It is really amazing how the best-laid plans often fail to work out and spoil your mood. But at the same time surprises too can make your day. That day I had planned to go for a movie along with my friend but right at the last-minute he just couldn’t make it. Now instead of going alone to the theater, I chose to call upon my friends – Siddharth and Gautam.
And at their place before I knew it one thing led to another with his parents and we all trooped out to watch the Auto exhibition which was being held on the Engineering College grounds. When we reached our destination, an attendant showed us our way to the parking stand. And it was then that we realized that a sizeable crowd had come to visit the exhibition. So the fair was drawing a good response and the attendant confirmed that this was the regular crowd.
So we roamed about. There were many stalls set up to demonstrate various futuristic products and technologies dealing in wide areas of pollution control, car maintenance, car accessories and spare parts. Some pamphlets were being distributed and video cassettes were being screened on TV sets at many places.
There were also many food stalls set up, the snack and ice-cream counters being the most popular with the crowd. From all over the people flocked to the stall in hordes and their wares were disappearing quickly.
It was a big exhibition and we had to keep moving quickly and were unable to notice everything that was on display. And yet whatever we saw was truly fascinating.
Next we saw a big crowd near a stall. On pushing through the crowd we got he first view of the German Audi that we had read about in the papers.No wonder it drew in a large crowd for the car was a beauty alright. It was cordoned off and banked at the spot at an odd angle. But its expansive front didn’t escape our eyes.
Next to it was an assembly of old and vintage cards. The cars seemed so quaint and yet their charm. They belonged to the bygone era – Aristocratic and Royal. There was a convertible, a Fiat, a Cadillac and many others – I do not recall all the names.Most were built on the lines of ornate design rather than for speed and power. People couldn’t stop making comments – ‘Isn’t that beautiful’, ‘Its marvy, isn’t it’, ‘It looks so cute’ were some of the voices that I heard.
Though I am not much of a car lover even I felt excited and realized that for a car crazy enthusiast the place must have been like Heaven.
Well it was soon time for the show to close for the day and we heard repeated requests on the loudspeakers. We were a bit disappointed at not being able to see all the segments of the fair.
All the same it had been a wonderful experience and a lesson in itself. Never had I dreamt that it would be so much fun to look at a car exhibition. I think in hindsight, am kind of happy that for once my plans were foiled. What a movie compared to the glorious outing that was ‘Auto ’94’.
The article appeared under the column, ‘Young Eye’ in The Indian Express supplement in Pune India on January 7, 1995.