A History of Our Cars

Ever since Ford had decided to stop its operations in India, I had wanted to get a new car, a sedan to replace my Ford Aspire. I never had any problem with Ford, as the service was really good, and I had driven the car more than any other. We had owned four cars after I learned to drive – Maruti Suzuki 800 (silver), Tata Indica (green), Chevrolet Beat (black) and Ford Aspire (red) as our primary cars, along with Maruti Suzuki Alto (blue) which served as the secondary car with Aspire. Among these cars, Ford Aspire is the one car which we used for the highest period of time (five years and four months), and was driven the most despite the presence of Alto as the secondary car (63000 km), and it was also our only diesel car. The two-wheelers were always there, and the last two were of Honda, but that is not something of relevance in this particular blog post. That would be another history which could be part of a smaller blog post in comparison to this one.

Our original idea was to keep on driving Ford as much as we could, but with the end of Ford India as a competitor in the Indian market made us think again about the same. There has been the spread of Corona virus, and Ford’s present situation also added to the disappointment. But the memories that Ford left for us are too many, from being the car of our wedding, and being the one vehicle which has traveled through eleven out of fourteen districts of Kerala, and three districts of Tamil Nadu, something not done before by the other cars before, which were all sold before reaching fifty thousand kilometres. At the expense of the two-wheelers, Ford Aspire became the most traveled vehicle of our home. With so many memories connected to it, finding its successor was going to be difficult, and it was a tough procedure to find a sedan that could replace the car that made the difference.

The chosen car, the one truly Indian automobile – Tata Tigor

The grand shortage of semiconductor chips was something which was heard in most of the car dealer shops. It seemed that the waiting time for the car was going to be endless, no matter from where we buy one. Red and blue were difficult colours to get, even though we only wanted those two, with others being too dull – unless it was black which always keeps a certain amount of class related to it. During these times, white seemed to be an easy colour to get, but we wouldn’t be persuaded to go for the same, as for us, it is a colourless thing. White has never been considered a colour as far as we were concerned, for it was the colour of the scratches and the work of the birds that wanted to have a say from the sky. If we were to buy a car, it had to be special and beautiful, and white never satisfied these conditions. If it was a printer, white was fine, and for everything else, we needed the colourful, not the dull.

Beyond this particular dull world where the white car is preferred, one had to make that choice, and it was stuck on a blue Tata Tigor. The only other place where the eyes had stuck for some time was a Hyundai Aura, but by the time it would have arrived in one of our favourite colours, we would have lost all interest in buying a car. It would have been a longer wait than what was seen in Ennu Ninte Moideen, and that was certainly not advisable – to add to it, I have never seen that car on the road. This made Tata Tigor the better option immediately, and it was also cheaper, and the Tata showroom was closer to home than any other. Tata Altroz was also considered as an option for some time, but we continued to wish for the sedan over the hatchback. The Altroz blue was also not that interesting in comparison, as it was too light for our liking. In comparison, Tigor seemed to score better – I would always prefer my car to be as dark as it can get.

Maruti Suzuki never came close to getting into our list of possibilities, and Honda came close with Amaze, but that was also dropped quick enough. Almost everyone you see has a Dzire or Baleno, but we wouldn’t be part of that. The Honda showroom nearby had closed, and the Mahindra showroom in the town had closed much earlier, and Verito had ceased to be an option early enough. We thought about Renault, but nobody knows which motor company is to leave next, and the Ford exit has left us as the doubtful ones – with Nissan, MG and Kia, we have to buy the bigger cars, and it is not something that we would prefer. Nissan Magnite was attractive with its price tag, but we couldn’t be sure about another foreign company either. A few years earlier, maybe buying a sedan would have been the one right choice for so many people, but not anymore. In the end, it was to be Tata, and also stick to the sedan when people were all buying the bigger ones, Nexon and Harrier.

With the 2018 Kerala floods and the later smaller floods, it seems that people are taking the bigger cars now to drive through the flooded streets, even though that doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference. Even 2021 hasn’t brought much of a change related to the strange and unpredictable behaviour of rain, as we keep looking at similar situations again and again. We have seen too much destruction of property with cars being a regular prey in many cases, and in most of the situations, there is only the change of location where destruction has affected people more than the other places. As more people also wanted to own private vehicles due to the Corona virus induced decrease in public transportation, we see more people buying smaller hatchback cars after somehow learning to drive. Women are also preferring those smaller cars, and therefore sedan with a longer tail is not of preference for most people around here – it is like either go for the big SUV-like thing or choose the hatchback version which doesn’t confuse you about the back.

There has been a fine increase in the number of Tata cars in the last few months as we look on the roads, and we were adding ourselves to that list of people. I have seen that more people are now preferring Tata, and I would have loved to see Mahindra with the smaller cars too. The variant which we decided to choose was the blue XZ Petrol version, as that seemed to have everything that was required. This one particular version was also easier to get, within a small amount of time. The next variant had more of what we didn’t need, and so making the choice was finally easier than we thought. The Tata dealer nearby, Sree Gokulam Motors also made sure that the whole procedure was easier, and we could come to the decision after checking both Tigor and Altroz. The dark blue colour of Tigor is different from the blue which our secondary vehicle Alto has, and the two blue cars make a nice view at our home. Our first trip with Tigor is yet to be finalized, even though we are making some small trips around here, and something bigger would come up soon.

Tata Tigor on one of its smaller trips which won’t qualify as a tour.

*** The photos of the car used in this blog post were taken on my Samsung Galaxy A20S, and all of these are of our new Tata Tigor XZ Blue.

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TeNy

Nostalgia: New Version

While we were shifting, I found something which was thought to be lost, a memory of something which goes back fourteen to fifteen years or so, and the one reason for which there will be more nostalgia than most of the things of that time. I wouldn’t call these toys, but the remnants of what used to be my little life which was lost, and even as it remains pretty much aimless, I find this discovery as a good omen.

It becomes only a necessity to dig up all of that nostalgia, as it is what defines us and makes us ponder about that past which has been lost and buried in a coffin under the soil of all that nonsense which we had to put into our heads. There is always the need for some of it to come alive – for we have none of them right now, as we move on through an artificial life, unlike what we know during our childhood days.

Remember the GI Joe Ads on Doordarshan, "Go GI Joe"? :D

Remember the GI Joe Ads on Doordarshan, “Go GI Joe”? 😀

The first part of my nostalgia consists of those G.I. Joe action figures. Yes, now you know why I have been rating those two G.I. Joe movies, Rise of the Cobra and Retaliation very high – it comes from the childhood memories, of that world which had very high opinion of them right from the moment they replaced the toy cars which had replaced those cute little dolls themselves a lot earlier.

Introduced to me by my cousin brother, I had nine of those action figures from Hasbro. He was the expert right there. I always prefered the evil ones though, belonging to the side of the Cobra, as the soldiers looked too normal, and I was the fan of the Dracula lineage of vampires at that time too. Among the figures that I have, the only ones which I can recognize now are Storm Shadow and Cobra Commander, and as I don’t have the enclosing covers any more, I hope some of you can recognize these people for me.

The second part of my nostalgia goes back further into my childhood. It belongs completely to Hot Wheels, that little collection of cars which I had. Yes, there were others too, but Hot Wheels car completely took over my world with ease. There were not only cars, but also those trucks and buses which were small enough to run all the small paths that I managed to find at random places in my house.

Hot Wheels; they also had the Ads for us kids, right?

Hot Wheels; they also had the Ads for us kids, right?

My favourites were those yellow truck, the blue truck and the yellow car. Forget the other things which form the background to those cars, as they are not part of this nostalgia stuff. I would be glad if you could tell the names of some of the models if you know any. I am looking forward to naming them any way. I have been searching for them in google with random information, but haven’t found success.

Did you have such toys which you still have in possession, or to be found somewhere in a store room of your house or the showcase? May be you can search and find them to bring yourself back to the past, and have some fun with the same along with immersing yourself in nostalgia. If you can find or remember something similar, do share it here. Until then, long live the G.I. Joe and Hot Wheels 😀

TeNy