The heat was nothing compared to the passion. Mumbai can get pretty hot in April so I didn't expect many cars at the annual vintage and classic run on that hot Sunday. But I was surprised to see the turnout; there were over a 100 cars at the beautiful Horniman Circle, right from the 1903 Humberette from the Mallya collection to the bunch of American and German metal from the 60s. All accompanied by their happy owners or caretakers. And surrounded by enthusiasts and admirers who swarmed around the place with their cameras. They came in droves, seemingly oblivious to the dramatic vertical ascension of the mercury.
If that isn't passion, then I don't know what is. Driving a classic car in less than perfect circumstances can be a handful. So imagine cantankerous vintage cars with recalcitrant steering wheels, phlegmatic brakes and headstrong gearshifts, that too in Mumbai's warzone-like roads and militant traffic. Then there were others who were from beyond the municipal limits of the city, who travelled pretty long distances in their Austins and Dodges and braved the heat to be part of the rally. Hats off to these magnificent men and women.
I have this theory that the annual old-timer rally in Mumbai is not held till the weather reaches the optimum temperature - somewhere between roasting and boiling. Yes, I accept that it's indeed difficult to organise one on this scale when you got to have sponsors, police permissions and VIPs to attend the event. Still, there are 12 weekends between December and February, the ideal months considering Mumbai's weather.
Maybe one day the city will indeed witness the vintage and classic car run during more suitable climatic conditions. Till then, you can trust owners and enthusiasts to be there, undeterred by the trying temperatures, their enthusiasm and passion overcoming the heat, getting intoxicated by the smell of partially burnt fuel, and generally being blissful and joyful by being one with their ancient machines.