Monday, February 27, 2012

e-Rick in Delhi

I was at India Gate yesterday when I spotted a group of people fussing over something. There was a big reflector screen, and on one side of it, there were a group of guys standing around, setting up a shoot.

On the other side of the screen, I spotted several young guys craning their necks at something. I'm all of five feet tall, so I couldn't see past the crowd.

"What's going on?" I asked one of the guys. "Shooting chal raha hai", he said, in the satisfied manner of someone who has just stated the obvious to an idiot.

A couple of bystanders rallied around to provide more information. "Riya Sen is here" said one. "And so is Aarya Babbar", chimed another. Oh goodie, I thought, a couple of starlets. So I went up to have a closer look.

I found Riya Sen sitting around, texting someone, impervious to the hubub around her. Aarya Babbar had disappeared, no doubt to have tea somewhere. 

She was wearing a very short skirt, so the organisers had oh-so-thoughtfully placed a thermocol screen to prevent her thighs from being burnt to a crisp by the stares. And although she wore a halter neck blue thingy, she had temporarily chosen to wear a jacket to hide her shoulders. Very sensible. It's tough being a star, I tell you :)

Like all shoots, I knew there would be interminable waiting while things were set up. I didn't want to hang around with the crowd. It was a pleasant sunny winter morning, so I left Riya Sen to enjoy her texting, and wandered around a bit more.

And look what I found - the e-Rick, an electric propulsion vehicle that is supposed to usher in a new generation of rickshaws in Delhi. This is what they were filming. 

Maybe they were going to have Riya lean against this thing stylishly and say something green and politically correct :) The seats are the back are tiny, and I can only imagine what fun the audience would have if she tried to actually sit in it wearing that short skirt. 

The e-Rick, in case you want to know, is being  touted as the greenest thing the city has seen. They have a horrendously slow website, in case you want to look it up. It's full of useless animations, and you have to hunt like crazy for anything remotely useful or practical.

When is the e-Rick coming? Is is going to be used all over Delhi? We last heard about the e-Rick during the Commonwealth Games. After 20 minutes on their website, I have no clue what they are planning, but it looks like this thing is back again in a new avatar. There are many tantalising hints on the website, a long list of areas that are going to be covered in "Phase 1", and some hypothetical route maps. But like all infrastructure things in India, there is no date. Do any of you know more about this?

I am waiting to see how the city's matrons and big-bellied Sardars are going to fit their plump Punjabi bottoms into this contraption :) :) It looks like it will keel over any moment, doesn't it?