Saturday, December 17, 2011

Confederate Hellcat: Motorcycle Inspired by The Mahabharata

Image Courtesy Wall Street Journal
It is rare that one comes across someone saying that they have been inspired by the Hindu Epic Mahabharata. Specially in the day when ridiculing everything that is connected to Hinduism, Hindu spirituality or Hindu Epics is a fashion. This morning I read an article in Wall Street Journal about a master motorcycle designer Ed Jacobs and was heartened to note that he derives his inspiration from "Arjuna the silver-bright and unconquerable charioteer (should have been warrior) in the Mahabharata" among others.

Ed Jacobs is the chief designer at Confederate Motorcycles a boutique that manufactures custom, aesthetically designed, two wheeled beauties. I read the entire article and was awe struck by the attention to detail that makes this motorcycle the beauty that it is. Confederate's X132 Hellcat is their latest offering which is priced at $45,000 is one beauty on two wheels that will make every bike lover go weak in their knees.

According to the article Ed Jacobs got his inspiration to design motorcycles after he visited India and rode the Enfield Bullet to the Himalayas. He decided to work and build beautiful motorcycles that are aesthetic, functional and unique. I am glad that at least this individual has acknowledged that he derived inspiration from the Hindu Epic Mahabharata.

I wonder how many Indian designers of any kind - be it motorcycle or software or car would even think of the Mahabharata as a source of inspiration and even if they did how many would acknowledge the fact. Because if they did, there is every likelihood that the Indian media would brand them "right wing Hindutva fascists."

In my next blog post on the same topic I will discuss how motorcycles made in India could get a more intimate feel by simply renaming the models. It goes around to make a statement that we are aware of our heritage and are rooted in our culture, which unfortunately I think India is fast loosing.

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