They say don’t look a gift horse in the mouth and I'm thinking that while I empathise with Dipa Karmakar's plight of having been saddled with a BMW in Agartala, where the roads can just about take a cart, it’s a bit of a mix between being careful what you wish for and carrying the heavy burden of riches.
And it is not just the roads, it is the cost of maintaining one of these thoroughbreds; just the insurance can sink you. Talking of sinking reminds me of a friend who won a yacht in a raffle, a 52 footer that could sleep seven and party thirty and by the time he paid berthing fees, captain’s fee, cleaning fees, crew costs, fuel costs, hull costs, he was half broke. And then, because he had a yacht, it stood to reason he had to invite friends over to enjoy the yacht and sail under a blue moon, and that cost so much he went totally broke and had to distress sell it for a song.
So, while it is all very well to accuse BMW and their cricketer ambassador Sachin Tendulkar of having displayed shortsightedness, it is also a bit unfair. It is not as if Dipa did not know the condition of the roads in her hometown.
With the absence of any BMW dealer in Agartala, repairs are probably skyrocketing. Just getting the delivery of a spare would take a month. What BMW should have done is worked out a deal by which the car’s maintenance would have been their responsibility. Come to think of it, for the first two years these top of the range cars come with a guarantee and replacements are free.
Anyway, this is a classic case of PR going whacko and have egg streaming down everyone’s face after that highly publicised ceremony when the keys were presented.
But giving it back to BMW seems excessive. It is hers. She can sell it, like my friend did his yacht.
She didn’t ask for it, it was gifted to her. What she could probably do is find a buyer who’ll come in from one of the cities and take it off her hands for a decent price and both parties can finish the deal as happy campers.
I am sure she will receive kudos set to music for her graciousness in returning it, but giving back a gift that was cheerfully accepted is a bit rude, even though most people would shrilly disagree and compliment her.
Indeed, the whole situation is a tribute to clumsiness. On all sides.
It is not as though she didn’t know enough about the roads and the value of the car and the prestige. But she went along with Sachin and the manufacturers and happily took the keys to the car, so why embarrass them now?
Because we’ll have to go through the gamut of dreary old Sachin jokes, about him never spending out of his pocket and it is hardly his fault if she isn't beaming over the beamer.
And since it is her car, she can take the money from the sale and give it to charity it invest it in facilities for a gym in Agartala.
Just sell it and move on. Let’s not have another spectacle. Besides, how is it be returned anyway? It is not as if the car can be couriered or BMW or Sachin are going to come personally or send an emissary to take it off her hands.
Like it or not, the car is hers. She can leave it on the side of the road with the keys inside, somebody will take it and smuggle it to Hong Kong.
But don’t give it back. That’s grandstanding and in rank poor taste. Because if the roads were okay she would keep it.