Friday, September 17, 2004

Outdated dreams

I was reading this post by Tarun about the phasing out of Maruti 800s in India. It brought a momentary frown on my face. Let me explain.

We never had a car in my house in Bombay. Never needed one. The bus and train services were brilliant besides the auto-rickshaws and the taxis, and you could get from one place to another, day or night without any discomfort. But a car is a car is a car. Everyone wants one, especially if you are 16, fresh in Engineering, and moving around in a friend's car reasonably regularly. A desire/dream/ambition formulated in my mind. I had a new object of desire: A Maruti 800. I was fascinated by the car. It looked small, but could fit five persons, it could be parked anywhere (you should have lived in Bombay to realise the import of this statement) and it was (for lack of Santros, and presence of such cars as the Fiat and the Ambassador other such cars) at that time: hold your breath -- COOL!!!

I was very clear about my choice. I wanted the first car that I bought to be a Maruti 800, dark blue in color, with Air-conditioning and a great music system. I would have compromised on the air-conditioning, but no chance I'd do the same with the sound system. I have believed all along that the sound system in a car is the best environment for listening to music. I was so sure about it. Of course, at that time, CD players weren't in the picture (for those who are wondering by now what era I am talking about, its circa 1995). Oh, what would I have given to drive down to the beach with a latest Hindi film song blasting on my stereo!!

I graduated in 1999 and took up a job with Mahindra British Telecom as a software engineer. They paid me enough to be able to realize my dream. Alas, a Masters in USA beckoned. By the time I joined MBT, I was already applying to universities in the US, and it didn't make much sense for me to buy a car with a year to go.

Now, I am a Volkswagen Passat owner. It is black in color, is a fabulous car, and has a great sound system, not to forget the AC. There is little chance of my moving to India immediately, and after reading the post (and based on my recent trip to India), buying a Maruti 800 seems like a pipe dream. Oh well ... some dreams are impossible to achieve. Some, it seems, have an expiry date. If only everytime you dream, there should be a disclaimer that says "Best before .... 10/2006"

6 comments:

RTD2 said...

I disagree..a dream with a disclaimer is no longer a dream. It is the proverbial Tantalis' sword (I'm sure I got that spelling wrong,but u get the picture?!)It can bring nothing but guilt and shame for many of us, maybe some motivation for the better amongst us!
U need to get that Maruti 800 for all of us who has similar dreams. I still want that BMX bike that my mom 'sold' to the maid while I was away at camp! I still want that elusive flat in Marine Drive. I still want to eat at the Ambassador's 'revolutionary' restaurant! ('Pun my word!!)
Btw, Parthanna..one of your entries made me cry, the one about the days gone by when u and your buddies would hang out at the beach and all. u're a really good writer!

phucker said...

Hey thanks for the visit! Funnily enough, when I was much younger, I also dreamt of owning a Maruti 800! Well, that dream has been replaced with an "I want to own a Volkswagen Jetta" (The Passat is a great car, but the Jetta is a bit more simple and compact, more my taste). Even more interesting, I used to work in Seattle, close to your current residence. I'm an ex-employee of Amazon.com. Currently trying to realize a few dreams myself. Like your writing too. Let's keep up the mutual site visits!

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