I have spent half a century on the planet so have a lot of friends, classmates, cousins, friends who have spent similar amounts of time on planet earth.

I have a lot of friends who are runners, and cyclists too.

A few days ago one young friend was cribbing about the price of petrol. I had no clue how to react, so ….

Well, well, I do own a car, but it is largely meant for my wife. She does some small time shopping (eeks! 5km rides max), and occasionally for some event where my parents want to go with us. I must hasten to add that in 4-5 years this car has done about 12000 km. Really a waste physically, and even emotionally. It is an Indica and owning this does nothing to ones ego or status – immaterial of what my wife thinks.

Given this background I met a young girl cribbing about the price of petrol – and I made some polite noises and said ‘you know I remember my dad saying petrol costs 0.60 Re a litre…and now it is Rs. 100…blah blah blah

I also knew that she travels to her office – about 1.8km from the house in a mid sized car. She actually need not have cribbed about petrol, but this car is surely a guzzler. I said ‘why do you not bike to work’….and she said the expected things:

a. Mumbai weather is too hot

b. What will I do during the Monsoon?

c. Can I really bike wearing formals and carrying my laptop?

d. You look cool wearing a helmet and flares…but u think it will be ok for me to bike?

e. And hey I do not have a bike!

I was wondering if I did sell of my CAR..and lived without it (I am NOT using it) …and I told my friends..


I am sure it would be greeted with “OMG!! You do not have a car?” – this is currently (in my circles at least) the equivalent of saying “Congress is not corrupt” or “BJP has clarity”. It will be greeted with complete disbelief.

However, I wonder how many times can I greet my friends with:

“OMG, you do not have a bike????” God what is wrong with you?

……well life is like that…

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  1. When I go to ambience mall, gurgaon. I see lot of chauffeur driven cars parked on the road side creating chaos, just to save 30 bucks for the proper parking.

    I am not able to understand this kind of mentality.

  2. I hate to take car on crowded markets for fear of not able to find parking.
    If public transport of the Gurgaon was like delhi, I would be not using car at least on weekends.

  3. I do feel there is a necessity of car once you are having a family with kids and parents. I also bought an used car when we moved to a city which had lot of pollution and dust everywhere. It has absolutely of great help when I had to take my kid to hospital during odd hours etc.

    Having said that do you need a Honda City or Civic or Accord ? No. You can manage with a decent car with good mileage which can carry 4 people comfortably.

    Having a car does not mean you use it for all your needs all the time. We should never be hesitant to use other modes of transport based on need. If you are travelling alone, say to work use public transport or company transport or car pool whatever makes sense. If less than 3 people are going to be in car, then I would think 2 times before starting the car.

    Even in emergencies, if you cant drive or your car is in service, you can always call a cab or neighbor. But not the other way. If your trusted source is not reachable due to any reason, you are in trouble.

  4. If you want/need of car and if you can able to manage the running cost of Car without complaining then you can have it.

    At the end of the day, you want to feel happy. But I think there is no point in having car and worrying about maintenance and petrol costs.

    SO my take is you can have car if you satisfies all the following:
    1) Have steady cash flow
    2) Covered the basics like backup funds, all insurance and investing towards your goals like marriage expense,retirement, etc .,
    3) You are in need (NOT want to / good to have) of Car and not losing sleep on seeing petrol/insurance/maintenance bills.

  5. Sir, I have recently joined a big MNC and everyday I travel by train and some people are shocked to see me getting out from an Auto!!!!!

    And I do own a car which is few years old but driving robs me of my “Me Time” and ofcourse I save money and stretch my body a little. And I laugh at them for their state of mind.

  6. Scrolling through your posts..I don’t own one and I don’t intend to Buy one any time soon… Thanks to my dad who always in a way deterred me… Thankfully am much used to the transportation in Mumbai, although it has shortcomings… but still manageable and better than driving by self… Cycle is on the list for the kid and unisex for me and my wife… and I intend to cycle to work criss-crossing the city…. Why couldn’t I think like this some years back… wodner wonder…..

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