On my way back from a late night shoot, Maroon 5’s latest hit single “One More Night” was streaming through the speakers as I was humming the lyrics, until I parked the car and walked home to my bed. Then began my attempt to get some sleep, which for some reason had divorced me for this particular night despite it being about 4 a.m. I felt like an insomniac, as even the ticking of the clock on the furthest wall in my room seemed to be distracting me. “One more night” got stuck in my head like the way Minka Kelly got stuck to Adam Levine’s body like a tattoo in the official video. It was constantly playing and I was helpless as I could neither stop it nor could I pause it.
Somehow I managed shut my eyes for an hour and at about 5:30 in the morning, there was a smudge in the sky. The God of Fire had announced its arrival and darkness was about to vanish. This woke me up and also the fact in a few hours the Star parked in my garage will go back, started bothering me. That’s when I realised why that particular song was frolicked by my mind. The sub-conscious thing that these physiologists speak of seemed to come true.
This all began on a Friday evening, when the thought of “A Good Day to Die Hard” being realised next week sprung into my overworked brain. As Mercedes-Benz was the sponsor for the movie, I thought to spend a week with one of the three-pointed stars. Despite being overused and tired of daily driving, my brain sprung up with an idea to not just see “The Star” in the movie, but do something else also. Then rose the idea of experiencing it. Next immediate thing was to call up the Chakan office and request for a C-Class. On the Monday morning, I was presented with my favourite C variant— the Performance Edition, with the AMG body kit and suspension set-up.
Being a twitter addict with some decent number of followers (@OctaneAddict), I decided to play the regular contest of guessing the correct car. Also began the sharing of images on instagram. Not that I hadn’t experience something like this before, but just to share it with my social media friends and readers. The response that one of my colleagues and me received was fantastic, with several retweets on twitter and likes on instagram.
Also, this being the Die Hard week, Mercedes-Benz ran a #DriveHard trend and contest, which seemed to have helped my tweets to a certain extent. The first day was spent well in understanding the C-Class and its pros and cons. Not that I haven’t driven it before, but the experience of the car is better if it is kept for a longer duration, especially when you park it in your stilt and observe each and every minute detail of the car, not just as a motoring expert but also as an enthusiast. One of the biggest pro was its styling and luxury, on the downside as I moved from an SUV the space felt less and the car a bit too low slung. I liked the new Avantgarde front grille that wears the large central star, but at the same time I’m a fan of “Travel With the Star” that makes me tilt more towards the old-school style “Logo on the hood”. So every time when I drive, I love to see the logo ahead of the road, just like a watermark on an image. My grand dad owned one in his time and often told me about his this experience. Possibly, it has trickled down as heredity into me as well.
One thing that I didn’t like was the low ground clearance, and as a motoring journalist I did find a way around it. Of course, I couldn’t avoid it completely, but in the sport suspension set-up the under belly didn’t scrap the large unshaped Mumbai speed breakers. The overall experience of the car was different. The valet guy in the five-star parking began expecting tips from me, my car washing person made each and every metal panel shine like a mirror, a lot more kids passed-by on their cycle that was closer to the car, more people at the traffic signal peeped in to stare inside the cabin. The difference was prominent and even an ignorant could tell the difference.
Our creative photographer went bizarre with his shooting skills. Possibly, he was also waiting for a day when I would ask him to shoot the way he wants, instead of the regular standard shots that we take for our car reviews. I was invited for the premiere show of “A Good Day to Die Hard”. Well, it seemed the car was the real hero as it saved “Bruce Willis” most of the times when under threat and that’s where my review for the movie ends. You can decide and rate the movie after you see it. While in the theatre, I was tempted have flaunted the C-Class keys to people around me, but my kind-hearted nature avoided me from doing so. Seeing some good stuff that the Mercs did I the movie, I happily drove back in the AMG body kitted sedan.
The fun factor continued further, as we shot this luxury sedan with one of our model friend. Kunal (our creative photographer) had to shoot a model, and again we added two and two, and captured both the beauties in the same frame. Everyone wanted to meet us that week and it seemed to be a busy seven days for us. The last night was spent shooting the car, doing a lot of creativity with the camera, torches and flashlights. Kunal was light-painting the cars, and I was learning this newly introduced art form and working on it with him.
The next second, my phone ringing woke me up from my deep sleep. Everything we did the last week came as a flashback in my dream. By then the phone stopped ringing and it was 11 o’clock in the morning. I saw the missed call and reverted on the number. The driver from the Chakan plant had reached my doorstep and was here to collect the car key. This is when “One More Night” again jested in my mind, of course the sub-conscious one.