Motoring

Of convertible sedans and Audi A5 in India

Audi A5

Audi A5   | Photo Credit: Jinu Raj

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Of what use is a convertible sedan in India? That seems to be the wrong question to ask

As you ‘grow up’, you’re supposed to replace glee with some deep and abiding happiness that reflects how ‘mature’ you are. Some of us never get there and are branded juvenile or selfish. Thankfully, the wheels of commerce are oblivious to prejudice; if you have the means to cater to your puerile fascinations, then people will make and sell you a vehicle to fulfil your indulgences.

And so, allow me to present, unapologetically, this lovely metallic-green convertible that your columnist had the pleasure of piloting around perhaps the world’s most polluted locale recently. I know precisely what you’re thinking, so let me pre-empt that: we Delhi folk would know this smelly smog anywhere, just like the folks living in coastal areas aren’t perturbed by the tangy smell of the ocean. This smog is home to us. We like it like our single-malt — just a wee bit smokier than usual.

Coming back to the Audi A5 convertible that I decided to roam about in: weekends in the capital are usually given to lager and golf. After standard extrication from family duty, and regrettably eschewing the former, the latter had the run of the weekend.

You might have had the experience, and you’ve definitely seen it: a nice-looking car parked in the driveway of a hotel for the benefit of all and sundry — supposedly raising the stock of the establishment. The Audi A5 is that very car: groups of golfers making their way back to the clubhouse after wrapping up their rounds at a grand hotel in the NCR stopped to gawk. Standing by itself, with the morning light reflecting off its long sweeping lines, in the driveway, the A5 looked even sleeker.

“It looks like the perfect young retiree’s car,” said someone after peering through the windshield. Given the surfeit of gents who fit that description at the golf club, it’s no surprise that the A5 was an instant hit. Soon, there’s a clamour to hear it fire, and the A5, with its raspy sputter, didn’t disappoint.

Scenes at the golf course

Scenes at the golf course   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Matchless drive

The next day, at the golf club, I ran into children participating at a camp run by golf pros — Pritam Saikia and Sundeep Verma. The duo who coach a number of top pros in the country, also runs an academy that spots and trains talented youngsters who may not have the means to pursue the game. After watching one child hit balls at the range, I have mixed feelings: lovely for the youngster, ‘who has only been playing for six months’, but depressing for someone who’s been playing half that well for two decades — driving a convertible doesn’t shield you from the truth.

But it sure can help you get over it. And help self-centred people overcome their lack of concern for others: the look on those children’s faces when we took a spin around the course, was matchless. I think the Audi A5 and, perhaps, convertibles in general, just make you happier, in a silly way. We could use more of that.

Meraj Shah makes a living chronicling his experiences on the road, shooting video and writing on auto, travel and golf. When not roving the globe, he lives in Delhi with a motorcycle named Blue

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 7:20:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/motoring/coursing-through-happiness/article28845480.ece

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