Hey guys! This is my first post on TAI
. I am really looking forward to interacting with fellow enthusiasts and hope to be an active member of the forum for many years to come.
So a bit about myself - My name is Kedar Bindu and I am basically from Aurangabad, Maharashtra (born and brought up). But right now I am settled in Pune because of my job. I am software professional and have just completed 5 years.
I was introduced to road tripping at a very early age. I remember going to Ellora caves, Daulatabaad, and Khultabad (spots nearby Aurangabad) with my parents, on a Kinetic Honda. I used to stand in the front, hold onto the handle and feel as if I am riding the Honda myself. That feeling and joy of motoring stuck and I would ride tricycles all day, would ride my bicycle every day to school after 5th and roam around in our colony after coming home. I can still vividly remember the feeling of wind in my hairs and an empty road ahead. The Two wheelers
Because I was such a nutcase for anything on wheels, my grandfather got me a Bajaj sunny even before I turned 18. I later graduated to TVS scooty, which was actually supposed to be for my younger brother. I was on an HH splendour during junior college and upgraded to the first version of the digital Bajaj Pulsar during my engineering days. Going to school, college, classes was just an excuse to go for a ride on my pride possession so I rarely missed classes. The cars: starting with a Fiat
My Grandfather was a civil surgeon and owned a Fiat from the early batches that were introduced in India. Donít remember much about that car, except that its battery was always discharged, and was connected to a plug point for recharging all the time. Maruti 800 (2nd generation, the one with square headlights)
Later my dad upgraded to a Maruti 800. Going to my auntís place in Pune, in the 800 used to be an occasion. Since there were 5 adults in the car already, my seat used to be on top of the handbrake, on a makeshift seat of pillow and blankets. I probably concentrated on the road as hard as my father did, who would be in the driverís seat. We used to talk about whether we can overtake a truck (the roads were single lane back then and overtaking required meticulous planning and calculations).
Back in those days, my dad used to take me on a nearby ground, and allow me to steer the car while he operated the clutch and accelerator. I was fascinated by the steering wheel of a car and used to play with it a lot when I was young. Tata Indica DLE
I was on the driverís seat the moment I could press the clutch fully. We had the Tata Indica back then. This was from the very first batch. My father booked the car and got selected in the lottery that Tata conducted. It took nearly a year for that car to arrive though. But ours was the second Indica in Aurangabad. I still didnít have a driverís license, so my driving was limited to empty grounds and reversing, parking the car in our driveway. I got my driverís license on this very Indica. But by then, it was more than 5 years old, and my father was scared of the diesel maintenance which might start rearing its ugly head (peopleís perception of a diesel was still very bad back then). So he shifted to a Santro. Hyundai Santro Xing
When my father booked the Tata, he had finalized the first generation Santro. But this was dropped when we got selected in the Indica lottery. So finally after 5 and a half years, when the Xing was just launched in the market , we sold the Indica and bought a Santro. By this time I was a regular driver, and whenever I was in the car, I would be on the driverís seat. Dad was only too happy to sit in the passenger seat! Honda City Vtec (4th Generation, the one after the dolphin)
Santro was sold rather quickly, in a year and 2 or 3 months. It only had 12000 KM on the odo. My father felt the car was underpowered and needed something powerful for the highway. The City was just upgraded, and was again available with a 100 BHP Vtec motor. Looking at the cult status of the first 2 generation of VTecs, we went for the top end Honda City Vtec (chrome tipped exhaust and all). This was a great car to drive on the highway, which were getting better compared to what they were earlier. Very comfortable seats, butter smooth engine that loved to rev, fuel efficient at the same time. The only grouse I had with the car was the steering wheel, which was akin to a video game console wheel. It was very light and lacked feel and felt disconnected from the road. My very first car Ė The Ford Figo diesel ZXi
It was my dream to buy a car from my first salary. Of course, that would have been impossible, given that I didnít graduate from IIM or IIT. But I had a full-fledged plan of saving enough to buy my first car as soon as possible. As my parents were not dependent on my salary, and I didnít have a Girlfriend, I managed to save considerable amount of money very quickly. The moment I had enough, I emptied by bank account, took a small loan and got my very first car, a Ford Figo. I was always a fan of the Ford cars and had heard that they are great to drive. True to its reputation, the Figo had one of the best steering wheel this side of a BMW, it handled amazingly well, was extremely stable on the highway and had a decent ride quality. The diesel had a very small turbo lag and was sufficiently powerful. I clocked 45000 KM in three years before selling it (the reason is a completely different story, probably for some other time)
Then there was a lull of 6 months, when I used my fatherís car (who had upgraded to a VW Vento TDi highline) or my brotherís Honda Brio. My second car, the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga VDi
I am now a proud owner of a Maruti Suzuki Ertiga VDi, Granite Gray. I got the delivery on 27th June 2014. While researching for the car, I went through almost all of the ownership threads on TAI
that really helped me decide on the car. It also inspired me to join the gang and share my views, ownership experience general enthusiasm for all things automobiles. An extensive ownership review coming up shortly!