• Chennai,  Gadgets

    Test drive an electric scooter

    Driving a car in the city, post-pandemic has become super stressful due to increased traffic and Chennai Corporation’s endless infra projects. I have been planning to buy a two-wheeler for some time for going to nearby places. I was clear that it would only be electric. #AtherEnergy was top in my list and I might opt for leasing the vehicle. Do you own an electric scooter, what’s been your experience? About a decade and a half ago, in 2008 I bought the first generation of (Ultra brand) Electric scooters in India. It was based on the lead acid battery, unlike the current Lithium Ion batteries. Every two years, I had…

  • Chennai,  தமிழ்

    Drivers of my city Chennai have lost traffic sense!

    சென்னை பெருநகரில் எங்கேயும் போவதற்கே கடுப்பாக, பயமாக இருக்கிறது! மெட்ரோ (மின்சார இரயில் கூட) இருப்பது மட்டுமே ஆறுதலான விசயம். எந்த காலத்திலும் எங்கள் நகரத்து ஓட்டுநர்கள், அது கார், இரண்டு சக்கரம், ஆட்டோ, பஸ் என எந்த வகையான வாகன ஓட்டுநர்களும் நல்லவர்கள் என்று சொல்ல முடியாது. இருந்தாலும் கடந்த ஒரு வருடத்தில் குறிப்பாக பெருந்தொற்றுக்குப் பிறகு, அதுவும் ஊரெல்லாம் குழித்தோண்டி வைத்திருக்கும் நிலையில் யாருக்குமே பொறுமை என்பது சுத்தமாக இல்லை. இடித்துவிட்டுச் செல்வது என்பது சர்வ சகஜமாகி விட்டது. ஸ்கூட்டர், மோட்டார் சைக்கிள் என்றால் கட்டாயம் இடது தோளில் செல்பேசியை இடுக்கிக் கொண்டு, அதுவும் சாலையில் எதிர்புறம் தான் வேகமாக செல்ல வேண்டும் – எல்லோருமே அமெரிக்காவில் வாழ்ந்து திரும்பியவர்கள் போல் – சாலையில் வலதுபுறம் மட்டுமே ஓட்டுவது என் கங்கணம் கட்டிக் கொண்டு இருக்கிறார்கள். சிக்னல் எங்கேயுமே கிடையாது, வேலை செய்தாலும் யாருமே அதை பொருட்டாக மதிப்பதில்லை. இரண்டு காரில் ஒன்றை விற்றுவிட்டேன், இருக்கும் ஒன்றை எடுக்கவே பிடிக்கவில்லை. எங்கே போவதென்றாலும் ஆட்டோ…

  • Jump start a car
    Chennai,  Lounge

    Jump start a car – Maruti On Road Service

    Normally, we use social media to complain about poor service. I am writing here about a good experience I had today with Maruti Suzuki 24 hour service. Today evening I was in Thiruvanmiyur area, after visiting a relative, I returned to my car parked on the roadside. My bad luck, the car won’t start, the battery had died completely – it was strange as none of the lights or electricals was left running.  A good Samaritan and my son tried pushing the car from behind, but they couldn’t give it enough force for me to get it push-started. By this time, I had called my relative to come with his…

  • Venkatarangan driving an electric three wheeler

    Your next ride-hailing vehicle will be electric?

    Worldwide transportation experts and Governments are focusing heavily on Electric Vehicles, mainly as a way to handle the growing pollution and greenhouse gas issues. Initially, many believed myself including, that Electric will first come for consumer vehicles like two-wheelers and cars – I even (stupidly) bought one early in 2008. Other than the big successes with Tesla and Nissan Volt, consumers aren’t enthusiastic towards electric scooters and cars anywhere in the world especially in developing countries like India. Reasons for the slow uptake has been the huge upfront cost, lack of charging stations, poor performance and “range” anxiety (which was the main reason for me). Now, everybody has recalibrated their…

  • Faith

    We offer prayers to our cars too!

    In India, especially in the state of Tamil Nadu, everyone celebrates the Hindu festival for Goddess Saraswathi (the God of Education and Learning) as the festival of Tools (in Tamil called as Ayudha Poojai). On this day, in offices and factories around the state, production is stopped by evening, all the main hand-tools used in the place including (select) computers are stacked in front of pictures of Hindu Gods and Goddess – students keep their schoolbooks – this is followed by holy hymns chanting and offering of fruits and sweets is done. What’s special about this festival is that it is widely celebrated even by non-Hindus (of other Religions) alongside…

  • Car door that was damaged while left with valet parking
    Chennai,  Lounge

    Woes of Valet Parking and how I got paid for the damage

    Last Sunday, I went to a wedding reception in a hall in Koyambedu, Chennai. Had given my car (nothing fancy, a Maruti SX4) for valet parking. When I returned and asked for the car back, it took a long time to come. I gave a tip to the driver and drove home. In the morning, I noticed a huge dent in the rear left door of my car. It was surely not there when I took the car and not on the way back home. I should’ve failed to notice it in the dark when I took the car back. Luckily, I had the tag with the valet company’s name,…

  • Chennai

    1955 Chevrolet in Madras

    Today while driving through the area, my son spotted this heritage car – a (I think) Chevrolet 1955 parked outside in Bishop Wallers Avenue East, Mylapore (near Kaidi Kitchen).  He wanted me to stop the car and immediately take a picture which I did.

  • Lounge

    Honda Shadow 750CC Bike

    I got to drive a Honda Shadow 750CC bike today, it belonged to my friend in Simi Valley, CA. I thought why will anyone want to drive a heavy motor bike like this one (I know there are more heavier bikes out there). After few minutes of driving in open roads especially on a cold windy day, I understood why. You need a solid body for stability on road especially when you are riding on good speed, second reason being that for you too get the power & speed you need a heavier engine. The drive was delightful!!!