Tara International

There has been this story going around on the Rediff business section about a new electrically operated car that is being planned to be launched in India at a price of 99,000 rupees. The article, even by Rediff standards, seems short on journalistic integrity and appears to be nothing more than a blatant advertisement of an apparently substandard piece of crap. But the obvious amateurishness of the article doesn't take anything away from the fact that it's hilarious. Everytime I go on Rediff, there is a part of me wishing that it would still have that article so that I could go and have a good laugh at how completely stupid and self-unaware some people can be. And well, Rediff messageboards are always great fun if you wish to find more about how the bottom of the barrel in the IQ market thinks. Here is a photo of the abomination they are trying to pass off as a car:

I do not have words to describe it except maybe, 'You've got to be freaking out of your damn mind !'. I mean look at the bumper. It seems that the designer, not quite satisfied at using a crushed coke bottle for inspiration for the bumper, scratched his balding head, heaved a few discontented sighs, concluded that his creation is not radical enough, and went ahead and provided the car with the greatest idea he could come up with: heart shaped headlights. The car is named 'Tara Tiny'. Tara!. Mr. Tara Ganguly (entrepreneur par excellence) perhaps got inspired by Mr. Ford. He must be a happy man. In a world where the only people who are happy are either those who know precisely how good they are or those who do not know how much they suck, Mr. Ganguly definitely is a shining beacon of the latter category.

Rediff goes on to mention that the maximum speed of the car is 55 km/h which puts it somewhere in the middle of the speed spectrum punctuated by a snail on dope on one end and an energetic cyclist on the other. A few days ago the reported top speed was 45 but maybe Mr. Ganguly got a slight inferiority complex when he noticed that creatures of all kinds including cats and dogs and horses and donkeys and runners and kids and possibly some handicaps kicked his car's ass with a humiliating ease and a disconcerting regularity.

Shown above is another model from the company, unfortunately (personal reasons) named, 'Tara Titu'. I am not even going to start as to what is wrong with the design.

According to Rediff, the only thing that Mr. Ganguly finds wrong with his cars is the fact that they are left-hand drives as "they are meant for the markets in US, China and California,". Notice how Mr. Ganguly implies that California is a country. In a world struggling with the realities of a bipolar distribution of power between US and China, it takes an acute visionary like Mr. Ganguly to point out that all this while we have been ignoring the steady progress of California and lo and behold, here it is now, ready to indulge in some rampant ass-kickery. Move over India, give space Russia, California is the country that will provide the much needed multi-polarity in this world.

Rediff also mentions that Tara has a factory in Lucknow. I am from Lucknow. There is no factory. I am not saying that there 'happens' to be no such factory. I am saying that Lucknow cannot play host to any factory, atleast not a successful one. I mean look at me. I am a representative example Lucknowites. Our extremely slothful nature, a general ineptitude at things mechanical and a severe reluctance at getting off our asses makes us humungously unsuitable for sustaining a factory culture. On the one hand, I am unwilling to accept that the factory could be based in Lucknow, on the other, the photo shown below of the staff at 'Tara International' dwindles my resolve a bit:

I mean, I am not going to demean anyone, but these people do look like the best Lucknow could have offered. They have a distinctive look of confidence. The go-getter attitude, especially found in Lucknowites, that is so necessary in today's cut-throat competition. I think 'Tara International' is after all in good hands. And I stopped being sarcastic when I turned 20 :).


Global warming and Environmental activism

I was reading up on Global warming and the great debate on environmental degradation due to human activities in the last two centuries and one particular point struck me as extremely weird. It seems that this wave of emotional outburst and moral tirades has reduced our ability to actually think rationally about the problems. I mean, there are just too many individuals and groups single mindedly intent on flaring up the sensitive emotional side of human thinking just so that their views are able to garner more popular support. It has almost started to seem like religious fundamentalism or governmental fear mongering. I am not saying that there is no threat. I am just saying that there are solutions and we do not have to tear our hair apart to find them. I am even surmising that, probably much to the dismay of the environmental activists, humanity would survive easily and without much fuss. Lets look at a few specific points.

I have started hearing a lot of hue and cry over specie extinction recently. At this point, I would like to point out that during the past 550 million years of Earth's history, there have been 5 major extinction epochs. One of these epochs (Permian-Triassic) managed to wipe off 96% of all marine and 70% of all land species. We are currently in the midst of the Holocene extinction event (started about 13000 years ago and continuing) and it is estimated that 50% of all living species will be wiped off by the end of it (including those due to human intervention). The more startling fact is that 99% of all species that ever lived on Earth have become extinct and humans have contributed to only a very small fraction of them. We would be stupid to not realize that there have been far greater forces at work than human threat to the environment and specie extinction is quite normal but life manages to sustain itself nevertheless. What's more important to realize is that specie extinction, if directly resulting from human intervention, wasn't a luxury that could have been avoided. We have all bartered biological diversity for personal comforts and social 'development' and I think that's a fair enough price and now that we all live in our temperature controlled apartments and drive our air-conditioned cars, we should probably stop crying about how things could have been different.

Similar is the case with global warming. The problem here is that we probably do not know what we want to solve. The fact that stringent treaties like Kyoto protocol have to be put in place now indicates somehow that the situation is already out of control and we are only trying to delay the inevitable. Unless we stop all emissions, we are only adding to the greenhouse stock. Maybe we never had a say ever. I mean, when the hoopla started in 70s about global warming maybe it was too late even then. But the situation is hardly pessimistic. Humans differ from all other species in their ability to adapt wonderfully, in their capability of using their knowledge for survival. I am surprised that while so much effort is being spent on trying to reduce Global warming, hardly any effort is being made in the direction of defining a new paradigm of survival where the effects of Global Warming would be seamlessly incorporated in the system. To even think that we would somehow not burn up most of the fossil fuels, especially considering the stakes in the present geopolitical scenario, somehow seems stupid. Given that it's not going to happen, nothing is going to stop us from worsening the Global warming situation to as bad a state as possible. Now that we know that its going to happen sooner or later, why not start preparing for it now ?

Finally coming to environmental activism, I must say that a lot of it is needed in the sense that it enlightens the general masses about their surroundings, but beyond that, it seems to act like an impediment, mainly because it frequently fails to realize that the present situation was never an option for humanity. Neither will the continuous degradation of biodiversity be. It wears emotional glasses when a pair of coldly rational would do perfectly fine. In a sense, it hinders us from making peace with some inevitabilities and in the process, delays the scientific process of human adaptation to changing evolutionary paradigms.

About Me

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Like a particularly notorious child's tantrums, a mountaneous river's intemperance, a volcano's reckless carelessness and the dreamy eyes of a caged bird, imagination tries to fly unfettered. Hesitant as she takes those first steps, she sculpts those ambitious yet half baked earthen pots.