They all want to do business in India and who are we to stop them. The East India Company was here and a fine job they did. Circa 2010-11 – James May, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson land at India Gate and have a look around. And they are a part of David Cameron‘s finest trade ambassadors. It’s a mission and it’s not impossible.
But hey, can you Jaguar your way with a Rolls and a Mini Cooper for company on India’s busiest streets? And with a motor mouth like they have, you have one of the greatest episodes on TV out there. Top Gear never felt this good. And I am an Indian. You will realise why I resort to such chest thumping.
Pulled up post their India episode by all the liberal cuckolds in London and India, Top Gear was nearly forced to apologise for something that is a classic if there ever was one. Clarkson and gang run with the dabbawallahs with pure British horsepower (the Germans contributed here and there and India owns a major chunk of one), take the leap in a train, break into a sweat in Rajasthan, before heading for the cool climes of the Himalayas. India has never been chartered so wittily.
Wondering what the fuss was about, I got a chance to watch the complete 90 minute episode online. Bing, Bang, Poof… these guys sure know how to entertain and pull a rabbit out of a hat. They did that through and through. First running the dabbas through the streets with Hammond ‘the Hamster’ dumping half the dabbas, curries and all, on the Churchgate street as his Mini Cooper made a Bourne Identity-like car swerve. James May was his usual OCD self but looked like he landed in Sanjay Gandhi National Park trying to deliver his dabbas with the Rolls not doing much when it comes to navigation. Clarkson drove the Jag to the hilt. Pedal to metal and the dabbas on the floor. Sambar boot space he got in the end.
I dunno how they managed it, but the Mumbai-Jaipur train journey was a laugh riot. Not for the three musketeers though. They puffed and painted their way with banners that spke wonders of Her Majesty’s business acumen and what she had to offer and pasted the train cars with the message of a lifetime – “The United Kingdom Promotes British IT for You” and British bakers got a boost with “Eat English Muffins” being promoted with great fanfare.
A minor change in bogies at Jaipur ensured that the message remained on the train cars with a slight realignment of letters. The images below would clearly define this.
“Manual labour and queueing are two things I can’t do,” so says Clarkson. But he sure has a lot of patience putting up an elaborate set up for the “Trade Missions” gala nite at one of Delhi’s poshest suburbs. And boy, what a night it was. Pants off, the best sports car keys in a bucket, boring the arc lights off the glitzy women, feeding McVities biscuits with sour cream on top and passing it off as Gordon Ramsay manna… ha it was a sight to behold and truly exposed Delhi’s shallow underbelly.
This is Brit humour documented with some of the sharpest screwballs in history. The British cars, standing for all that is under Her Majesty’s bonnet, made it up to the Himalayan foothills and boy what a journey it was. Ragged, but definitely worth it, and I would say, India has been cheerfully exposed for all it truly is – beautiful, slimy, crowded, stupid, inventive, breathtaking. Yup, I loved it. Keith Vas and all you sods out there trying to drop your liberal pants whenever Mr Clarkson catches a stinging cold… go ahead, do it. Do it by the Thames, will ensure there are sharks at the river’s edge.