Perceptions please..

Conducting a Perception study on what Indian youth have to say about some ageless brands in India. Brands include Amul, Ambassador, Maruti, Titan and Bajaj. We are looking at Truly Indian brands that are made in India for India.

Some questions which want your perceptions/views/critical comments include Whether these brands are associated with the country’s progress towards complete self reliance and economic supremacy or are they a relic of the British Raj? Are we still carrying huge chips of the colonial block on our collective shoulders?

Much ado made about the Common Wealth Games.. lack of preparation, money being swindled, taxpayers money and nothing to show for it, pathetic CWG village, etc etc..My question: Countries under the CW fold fought long and hard for their independence, some bloody some peaceful, some long and hard and some not as much..Yet, collectively the CW nations comes together to celebrate the CWG games, is this relevant now? What does the CWG signify anymore to the CW countries.

Ambassador is still associated with India and mostly Indian bureaucracy. Does the Ambassador car have any significance now? Will it be possible to associate the Ambassador with new age living for Indian youth? Can we make this a cultural symbol of India: -Sturdiness=India’s unshaken democracy; Looks=India’s simplicity and steadfast nature; Capacious interiors=India’s renowned hospitality and encompassing melting pot nature. Are there are other things of the Ambassador that make it a great symbol of what we call India.

Amul – The Taste of India. The slogan says it all. Is Amul ready to survive the onslaught of the Baskin Robbins and the Haagen Daaz? What more does Amul need to do?

Titan, Maruti and Bajaj- The trio represent Indian innovation having successfully scaled up to reach mass commercial appeal and continue their success story but is this the end of a new beginning for the TRIO?

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Contrived

That’s what I thought when I saw the Santro for the first time. Perhaps, the lack of a driving license explained this as I saw a lady colleague pull into the parking lot in her sparkling new Santro. Perhaps this envy also explained the distaste for the Santro which looked like a ballooned Maruti 800. Years later, I still have that distaste despite the rave reviews.

Realise now that this was in some way due to the lack of disconnect. I had no memories associated with the automobile unlike a 800 or the Raja car-the Ambassador.

Still remember the thrill I had when I sat in the first car, a white Ambassador that looked like a baby dumbo… sturdy, sweet and drew a smile every time I saw it or sat in it.

This was likely more to do with the owner of this White Giant, my uncle. A huge rollicking man with the biggest moush I had ever seen and a snout that matched the moush. Those boiled toffees he carried (Don’t know if you remember this, a Parry’s coconut toffee and a hardboiled toffee in a green wrapper) and the ever-willing chauffeur to us band of rowdy kids. We could soil his Ambassador with our toffee-stained hands and jump up and down on the seats which seemed more a billowy sofa. This was so unlike, years later when an aunt had us wash our hands and wipe our legs before she let us sit in her precious Opel, which was lined with newspapers and plastic covers to protect its interiors against the ‘still’ rowdy band of now-adults.

The Raja Amby bore us around the seven hills to Palani; witnessed many a squabbles among various factions in our HUF (around 30 of us at any point in time). Our beloved ambassador was a part of the family till we lost THE Man to cancer.

One of the hilarious and memorable trips was a road trip to our village and from there to several villages across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and almost Kerala as we renewed acquaintance with family members we never knew existed. Our Amby bore us valiantly as we criss-crossed paddy fields, water-bodies, tranquil peanut fields and merry sun flower farms, vast tracts of greenery that seemed endless and serene; indulged our gourmet selves with idlies, pongals, dosas and vadas along shacks on the roadside (naa, we were too young and foolhardy to know gastro or dilli-belly was) with water from the nearest brooks; We took bath in huge water tanks meant to irrigate the fields and little rivulets our states seem to have which got our naïve selves debating why we still complain of water shortage and droughts.

Our road trip in this sturdy giant had us appreciate nature and its many-splendoured spectacles. We lost count of the number of peacocks, mongoose and foxes we saw along the way. Not to mention wild fowls, a few snakes, egrets, cormorants, ducks and our friend The Jumbo..