I saw her on the big day. I had heard she would be there. Guys were raving about her, acting frantic. All butterflies and excitement. The way it always happens. There is always a new entrant. Somewhere or the other. And excited whispers are the usual precursors to the debut. I was used to it all. There were always newbies and always the wannabes looking for hot freshers. But this time there was some extra stir. You ask why?
A) It was to be a debutante – a SHE than a HE  
B) She was supposed to be from among us and most importantly,
C) She shared my initials.

My peers couldn’t stop lionizing her.
“Incredibly sexy.”
“Just too hot.”
And worse-
“She is a Z. too!”

I blushed a deep blue, if that could ever be possible.
B. had taken it upon himself to cause me as much chagrin as possible.
“You seem to have a straight claim on her, you sly Romeo! Or Zomeo should I say?”
He tittered. Somewhere within me, old flames flickered.

“She is just like V.” A. said and my head immediately jerked up. 

V.’s name had caused a current to pass through me. While A. kept on about the new-one-on-the-block Z.- her amazing figure, her mind-numbing capacity, her charm, her oomph factor, her sex appeal, I had already lost interest. I was transported to my days with V. 
B. and A. both knew about her. I know A. was just trying to help, trying to make me forget about the mishap and create some interest in me, make me feel alive again. But she would never understand. And I was determined not to be affected. No one could be like V., no one. Whatever A. or B. may say. Whoever this Z. was, she was nothing compared to what V. had been. V. had been the only one. My only one. There would not be another like her.

V. and I had grown close together. We had met in the factory and our love had blossomed in the expo. I still remember courting her in multifarious showrooms. She was beautiful- purely angelic. There was no one like her. 

So, perhaps it was not just fate that she had to go first. I had expected it. She looked better, she was better in almost all aspects. I knew between us, she would have her first shot at employment. That was not what had caused me the shock. What had destroyed me was when a week later, she had been brought in, seriously injured and almost beyond repair. For days, she was operated on. Specialists came and tried but to no avail.

They couldn’t save her. V. perished and with her, I had plunged into an abyss of despair.
It had been a year since I had confined myself to the darkness of the factory. I had lurked in the recesses of the showrooms, praying not to be seen, not to be chosen. I no longer wanted to live. I wanted to be in the factory with her, with whatever had remained of her.

And so I have been here for a year, brand-new, unemployed. Perhaps whoever looked at me understood by the looks of me that I was a lost cause. It actually came as a surprise to me when I was selected to go for the expo. It was usually for the new entrants. But I guess I was still new or unused in any case…


I was with my kind, next to B., who was next to A.. I was trying to block B.’s constant rant about Z. and her killing features.
“How many times do I tell you that I don’t want to hear about this damned Z.! Will you PLEASE FOR MAN’S SAKE STOP?” I cried, my temper at the nadir of my patience level. 
B. and A. piped down immediately.


And then it happened. 

I saw her. 

Z. She had been put on a pedestal and I had to turn slightly to look at her. 
Something flared within me. I looked elsewhere. But the picture wouldn’t go. Her #impact was unnerving. She was pasted on my mind. There was something unique about her, a freshness, a vibrancy, a certain brio in her that set my fuel on fire. It popped into my head the instant I looked at her. I just couldn’t get at it. What was that word? I scrambled around for it. What was it?

This new Z., a part namesake of mine, was chattering excitedly. My heart lurched unexpectedly. She was just so full of life, so very bubbly and perky and…#peppy, yes! That was the word! #PEPPY! She was #peppy, young, zippy. She was full of zest. That made me smile. #ZEST, shit, she had in spirit what I had in name.


I looked at her for a long time. She was surrounded by eager onlookers, ogling eyes, desirous faces. Some of them were her future drivers and some of them were my silly lovesick companions. Okay, I must admit Z. was pretty. She was young, stylish, smart, beautiful, zippy, #peppy…yes…#peppy obviously! Her infectious energy and enthusiasm had imbued me with a strange feeling.

The next few days saw me chattering animatedly with her. She was nice to talk to, a #peppy chirpy soul, a lovely compatriot. A. and B. couldn’t stop giggling. B. was definitely singed to his metal skeleton. Fumes would probably emanate if his bonnet was opened and checked. I smiled to myself. I was Z.’s best companion as of now, leaving B. and the rest green-eyed. If I now went to them, I would be teased like hell, I knew.  

Being with Z. was so invigorating that I was almost afraid of falling for her.
And then it happened. What I had always feared. She left.

One fine day of the expo, someone took a mad liking to her and she was sold. My panes were beginning to gleam with tears as the ribbons on Z. shimmered. 

Despite myself, I had fallen for her, knowing it was highly probable that she would go. She was the star of the show. It was her launch, after all. And yet, I had the imbecility to fall in love. 


The ribbons were cut and she was driven away, leaving me stranded, empty once again.
“I want this one. It looks sturdier, you know.” Mrs. Gupta was telling her husband, pointing towards the blue #Tata #Zest.
“So you don’t want the new #Tata #Zica?” Mr. Gupta queried.
“Obviously I like the #Zica but I think it’s more suited for Rahul. Why don’t we give it to him?”
“You sure you want this one?” Mr. Gupta’s interest had now shifted to the #Zest.
“I think so, yes.”
The salesmen had now predictably begun to extol the virtues of #Tata #Zest.
In another world, four cars waited with bated breath to hear the verdict of their futures. #Aria and #Bolt looked on while #Zest and #Zica were endlessly debated and discussed.
“I think we better take both of them.” Mr. Gupta said and signed a cheque while four souls nearby rejoiced.
The outcome of it all was that both the cars found their way into the Gupta garage.
The end of the expo saw #Aria and #Bolt waving the new couple off to a blissful life. They were glad that #Zest had finally overcome his grief over #Vista.

Some love stories do end on a happy note. Like the #peppy #Zica with the bold #Zest.

#PeppyZica #ZippyZica #FantasticoZica #TataZica #TataZicaMarathon

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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