scratches and you will be able to navigate gaps between vehicles on the road more smoothly and get to your destination faster.
Hari: I'm sure that the Tata's could work on such an idea.
Putar: My guess is that we'll have to leave it to the Japanese. They already have similar experience with their houses. For instance, Japanese houses are very small. Some of them are of the folding variety, where you move the walls in the evening to make the bedroom and in the morning you move them again to have a living room. And you shift the furniture so that the beds become sofas and the writing table becomes a dining table.
Hari: Don't they say that heaven is when you have an American house and a Japanese wife,putar?
Putar: Because Japanese wives are very caring and adjusting.
Hari: And Japanese houses are very small.
Putar: On the other hand they say that hell is when you have a Japanese house and an American wife.
Hari: But why is it hell to have an American wife?
Putar: I suppose it's because they can be very high maintenance, Papaji.
Hari: Just like the large American cars.
Putar: Exactly. Tell me something Papaji?
Hari: Bol, putar?
Putar: Oil prices are going up, and because of this industrialists are thinking of new kinds of fuel.
Hari: That's certainly true, putar.
Putar: They didn't think so hard of having a greener fuel all these years, did they?
Hari: No, they didn't. Don't they say that necessity is the mother of invention?
Putar: That's a very old but true saying. But there is another price to be paid as well. Cars pollute the atmosphere, don't they? The Chinese have planned on reducing the number of cars on the road by half in the hope that this will turn the grey polluted skies into blue.
Hari: They had promised blue skies for the Olympics.
Putar: And once the Olympics are over?
Hari: Things go back to same old bad polluted ways, I guess.
Putar: Causing health problems for the residents of Beijing.
Putar: Isn't that another kind of necessity?
Hari: I guess it is, but corporate profits are not directly involved here. And it will be the richer countries who will invest millions on research and development towards creating a new fuel.
Putar: So despite the necessity to do so, you don't think the Chinese or other air polluted nations will be the future pioneers in automobile and fuel technology.
Hari: I somehow don't think so, putar.
Putar: Would you agree then that in modern times, the old saying should be changed to 'Necessity and Greed are the parents of invention'?
Hari: I don't know putar.