A trip down memory lane
October ,1985 Nagda (a little township near Indore, MP)
“Hurry up, everybody… we’ll be late” said my very worried father.
“Yes, yes…. just 2 minutes” my mother screamed.
“Papa, how long will it take us to reach there?” I asked very excitedly.
“It will take around 3 hours, beta.” my father replied.
“Common, 3 of you wait outside. The company car is about to reach here any minute. And why are you dressed as if we are going for a wedding?” said my bemused father seeing my mother dressed in all finery.
“It’s a big day for all of us. It’s Navratra. Ma Durga has blessed us” my mother replied with a big smile on her face.
“Okay, the car is here, it will drop us at the showroom.It’s great that Mr. Mishra is also accompanying us. I’m not very confident on the highway.” my very worried father said.
We all sat in the big company jeep and began our journey. As we stopped at Mishra Uncle’s house to pick him up,.We were pleasantly surprised to see the whole Mishra family waiting at their gate.
“We are coming along too, Yayyy” said Mishra Uncle’s daughter.
So a total of 9 people began the journey (excluding the Jeep driver) to get home our dream car. The dream of every middle class Indian family that year when Maruti launched across the country.
We were all excited beyond words and all the kids were planning where to sit first in the new car, what to touch, how to blaze the horn. And the adults just had a huge smile on their faces listening to us. I was planning in my head how I would scream and jump . It was so thrilling.
3 hours and 40 minutes later we reached the showroom. It was a tiny little shop, not at all a fancy showroom. And it had only 1 car parked in its garage, a car that would be our first family car. It was sparkling white in color and it had a red ribbon tied around it.
( image is for representation purposes only )
There were numerous people gathered nearby the store taking a glimpse of it. We got near it and all hell broke loose. I was 7 years old and was hopping around the car like a bunny. Everyone tried to feel the car and my mother’s eyes beamed with happiness. My father’s worry had turned into a sense of calm and pride. He carried a smile that just wouldn’t go. The Mishra family had joined us to celebrate with us. Any occasion in those times was a joint celebration for all friends and families.
My father signed a few papers and the manager escorted him towards the car. He took out a box and handed over the keys to my parents. It was a surreal moment for everyone present there. People started clapping and a round of congratulations followed.
We went berserk as my mother finished the customary Pooja. After a round of sweets and cold drinks, it was time to begin our maiden ride of the precious addition of our family. In “OUR” car. A white sparkling Maruti. A joyous moment which would always be a treasure.
My father, my mother, Mishra uncle, aunty and 5 kids got inside the car. Small but a warm hatchback. And our ride began. It was beautiful just as we had imagined and I was so elated seeing that.
9 people and a comfortable car ride. All in harmony.
A dream of a middle class Indian family turned into a reality.
Even after 35 years or more, I still remember the fresh smell of our first car. It drove for thousands of kilometers, fulfilled many desires, stood as a rock, watched us grow up, saw us get married and was privy to our children. We all learnt to drive through that.
All have heard million stories of our prized possession.
As they both stand retired today, my father and the white (not so sparkling) Maruti are mates for life. The car gave us memories for a lifetime.It was the trip of a lifetime.
With our first family car .