For me, and many others, the Maruti 800 was the culmination of a long-cherished dream.
My first car was a second-hand Premier Padmini, bought from a scheming mechanic. Driving it was traumatic, to say the least.
The car would stall without notice. Parts would fall off whenever they wanted.
The engine even caught fire once. The car spent as much time with the mechanic as with me.
When I went to pick up my brand new Maruti 800, the dealer's advice was: "Drive it yourself; otherwise, it will seem you have a driver for your scooter."
The message was that here was a small car I won't be ashamed of driving.
Image: A first-generation Maruti 800 DX.
Image Courtesy: Asheem Tyagi, Wikimedia Commons
Text: Bhupesh Bhandari, Business Standard