Today, a large amount of the day was spent watching reruns of Top Gear and The Grand Tour. When I was a child, we had a subscription to Gulf News, which came with these incredible supplements from time to time. Thursdays was Entertainment Plus, Fridays was Friday, and Wheels – I can’t remember when Wheels was, but those were the happiest days.
I fell in love with cars at a very young age. My father first spotted this affection I had developed, when he bought me toy cars, and encouraged it by helping me remember the models of cars and teaching me how to identify them on the road. He also took me along to the car showroom every time he went, whether it was for a cleaning service, or for a regular servicing. I remember falling in love with racing games too – the Need for Speed games that my mother’s cousin so kindly burned CD’s for me to ply on my grandfather’s computer in Bangalore, and the Need for Speed: Most Wanted which was my first PSP game. Aside from this, of course, there was the Midnight Club games, and Grand Theft Auto, games that my friends had which involved a lot of car racing and learning cars better.
I was thrilled about these and even did a scrapbook one year of supercars. For a very long time, I was certain I wanted to go into automobile design or engineering. I drew images of cars every chance I got. They were poor sketches, but I was so proud of the kind of configurations I imagined for these cars – the power they would have, the kind of technical specifications that would make driving these cars a luxury.
I’m a Formula 1 nuthead, and I’ve started playing the games online, which has naturally led to me falling in love with the sport more. Watching Top Gear today was a nice blast into the past, a fun reminiscing of my childhood dreams.
I still have a Lego set of a car I need to finish one day. Aside from that though, the only big celebration I’ve had that’s been car-related has been the day I got my Drivers License. Of course, the day my mother trusted me enough to sit in the back seat without running commentary was another milestone.
Watching Top Gear today was also a moment of attempting to reconcile my love for these fuel-guzzling machines, these engineering feats with my desire to ensure the environment is preserved and protected. There is a love that Top Gear hosts and motorheads have for these big, bulky engines, and developments of these engines. A large amount of the driving experience is determined by engine power, and engine sound.
I spent a chunk of time watching Formula E as well. That series looks incredible, and I hope we’re able to get to a point with electric vehicle technology, or hybrid technology that’s both fuel and cost-efficient, while preserving the noise/sound/experience that motorists enjoy.
I also really hope Codemasters incorporates the Formula E series into their F1 games. Those street circuits are fabulous. Would be so much fun to drive.