Monday, May 09, 2005

The King's Chariot

After 50 years the Rolls-Royce is back in India as reported by the BBC here

The Phantom was reportedly purchased by Yohan Poonawalla for almost $1 million dollars or approximately Rs. 4 crores. Unfathomable, at least to my middle-class frugal senses. This morning on the way to work, I happened to listen to an interview with this Poonawalla guy on the BBC news service. The interviewer was asking him about why he chose this particular car and where in India he would drive the Phantom around etc. When she asked if he would drive the car himself, he retorted immediately ‘Rolls-Royce are chauffer driven’, as if peeved that someone had the temerity to suggest that he might be driving himself around. Mr. Poonawala apparently has six drivers being specially trained how to drive and maintain a Rolls-Royce in Bombay, by someone who has specially flown in from London to conduct the training. Ah, the opulence. All this just to get from point A to point B. I wonder when traveling for Piloo auntie’s wedding or Rustom’s graduation party , will the whole family cram into the Phantom, with the kids squeezed on the laps of the adults and their heads sticking out the window, while the poor chauffeur has to drive around sitting only on half his arse. And if the Phantom has a flat tire on the way to the tracks, will Yohan get out of the car to help out the poor chauffeur fix the jack. Or will he sit inside the Rolls Royce, munching on toast bits smeared with Grey Poupon or nibbling on Russian caviar ? Just wondering. Lifestyles of the very rich.

Speaking of chauffeur’s, Ashish Jagtiani had an interesting article in the mid-day about his hankering for a job as Ratan Tata’s chauffeur. Check out the article here


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