By S V L Narayan
Over the years I have owned several cars and have been rather picky about the ones I bought. My first car was the stylish (at that time) Standard Herald. I then graduated to the Hindustan Ambassador followed by several models of Maruti. By then my financial situation took an upward trend thanks to Y2K and the IT Boom. I would have loved to own the German beauties but then my wallet went only as far as the Toyota models – the Corolla and the Innova .I am a bit allergic to selling so now I have ended up with two Toyotas and a Hyundai. Obviously this poses a challenge finding parking places in my apartment building.
Last year, to humor my Bank Manager I booked a Tata Nano. Knowing my bad luck with lotteries I was sure I would not be amongst the first 100,000 customers and my money would be safe.
One fine day, I get a congratulatory letter from Tata Motors that I had been among the early birds. My wife thought this was just the passing phase of my madness and that it would soon pass. My sons acted as if I had announced that there would be a new addition to the family.
As the day of delivery neared things worsened as we read about Nanos going up in smoke. But I remained steadfast. In my memory was still the vision of Ratan Tata driving the Nano on the stage of the Auto Expo at Delhi. I thought what is good for Ratan Tata is good enough for me.
D-day dawned and I took an auto to the dealer to collect my Sunshine Yellow Nano. It looked so tiny and vulnerable that my fatherly instincts came to the fore. I directly drove to the Ganesha temple in Jayanagar and had it blessed. The priest seemed to take pity on me and gave me an extra portion of coconuts and bananas.
But I am going through a lot of challenging situations since then. One neighbour suggested that I add some steroids to the petrol to make the car grow. My wife, who still hasn’t reconciled to the young’un, wears a pair of sunglasses saying that the bright yellow color blinds her. One Rotarian friend suggested I park it inside my Innova to save on garage space. One wise guy even went as far as to ask whether my feet hurt when I pedal fast! But the unkindest cut came when one little kid (obviously tutored by a jealous parent) asked me whether I had bought the Nano because I was poor.
The only positive comment came from a journalist friend who suggested I write a piece about my dear Nano. So here I am.
We suggest you also read what SVL Narayan wrote about his earlier cars !