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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Air Conditioned

I normally like to drive with the windows rolled down. Considering the fact that i got introduced to cars at an era when there was to be no concept of A/C in the car for the next 10 years atleast, it should come as no surprise. And considering the fact that I come from a place which is regarded as a hill station, and it has yet to see pollution incarnate, it should again not be a surprise that I like to roll down the windows of a car.

Oh, to feel the blast of fresh, cool air on your face, so much that the eyes stay partially closed. If you happen to drive in top gear, even speech becomes difficult, as though the words too fly out of the window as soon as they are uttered, away from the direction of the intended person's ears.

As technology adds A/C and stereo to the car, rapid urbanisation adds pollution of all kinds- noise, dust, grime, soot, smoke to name a few.

Against my wishes, I now have to roll the windows up and cocoon myself in the protected, perfumed (car freshener), temperature controlled confines of the car. I roll up the windows not because I want to be in an A/C environment. Not because I fear the sunlight darkening my skin. Not even do I fear the little dust that is part and parcel of the air.
I roll up the windows to cut the jarring noise of the outside- car engines, bikes, buses, trucks, car honks, grind of the auto engines...in ascending order of irritant value. I roll up the windows so that the noise does not disturb me as I try to juggle my concenteration between driving, the music and my thoughts. I roll up the windows so that I can feel each beat of the music that is playing. I roll up the windows so that I could sing along the song that is playing.
I roll up the windows to shut out the soot and grime emitting from the vehicles .
I cocoon myself in the car so that I could shut out the stink that is part of the city air that we cautiously breath. Oh, to be able to breath steadily without holding back, as if mentally testing and filtering out the filth before the remnant oxygen passes through.
I roll up the windows so that I am in this A/C environment- not Air Conditioned but artificially Controlled to create a near ideal situation.

20 comments:

Ganesh Ranganathan said...

The recent spate of deaths supposedly due to the emission of Carbon monoxide from the air conditining system has scared me enough to switch back to opening of the car windows.

Fuzzylogic said...

I would more than willingly roll up the windows if caught in any traffic,the noise,the blaring and the pollution the best way to escape them all.But if it was any other roads usually I switch off the ac and let the windows roll down,I think no AC can beat the fresh air.I somehow feel claustrophobic if everything is rolled up and enclosed.

Orchid said...

Hmmm.."artificially controlled" loved the post....I like how you converted a simple thing into a thoughtful post :)

priya said...

Its always good to get fresh air on and off when yout ravel by car.

@ said...

I normally like to drive with the windows rolled down.
I read this and thought 'she must be insane!' then I remembered you live in hot, tropical Chennai..

well, if it makes you feel any better, your misery has company...I too roll up my windows and live in artificial conditioning - for if I don't, I would freeze to death in no time!

Rio said...

sigh...totally know what you mean!

Patti said...

artificially controlled...loved the word!!

Usha said...

It could have been me writing that post - my sentiments to the last letter.
And ya, it makes me guilty everytime too when I think of the pollution I am contributing to.
P.s: Haven't been able to comment on other posts. The comments window just wont pop up!! any idea why?
P.s: ha

iz said...

You gotta admit though, AC is the ideal solution to a filthily polluted world!

Alan said...

In our younger days we always joked about having 4-70 air conditioning.

Four windows open at 70 miles per hour.

Inder said...

true. i am afraid the noise would make me terminally crazy one of these days... :(

Hip Grandma said...

i too roll down my window while driving for reasons mentioned by you and also because i want to be sure of the motive of reckless drivers who overtake even where threr is no gap

Pranay said...

Artificially controlled...nice one.

NZ said...

Good post. I do that a lot too during summer months - roll the window down, love the feel of blast of fresh air - theres not much pollution or that type of traffic noise here but I dont think I would be able to do it in India.

KK said...

I too dont like to have my windows rolled up... But for only one reason I roll up the window...
"so that I could sing along the song that is playing."
:D

artnavy said...

u artfully controlled my comment or what- hope it comes this time

good post from u

cardamom said...

i don't own a car.. i am still a bachaaa uwaaaaa!!! :'(

nice post!!

Has to be me said...

I prefer driving with my windows down but cant do so cos of security issue!

Twisted DNA said...

Well put... I can't believe you can think anything while driving in India. I don't drive in India but if I did, I would've spent most my time screaming out of fear :)

mommyof2 said...

Nice post:-) while reading it all I could think was the real smell of India.. Now i miss India;-(