This morning, ET Panache carried a story on Aseem Merchants BMW X6 being stolen from the valet service at a party he was attending. How many times have we all gone through the same issues? Cars left with valet services being misused or abused, and sometimes like Mr Merchant, found out to ourÂ dismay, that it’s stolen! Handing over the responsibility of your car to another is a big responsibility indeed. I recollect another incident that also caught the headlines several months ago. In that incident, a car was handed over to a service station for a service and the owner who had installed a security system on-board found his car being taken out for a joyride in the middle of the night on his car tracking app. What happens if the car gets damaged or worse yet what happens if the person driving the car gets into an accident, runs over someone or into something and someone dies. Itâ€™s a sordid mess.
However, my heart isnâ€™t in this story. The real story is in between the lines of the ET Panache story on Aseem Merchant. If you read carefully, youâ€™d have noticed Mr Merchant stating that he wanted the tag to his car because he tends to forget the carâ€™s number after partying. How many cars or BMW X6â€™s do you own Mr Merchant that youâ€™d forget the number, or at least the last four digits? And after partying, how hard do you party or how high do you get or how many drinks does it take you to forget the number of your car?
It gets even better, hang on, and I quote – When Merchant left the party and waited for his car, he was told it was stuck in traffic. â€śBut the car never came, the ALCOHOL WORE OFF and I immediately called the cops,â€ť So I understand that had your car come to you, you would have driven off without the alcohol wearing off?
So you party hard enough to not remember the number of your car and then intend to drive off in that same state. And in this case, in an X6, even the least powerful model of which makes 245 horsepower. Itâ€™s a volatile mix, Mr Merchant!
So in some way, Iâ€™m glad your car got stolen that night. Otherwise who knows you could have ended up like Janhavi Gadkar. That is certainly not a pretty story and I do believe both of you were out partying the same night. Yup things could have gone south, dramatically!
Iâ€™d suggest you start thanking the guy who stole your car – I definitely would if it means keeping people in your state fromÂ driving on our streets.
The other point of this story is that despite the police trying to crack down hard on drinking and driving, most people, and especially the ones that commit this offence,Â are still callous enough to not see it is as offending. In the Janhavi Gadkar case, she openly admits this is not the first time she has driven in an inebriated state. Sure thing, but now itâ€™s the first time you killed someone! Actually two people inÂ one go!
What disturbs me is the abject apathy towards drunk driving. In most cases, people will never admit they are drunk. â€śOh Iâ€™m perfectly fine to driveâ€ť, â€śArrey yaar, Iâ€™ve done this before also and always reached homeâ€ť. Iâ€™ve heard these disclaimers dozens of times myself. Drinking, however, slows down your senses, so even if you think you are sober, your eyes, hands and feet donâ€™t react at the same speed as they would when youâ€™re stone cold sober.
Anyway dont take my adviceÂ –Â simply take a look at Janhavi. TwoÂ drinks, a powerful SUV and 11km down the wrong side of the road ruined threeÂ lives and the many others connected to those lives. Driving when over the limit should not be taken for granted!