Stick ’em on

Updated on May 22, 2007 04:36 AM IST
A truly new-economy sticker on a red Maruti 800 reads something like this: ‘when I grow up I will be a BMW or Mercedes’, observes Kumkum Dasgupta.
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On bad days, the bumper-to-bumper traffic on National Highway No 24, which connects my home to office, stretches my patience to the limit. Often, I am left with two options: flout all traffic rules and move ahead, even if it means taking wrong lanes, or wait patiently till a policeman untangles the knot at his own languid pace.

These days, however, I have found out a much better way to keep my cool during these tortuous journeys: I look out for quirky car stickers. No, not the ‘Jai Mata Di’ or ‘Free Tibet’ types, but the funny, tongue-in-cheek ones.

The variation you get in Delhi is quite incredible. A truly new-economy sticker on a red Maruti 800 reads something like this: ‘when I grow up I will be a BMW or Mercedes’. I am sure no one could dream that big during the pre-liberalisation days. A variety of this: ‘I drive a Mercedes and I bought this car just for the fun drive’. In most cases, the car for ‘fun drive’ is an expensive one. Pompous ass, I hiss.

But there are bigger brags and that category includes a dear friend. The sticker on his car says: I am nobody. Nobody is perfect. Therefore, I am perfect. Can you beat this logic?

However, the best by far was the one I saw on a SUV and it was so truly Dilli. One sultry summer afternoon, while I was driving to work, a red SUV started breathing down my puny Alto. I was irritated. What the heck? Don’t I have the right to drive at a steady speed and listen to some music in peace? I decided not to give way, unless he stopped honking and flashing the headlights. But the man behind the SUV wheels had other ideas. He tailed my car and forced me to give in.

I moved a little and glared at him. Undeterred, he whizzed past me like a racing car. My eyes fell on the bumper. The sticker read: Singh is King. Well, of course. I could vouch for that.

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    KumKum Dasgupta is with the opinion section of Hindustan Times. She writes on education, environment, gender, urbanisation and civil society. .

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