Joy Rides and Ego Trips

Punit Pania
2 min readAug 9, 2017

I don’t own a car because of my choice of profession or rather the lack of it. But even if I could afford one or had inheritance I probably wouldn’t. I think owning a car is one of the most arrogant things you can do. This whole complex piece of heavy machinery spewing out greenhouse gases while playing Shape of You just so that I can go from point A to point B…to get an ice cream? An internal combustion engine pushing 4 tons of equipment on 5 years of EMI through gunk and potholes gulping down 600 million years old fossil fuel so that I can go see Jagga Jasoos? What are these great accomplishments that make us so sure of our carbon footprints being worth it?

Mass production gives the average voter a great deal of nuisance value and that is one right we exercise to the fullest. Stuck in 5 mile jams, honking away to oblivion, circling on end for parking spots, skipping heartbeats at every bump and scratch, raging our middle fingers as the most commonly expressed and sadly the only freedom of speech.

Of course it is easy to write these little essays after having bailed from the rat race and social obligations in general. And we ain’t becoming Singapore for another decade by when Singapore would have become Zion. But doesn’t the common man for even a passing second think of the massive consumption and noise he leaves in his wake? Does he actually think that plastic grows on trees?

Many people like driving for the feeling of power it gives, like being in a pre-historic Jaeger, one more prosthetic for your personality.

Perhaps the ego keeps growing to compensate for how small and mundane most people’s everyday lives are becoming. Perhaps the only reason people keep spending beyond their means and reaching beyond their grasp is because they can. Never realising that the bigger person is not the guy in the SUV who is honking to make a red light turn green but the guy covering his ears looking both ways even though he is on a zebra crossing to get into the next metro.

- Punit Pania