You could be forgiven for thinking that Auto Expo was only about powerful cars and humongous bikes.
There was so much else that was happening, too, says Rajesh Karkera.
The words Auto Expo 2018 would automatically conjure up visions of the latest car and bike models, futuristic concepts, etc, but to put down the largest automobile exposition in the country to a parade of hot wheels would be doing grave injustice to it. As the following photographs show, there was much more to the Auto Expo.
Iron Man! A special treat for Superhero fans, so what is Pepper was not to be seen around?
Riding on the popularity of Marvel Cinematic Universe in India, the Renault pavilion showcased its new Kwid model as the Marvel Avengers Superhero Edition. And found fans by the dozen, and across age groups.
Right, MCU is not only about Iron Man -- as the stupendous success of the latest film in the franchise, Black Panther, shows -- so the New Renault Kwid Marvel Avengers edition comes in two models, one with Iron Man as brand ambassador and the other with Captain America. Fans may recall how the two heroes head to head in Civil War.
Both the models will sport the superheroes's colours. Naturally.
At times it felt like one had strayed into the trials for Lakme Fashion Week, for the Yamaha pavilion had fashion shows for the weary-eyed.
Dancerxise? Acroyoga? Gymastics? Call it what you will but for those who had thronged the venue seeking some entertainment, there was no reason to go back disappointed. There were enough shows popping up at different parts of the large venue.
Want to impress your friends back home or in college? All that bike enthusiasts had to do was ask sweetly, and the models hired by the auto companies would agree to pose with their favourite machines.
And while you are at it, spare a thought for the models, who had to spend the entire day on their feet, smiling sweetly at the visitors to their pavilions. Their only diversion: Getting to shoot other models as and when time permitted.
Sorry, but all the auto models come with a strict hands-off policy, and we know only too well what it feels like, to see these wonderful machines up close and not get to drive them. But the folks at our automobile majors like Mahindras, Toyota, are kind, and provided simulators to keep both children and the elders enthralled.
There was enough magic happening outside the venue as well, only, no one was told about it. Like the Rajputana Rifles band from the Indian Army inaugurating the Auto Expo. The organisers unfortunately have a micro focus on the schedule of vehicle launches so in the ordinary course of events you won't know of the RR band performing, or of the other events organised in the venue that is spread of 65,000 sq metres. How you will discover the fashion shows, etc, is by walking through the large venue and stumbling on to them.
The photographs above is ostensibly of media-persons. Ostensibly we say, because everyone had media passes. Whether it was the auto launches, celebrity sightings, or just the press kits being distributed, there was a wild scrimmage that will put the world rugby championship to shame. It seemed as if the entire press corps of India had descended on Auto Expo.
The Auto Expo is a place to see and be seen as well, to rub shoulders with names you otherwise come across in the pink newspapers. Here are the Mahindra top brass, chairman Anand Mahindra and managing director Dr Pawan Goenka announcing the launch of the new Rexton G4 as a complete Mahindra vehicle.
If miniatures are your scene, then you've hit pay dirt at the Hotwheels stall.
If cell phones are there can the selfies be far behind?
You also run into young experts, like this sweet-looking lad posing with the Scorpion Mark 1 who just a while ago was explaining to his family the importance of the winch and the tyres of this massive vehicle.
It can be safely said, however, that not everyone who had come to the venue was there for a glimpse of the vehicles.
Away from the maddening rush inside, flash mob dancers utilised any and every space available to stretch and relax their muscles.
If all this did not leave you open-mouthed, Yamaha's talented group of international bikers with their death-defying stunts were bound to.
It was not all about mean machines with their humongous horse power. The humble, and not so humble, bicycles too were in the limelight in this edition of the Auto Expo.
Weighed under by all that you saw and heard? No? In which case the Maruti Suzuki Ignis installed midair was just the thing for you!
Video and photographs: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com.