Nepali Times
Under My Hat
Car toons


Have you noticed lately that cars are starting to resemble humans? Give it another million years of evolution, and automobiles will shed their hatchbacks and start walking around on two hind legs. In the old days, when they designed cars, they got a box and attached four wheels. These days, they take a Miss Universe and add an internal combustion engine with T-bone McPherson struts.

This is why we see cars with grinning radiator grilles, cars with double chins, cars with big bosoms, cars with body-coloured waistline moulding, cars with cute behinds, cars that greet you and obey voice commands, cars that throw tantrums and refuse to start unless you tickle them behind their carburettors.

Today's anthropogenic car designers strive to endow their creations with human attributes. So much so, that some cars even have sex. No, they don't mate in the garage when the lights go out (not that I am aware of, anyway) I mean cars these days are actually gender differentiated. There are cars that are definitely male, there are cars that are definitely female, and there are cars that are definitely both.

Take the new Proton Waja, for instance. With its protuberant Y-front crushable bonnet, this is an unmistakably masculine machine that likes to run around in its undies. Or the Toyota Qualis, which in profile bears striking resemblance to Daler Mehndi, and a car that would actually look good in a turban. But for oozing testesterone from every pore, there is nothing to beat the ultimate he-car: that stud from the Mahindra stable, the Scorpio. The Scorpio is to automobiles what Arnold Schwarzenegger is to the California gubernatorial elections.

On the other hand, the sleek curves, well-proportioned chassis, and ventilated disk brakes of the new Santro Xing make it most assuredly a fraulein on ze autobahn. Then there is the Corolla with its spacious trunk of generous 450l storage capacity which, in hindsight, has striking parallels to Jennifer Lopez. The Wagon R, with its quiet intelligence and unassuming charm, makes any male car look slightly retarded. After that there is the whole trans-sexual range of cars of which we have problems pinning down the exact gender, if any. The foremost example of this is the swarthily effeminate Italian Palio, now tell me is that a he or a she?

Besides looks, a car's name also contributes to its overall personality. There are some perfectly good cars that will never get over the burden of silly names that end in 'o', like the Terrano, Tuxedo or Tornado. There is also a new trend of naming cars after Hollywood box office hits, like The Matrix. What next: Cybermutt or Kangaroojack? Auto makers seem to be running out of ideas, so here are some suggestions for the cars of tomorrow.

Hydra H20: The first hydrogen fuelled car to be introduced into Nepal which will fail police emission tests because soot content in the exhausts are below permissible limits. Also, the Hydra's fuel cells can't run on the adulterated water in Kathmandu's mains.

Libido SX: Ideal car for lovebirds, seats that recline fully to turn car into a honeymoon suite with Torsion-type roll control device and telescopic shock absorbers. The 16-valve multi-point fuel injection system gives you more power and faster pick-up.

Idiota 1200L: The only car in its class especially built for bandhs, hartals and chukka jams. Comes with brick-proof teflon windscreens, armoured turret with forward-mounted 7.5 mm cannon and side-firing rocket launchers. Wheels optional.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)