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The hot & happenin?

BRIGHT WOULD be a euphemism. The latter half of March can be hot and dusty, giving you and your dermatologist nightmares. A ravaging experience for just-shampooed hair. But 'they' were bright, beaming and hot: both the Rani Sahibas and the vintage wheels. Dressed in bright georgettes and chiffons, the Rani Sahibas and the wannabe Rani Sahibas, with those trademark pallus held tightly over their heads, served a dual purpose. While they beat the heat and dust, the style statement was for all to see.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2006 00:42 IST

BRIGHT WOULD be a euphemism. The latter half of March can be hot and dusty, giving you and your dermatologist nightmares. A ravaging experience for just-shampooed hair. But 'they' were bright, beaming and hot: both the Rani Sahibas and the vintage wheels.

Dressed in bright georgettes and chiffons, the Rani Sahibas and the wannabe Rani Sahibas, with those trademark pallus held tightly over their heads, served a dual purpose. While they beat the heat and dust, the style statement was for all to see. On the other hand, those snazzy glares cut out the glare from the now-hotting sun. Once behind them, it was hard to tell whether just Raja sahib was the cynosure of their eyes. Very graceful, very hot!

The more pragmatic among the ladiesdonned denim and covered themselves with hats. Cotton shirts, trousers and scarves made up the bulk, while the ubiquitous salwar-kameez was also seen.

Meanwhile, the vintage wheels looked equally becoming, as they stood soaking in the sun. After all, don't experts say nothing like the sun to warm up old bones and other joints? So they soaked in all the sun and gleamed in its warmth. Very graceful, very hot!

But first things first. The Vintage Car and Motorcycle Club (VCMC), organised the 'Xtra Premium Vintage Wheels 2006' - a vintage car and motorcycle rally on Sunday. The event was sponsored by the Indian Oil Corporation. For a few hours that stretch of the road in the Cantonment presented a sight as if viewed by a traveller through time - Austins, Morris', Chevrolets, Fords - lending an old-world charm to March 2006.

In all 60 vintages and classic wheels lined up outside the VM Service Station. Of them, there were 20 two-wheel wonders with a clutch of BSAs and a spattering of Triumphs, Matchless' and the German gem BMW.

To flag them off was Director General of Police Yashpal Singh. Ah! That explained the multitude of the men in khaki and the cops in white. One was surprised seeing them for never in a vintage car rally do you see a single cop in khaki or in white, marking/securing the route, or other such. As the DGP raised the flag, out chugged the grand old fire engine Merry Weather. If age was telling on it, there was never a trace. Out it came in all resplendent glory, bells clanging merrily as it led the way for the other ladies to follow. One by one they rolled past the raised flag all loaded with Sunday revelers, as they started out on the 14-km route to Genesis City Club.

And then wonder of wonders. The DGP having flagged off the vehicles promptly jumped into one grand oldie that had its motor running. Believe it or not, it was the police department's other prize possession, a Dodge Kingsway. Last seen at a rally, it was when a certain Mahesh Chandra Dwivedi was the DGP. There was another Dodge Kingsway and it belonged to the GOC-in C Central Command.

The ride to Genesis City Club was smooth for some and certainly not sans hiccups for others. But they made it there somehow for the prize-distribution and festivities later on. Principal secretary (Food and Civil Supplies) Sudhir Kumar and IOC GM Sharat Meshram gave away mementoes to the participants.