First, fast, furious...Bangladeshi business blog

We provide
--social media strategies for Bangladeshi businesses worldwide
--public speaking on Bangladeshi businesses and social media
--paid product/service/website reviews of Bangladeshi companies

Interested to place an advertisement for your business?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Show me what to show off, where to show off

Of the many things I lack knowledge, cars are one of them. I drive because I need mobility and protection from rain, sun, wind, dust when I travel. My interest and knowledge do not go beyond the steering wheel or beneath the seats. I know the names of a few popular car brands and I can choose a car based on its shape and color, I am too ignorant to know more about its configuration. However when I saw a red colored, two-doored sports car at Gulshan-2 this evening, I knew for sure that that was a wonder on the roads...or was it really? I kept on thinking about it while I rickshawed towards Banani.

Exhibitionism is human nature...or is it really? If you do know please shed some light on it. But I think some of us (or all?) like to show off....starting from good-looking spouse/partners, toned biceps, deep cleavages and curves, face and fashionable expensive clothes, watches, cell phones, houses and ofcourse cars for that matter. Our spoilticians (Politicians in Bangladesh context, new word in Benglish, will apply to add it in and misleaders didn't demonstrate us well enough on how to show off something which is our public pride and country, cricket team, culture, heritage etc. So the thirst to show off is quenched by showing off private parts, properties, Pajeros, Prados, Porches...belonging to (mostly) dads and self.

Nevertheless this neverending desire to grab limelight by means of four wheels is getting squeezed by the day. Firstly thanks to the mindless, haphazard urban expansion of the capital, the traffic congestion these days do not allow anymore sports cars to even reach an optimum speed to create some noise and draw some attention. Secondly thanks to the folks at ACC, many four-wheel magics are magically vanished from the roads and kept in garages, under cover or left abandoned in city streets. The fact still remains that the we are young and restless. I need to show that I have a Ferrari or a BMW or a Jag in town, so you better ponder with wonder and watch me whoosh away in the split of an eye and....holy s**t! These stupid rickshaws and traffic jams...They bloody don't let me even move an inch these days in Dhaka...this city is horrible! Even the merrier days of driving fast cars in the airport road or at Ashulia are coming to an end because...we have too many cars now. Not that the middleclass can afford to buy luxury cars, but thanks to an increased credit offerings, car loans from banks, we are only years away from choking to traffic death. Amidst this alarming chaos, it has become nearly impossible and insulting to drive a Jag or a BMW or a Hammer which is able to drive only a few hundred meters from home and then get stuck in traffic jams. Worse still, its even more insulting to climb the speed the car deserves and is designed for, when I am overtaken by cheeky rickshaws plying all around my road queen! So it goes without saying that showing off a car in Dhaka has become very difficult.

Thanks to Bashundhara Group for building Bashundara City, one of the very few shopping malls in South Asia to have facilitated P2P (peer to peer) show off, scanning and staring, scaring, a rare place where people show things, and where people stand and see things. Some ofcourse do shop, eat and watch movies, but most of them ogle, check, scrutinize and when own turn comes, let others do the experiment on themselves. Since we have a real scarcity of places to unwind our assets (physical, material) we are behaving sometimes over the board. This is not healthy in the long run I believe. Couple of months ago I met a senior sales person from Volvo Motors who was lamenting the decreasing sales trend of luxury cars. He was saying that "even if people do buy the cars they import, there is hardly any place left where they can drive it, God knows what lies ahead for the automobile industry". Given these circumstances, I wonder how our car dealers, importers, traders are spinning their strategy web. Its very unlikely that Navana Motors or Ryan Motors will help ease traffic congestions, will help government buddies and bodies do realistic urban planning (no more magnetic trains to Chittagong please) and/or build roads and flyovers in and around Dhaka. So what will they do? How can they facilitate, like Bashundhara Group, creating places like Bashundhara City, where our young and restless can strike a race...between 'my friend's dad's car and my dad's car...which is mine now'. Go-carting at Ashulia is too small and too artificial...we need some real adrenaline action to show off in the streets of woo the bemused ones outside the car...until ofcourse any tragic road accident or ACC do us apart (from the road). I have shown off enough, I sign off now.

No comments: