No-frills service

She stood there, basking in the morning sun, beaming like a ready-to-wed bride. The sight made me stop in my tracks, bringing back to memory, our very first encounter.

Strangely, the Spartan, down to earth back-ground, full of unsightly even one can say dirty background enhanced her beauty many times. No wonder I fell in love again with my just now refurbished car. It was exactly a week ago that I reluctantly parted company of my beloved car in this non-descript place without even a proper name-board. It was with utmost trepidation that I handed over the keys to a rugged looking owner cum mechanic.

Naturally I was worried if I was doing the right thing. But my worries were misplaced. During my research with friends and neighbours, his name had cropped up again and again. I was convinced when I examined personally specimen of a work he had recently completed, ready to be driven away and waiting for their owners! Not that I had too many choices on hand either!

Authorised company service stations were acting too pricey, even to have a detailed look at the car. Of course they were in a sellers’ market where they could dictate terms. Just with a cursory look, they went on to suggest major replacements. But, my silent unexpressed reaction was, one does not cut off a hand for a minor scratch!

My beauty had acquired a few scratches here and there over a long period of time, and a couple of dents too - thanks to unruly traffic, traffic jams and impatient drivers we encounter on a daily basis. Now again I stood looking at my beauty gleaming under the sun. While returning I could not help wonder about the contrasts - The latest experience with the owner-mechanic and the usual at authorised service stations.

There was no elaborate reception, no waiting area with TVs,  no receptionists, no service executives – well this list can go on endlessly! No filling of forms either. All this was replaced by a bare minimum chat to understand the work to be done and a detailed check with those experienced eyes. In a few minutes he was ready with estimate of the work to be done, time it will take and how much it will cost.

In ten minutes the deal is struck. Exactly a week later, I am driving my beauty again. When I am about to start, the owner mechanic says – “Sir, If you are completely satisfied, please recommend me to your friends.” I reply, “Of course, I will and with pleasure.” And I mean it. I am left with this lingering thought - ‘How uncomplicated life would be if it is always possible to cut all the frills and deal with only bare essentials.’ But come to think of it, this is only one of the few prices city life extracts.

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