How often before finding out more about the quality of a product, we go in for something cheaper based on the price and regret later. Thus, came this imaginary experience of a cheap car:

 “Our engineers burned the midnight oil to produce this car,” said the MD as he showed me into his factory in the outskirts of the city.

 “And this car will cost less than a lakh?” I asked.

 “Less than fifty thousand!” said the beaming managing director as he took me to the workshop area. “There’s it! The cheap car the whole country wants!”

 “It’s beautiful!” I shouted.

 “The paint we’ve used is the latest in oven finish technology,” said the MD proudly. “The gloss will retain its sheen even after a month.”

 “There must be somewhere you have cut costs to price a model so low” I whispered in disbelief.

 “Safety belts with imported buckles!” continued the MD.

 “Superb” I said in awe.

 “No nonsense seats that will wear out the toughest butt, before wearing itself out!”

 “Unbelievable!” I exclaimed.

 “Fibre glass bumpers that will not damage the car in front!”

 “Nor the car behind!” I shouted with glee.

 “Headlights with screw-on-bulbs!”


 “Tinted glasses!”


The managing director of the automobile company looked at me with unconcealed pride. “This is what the nation has been crying for!” he said. “Our shares will hit the roof!”

“You will be listed on the New York exchange,” I said.

 “People will praise us for being thrifty but nifty,” he said, “they will now have money left to put in their banks!”

 “Yes,” I shouted, “the world will understand that being stingy, is profitable!”

 “We’ll teach a new global philosophy, that cheap is cool!” laughed the MD as he gave me a high five. “Will you mention this in your column?”

 “Ofcourse,” I said.

 “Let’s go to my office for some champagne!”

 “Let’s take the car for a spin,” I said eagerly.

 “A what?” asked the puzzled managing director.

 “For a drive,” I explained pleasantly.

 “It can’t be driven,” said the MD brightly. “You’ll have to install an engine.”

“It doesn’t have an engine?” I asked incredulously.

 “What do you expect for fifty thousand rupees?” shouted the MD as he pushed me out of the workshop.

And as you chuckle, think about how we ourselves are fooled all the time, quite often in choosing friends or a partner with impressive personality traits, but no character. Or a political leader with plenty of charisma, but no compassion or statesmanship!

Open the bonnet, and look carefully, there’s plenty all around, with no engines, and they are not just cars..!

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