Wednesday, April 30, 2008


It was 8pm last Thursday , while driving back home from work ,I suddenly found an unknown warning light blinking on my dashboard. After a closer look I realized, it was something to do with the brake lights ...... and true to my guess .. found my left brake light at the back kept sleeping , when it was supposed to wake up as i apply my brakes. Now this was a serious issue (although it may sound funny to people who are used to driving back home), because I didn't want any stupid cop to stop me for "visibility violation". Hence decided to have a look once I reach home.

At this point its worth mentioning that ...., when in Durgapur my dad used to drive a Premier Padmini. And minor issues like a fused light , low battery, short spark plugs etc (which were in plenty) .... were taken care of by him inside our small garage itself. So years of experience as my dad's assistant, gave me some idea about these issues in a car.
But this time it was different , I was a little apprehensive to try my tricks on my new Toyota Camry....... after all it wasn't a Padmini !! But as they say ... old habits die hard ... so my Indian roots overcame my "american apprehension" .. and I started working on the brake light .....

The journey started smoothly ... open the hood .. remove the mat .. unscrew the access screws .. and unplug the sensor clip ..... and then .. there u r ... u can actually c the bulbs ...!!!!!! That was exciting .. coz here i was saving around $ 50 !!.. good enough for 5 crates of Guiness !!! But soon my excitement faded away .... and thats because .. I could only get a glimpse of the bulbs .. but could not reach either of them ....
But despite this, I was happy with my effort and contended with the fact that it was nothing to do with the circuits .. and just a fused bulb (which i could see)... I called it a day .. with a Guiness anyways.

By now you must be wondering why am I writing these things ? Well, so here comes the interesting part. ..... Next day , morning , the first think I did was, take my car to the local Toyota Showroom / Dealer, where they made me wait for 2 hrs (since I didn't have an appointment !!!!!! ) and then a smart looking guy .. in those "pit stop" attire, came to fix the problem . I will try and dramatize it .. (although I dont remember the exact dialogues... )

Toyota Guy (TG) : Hello sir ! how may I help you today ?

Me : I have this warning light .. blah blah ... seems to be my back brake light .. blah blah .. seems like the bulb is fused.. i tried .. blah blah .....

TG : Sir , it is dangerous to play with the complicated machinery of your car without proper training. I advice you to please come to us directly, next time there is any problem .

Me : OK !!!!!!!!!!! ( @#%@#$%@#$%#@$)

TG : Why don't you have a seat (pointing towards a chair at the corner, inside the workshop)?

so I sat and watched ......

He started by opening the dashboard first ... looking for any fucked up wire (sorry for the language ! .. thats an expression of my frustration) ... then ..something in the engine !!!!! next it was the circuitry at the back ... accessed from the boot !! ..... AND then .. finally ... after about 1 hr 10 mins ........

TG : Sir , its a simple fused bulb .. I well get that fixed for you right away !!!

Me : Thank you soooooo much !! I knew you guys are trained to do this .. I shouldnt have played with the " complicated machinary " ( .... stupid ass !!!)

and finally THE Bill .... $180 ( $40 new bulb , $ 80 labour charge , $ 60 for some "loose wiring replacement"... which I never knew existed !! )

.. No Wonder .. 70 % of USAs intellectual force consist of foreigners ! .. BUT STILL THEY CAN FIGHT A WAR IN IRAQ WITHOUT A REASON !!!

.. Thank God .. it wasn't a starting problem !!!