I dislike mobile phones on a, pun intended, cellular level. While I don’t doubt their utility, which is on par with that of photocopier machines, and Metallica, I’ll never wake up at 3am, with an urge to coin Wordsworth-ish lines in awe of them. On a regular call, I will hold a conversation for about a minute. If it’s somebody I badly want to get into bed with, it can go up to six.
Apart from the primary function of calls, and messaging, I have no particular interest in how mobile phones function. As long as I don’t have to use needles to operate the buttons, I’m just fine, thank you. I’m even less concerned (and ignorant) about mobile software technology, or whatever it is that makes them do their thing.
But the Internet is a great leveller. I hate laptops, so the internet provides me with unlimited access to Chitrangada Singh’s, ahem, interiors. I dislike mobile phones, and then the internet offers me themes for my Nokia N72. So now I get iPhone thrills for the price of dirt (basic internet charges as may be applicable. No South American interventions). Add cheap, duplicate body panels to the scene, and you get the plastic equivalent of a boob job, mascara and Chanel Number Sex for a phone that is still, basically, soggy old feet. Just like the Chevy Beat then.
In today’s half page advertisement in the Times of India, ten minutes, says GM, is far too short a time to make a car buying decision. And they couldn’t be more wrong. Ten minutes is in fact, way too long. I made my (not) buying decision against the Beat in time that can only be registered on an atomic stopwatch.
If the Beat was a girl, it would be seventeen. It would chew on bubblegum, wear collared Nike tee shirts, and would be friends with middle of the road boys, whom she’d occasionally sleep with at 6 in the evening.
But what really beats me about the, er, Beat is the expanse of plastics used. While some of the trim does feel ‘sporty’ (sigh, that word again), the glossy-black accents feel tacky, cheap and tasteless. It’s like those plastic ‘leather’ sandals women buy off Linking Road. Or, more appropriately, like the bits on a woman’s handbag. They’re fine as long as they’re shiny, but they’re a fingerprint magnet, and will go out of fashion faster than the Beat runs out of breath. Add to that the eccentric, electronic fuel gauge, and you have a recycle bin on wheels.
That the Beat is a city-centric car is bollocks. Yes, it steers fairly well – and that’s a given for a car of its tiny size – but you have paid 4+lacs for the car, and you are bloody well going to drive it to a hill station with your all of your girlfriends in tow. But just then, your bubblegum would have burst. You see, the Beat has the most disconnected drivetrain in the world. It’s like driving one car, and shifting gears of another. It’s like having sex with a log of wood – limitlessly unrewarding, and ends in a lot of bleeding.
You have my word; for half the price, you can buy the Tata Nano. It is perkier, more fuel efficient, only slightly smaller, and as a consolation, you can buy one in a Loud Yellow. Of course you’ll end up on fire, and dead, moments after you pull out of the dealership. But rest assured, you won’t end up in that dreaded halt between heaven and hell. Which is where Beat owners go to die, having failed an overtaking manoeuvre in second, at 11,000rpm. Alongside ladies handbags. And plastic shoes.