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Old 1st June 2010, 13:59   #1
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Default "18 till I die" - A tribute to the Maruti Esteem


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October, 1990.

I am 5, you are a baby, a little boy on an empty stage getting ready to be launched.
Your life, little boy is an empty page, for customer's fate to write on..
To write on...

Yes, I am just 5...
And you are just a new born baby..
A creation of Little master known as Suzuki..
You are India's first contemporary midsize car..
3 boxes of sheer passion and engineering...
Powered by a tender 970 cc I-4 heart...
Pumping out a humble 45 horses yet weighing less..

You are naam karaned a maruti 1000...
And you get launched in 2 versions...
NON AC and AC for different pockets..

You get priced betwen 4.25-4.55 lakh, a hefty premium...yet..
Yet you continue to make a decent start and venture into peoples' hearts..

Year 1. 1991.

I am 6 and you turn 1.

Achievement! WOW! an achievement!...
I am a little lad starting to just drive a bicycle and you, yes you, start to become an envy of neighbours at just 2....
Thats 2 kool? Isnt it?
Padosi says...dekho kitna amir banda hai..wadi badi gaddi chalata hai..
memsahib gets happy sitting behind while dancing to her tunes and controlling the driver with her remote..
You cossett your passengers with the country's first car with an all wheel independent suspension mounted on 13" wheels...
And yet, there are a more than 1000 smiles to own a 1000...

Year 2. 1992.

I turn 7. And I follow snow white as his 7th dwarf...
You continue to grow popular in that milky white shade....and aah!
a breath of fresh air...like a red riding hood riding in that wonderful shade of ruby red....like an alien in between predators called the ambassador and Padmini...
people continue to adore you and slowly but surely, your sales keep on increasing...
And yet, there are a 1000 babes behind you...whistling with envy...

Year 3. 1993.

The market starts to open, and you get improved....
I turn 8...inside class 3..and there comes my principal
the first maruti 1000 to be sighted in our school...
Girls become scared of me constantly poking the princi aunty...
asking for a glimpse of her newly acquired machine...
and there she allows..
thats when the time comes..to see this aathva ajooba through the eyes of a 8 year old kid...admiring the neptune blue beauty with soothing greenish grey dashboard.....
That hindi wala maruti logo on the stering wheel...so patriotic..
fitted with a philips casette player aftermarket..to make things better for her..
oops, time comes to go back home and I have to get in line... for my bus number 9...time for me to turn 9...

Year 4. 1994.

I turn 9...you turn 4..
Gosh! I envy you...I just got a bigger cycle and you,
Yes you! get a major heart transplant?
I had very high regards for you and holy cow...
achcha sila diya tune mere pyaar ka..
maine dil tujhko diya..aur..
tune mera bada dil le liya...
I became honored..I ..I ...
And I am esteemed!!!
You are called the maruti Suzuki esteem..
A whole new experience in luxury...
1298 cc of pure Japanese bliss..
65 horses of pure el jappo dance..
Hola Amigo!
You can do 0-100 in 13.5 seconds flat..
your tender body carries a big fuming heart...that can spit and chew other cars out of your exhaust...

Year 5, 1995.

I complete a decade..keep watching car-tooons..and you celebrate 5 years of passion..power..precision..perseverance...the 4 ps of success..
Competition has arrived and its time for you to up your ante..
yes, ante..no, not moving like an ant, but ante..
NO, not antey (aunty) but your ante...
OK..the guys at maruti want you to appeal to a wider base of customers..
And they give you two elder brothers..
You become the esteem LX, ek bhool bhulaiya sa bhoola hua sa bachcha...
I call you my twin bro, and you become the esteem VX.
I load you with button operated khidkiyaan, ek switch se chaar darwaaze band karne wala item, no not an item bomb but one tuch central locking..
And for my miles of listening pleasure, I feed you with a kenwood casette player..
Please don't stop the music..its getting late..

OOPS! Why am I getting late?
I am stressed..my left leg is paining like hell..
Ok, itni choti si baat? I have a solution for you.
the new esteem AX.
With a convenient 3 speed Automatic gearbox.
No clutch. Just easy automatic shifts.
And saw good bye to your driving woes forever...
But hey, yeh dil kya kehta hai?

Yeh dil ek aluminum ka banaa hai.
Its called ACE.
Yaani An All Aluminum Contemporary engine.
Lightweight. easy on power, performance and mileage.
Delight to rev.
Discovered by enthusiasts as their default choice who eant power on a budget.
Butter smooth 5 sped manual gearbox.
And a low slung driving position reminiscent of sports cars.

Well, yes, I can be called a sports car of sorts..an affordable sporty sedan for ricers..time to move on..

1996. Year 6.

Ek aur Ek gyarah. Aur hum hue 11 ke.
And you hit a six! sales peaked and people start going crazy at you..
Among them is a person who rushes to grab your keys and discovers his first car which gives him a true meaning of word power.
Woh kaun hai? I forgot..
Oops wait..
Ooh Yeah..he is Gran Tourismo Omologatto...with his new acquisition-a blue esteem VX...

1997. Year 7.

Seven stars is a dream. But a V12 motor is a distant dream..I turn 12 and keep on day dreaming for a V12...
But dheere dheere you start getting mature, bold and deliver a whole new experience..
Saat saal ke umar mein saat phere lena theek nahi lekin for that you get a whole makeover from top to bottom...
And you deliver a new lap of luxury..
Presenting the 1998 esteem. New, improved, revamped and redefined.

1998. Year 8.

I become a teen. I turn thir-teen.
And you become an aathva ajooba.
the feline looks, the tapering bonnet with a V shaped contour...
that sleek new front headlights, bonnet, bumper and airdam..
those new rear taillights with sleek additional red stop lamps and a new body colored skirts of envy..
the whole new cockpit like streamlined dashboard with easy to reah ergonomic controls..
the new front and rear contoured seats and new door trims..
power steering on VX and AX for ease and controlled driving..

yes, its time to fire the chauffeur. remember that ad?
38 eh?
"anyways, there is always next time"..
"dads always in a good mood when he drives his new esteem. trouble is, will be home soon."
"dad, can we go for a drive please?"
"yes..and I am on cloud nine. the new 1998 esteem."
A whole new experience..

1999. Year 9.

I am on cloud nine because you turn 9.
And I complete my 14 years of vanvaas on earth...
And I study on class 9!
WOW! what a coincidence..
I want to go like a rocket.
But this science is like a rocket science for me.
I meet rocket singh. R and D manager from maruti.

We greet each other an he shows me the new power version...

2000. Year 10.

A decade of success. a new millennium.
New responsibilities. Class 10 boards..OMG! it sucks!
But wait!
Do I hear what I think I'm hearing?
Do I see the signs I think I see?
Or is this just a fantasy?
Is it true that the beast is waking
Stirring in his restless sleep tonight
In the pale moonlight
In the heat of this hot April,
You and I have reason to remember

Cars write the songs that cars sing
The songs that you and I don't sing
They blow their horns and march along
They drum their discs and look so strong
You'd think that nothing in the world was wrong
Cars write the songs that cars sing
The songs that you and I won't sing
Let's not look the other way
Taking a chance
Cause if the music starts to play
We too must dance!

And I turn 15.
Dancing to the tunes of a new power instrument.
1298cc, 87 horses of pure insane madness.
0-100 in just 11.49 seconds.
I am the fastest sprinter in the country.
With a power to ratio of 99 bhp per tonne..
And my lips are chromified..
To shine while lip locking..

I turn on my ignition, launch my wings to stardom and fly high soaring in the sky..
To California..and come back gold plated in California gold..
Riviera red..for the inner soul in you..
Soothing and sweet milky white-the colour of peace..maybe sweet 16 perhaps?

2001. Year 11.

I turn sweet 16.
I would bring you flowers in the morning,
White roses as the sun begins to shine..
Sweet perfume in tiny jeweled caskets..
If I thought you had ever changed your mind..
Ek aur ek gyarah..tum hue 11 saal ke..
kaafi lambi umar hai tumhaari.

Lakhs of units sold..
that pearl silver finish gleams on your chandan sa badan..
that star lite silver finish glows and smells like chanchal ki sugandh..
That moonbeam silver smiles on me and you i say..dheere se tera yeh muskaana..
heena green..applying mehndi on my hair?
Mujhe dosh na dena jagwalon,
ho jaon agar main deewana..
chandan sa badan...

Year 12.

I turn 17.
Take you to a disco.
I listen to dancing queen..
and sing,

You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen
Friday night and the lights are low
Looking out for the place to go
Where they play the right music, getting in the swing
You come in to look for a king
Anybody could be that guy
Night is young and the music's high
With a bit of rock music, everything is fine
You're in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance...
You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen...

I come back with my babe, also 17.
Twins isn't it?
and my jaw drops.
You have changed for good.
She wants a present..
A well crafted bundle of fusion and art.

Geometry ends.
Art begins.
And heads turn.
I look inside..stay..I want you to stay..isn't it time that is running away..
make up your mind decide..and come inside.
I cocoon you in my leather and wood lined luxury.
I make a fashion statement with my gleaming alloy wheels.
And get a defogger to track competition fading by the distance.
And a power antenna to cradle you n the world of ease while you listen to your favorite FM channel, anytime, any day, be it AM or PM.

But not all get to enjoy privilege.
Only for a select few.
In superior white, pearl silver and starlight silver shades.
I am the esteem limited edition.

hey, wanna drive me?
But are you 18?
18 till I die....

2003. Year 13.

Aisa pehli baar hua hai 17-18 saalon mein.
Koi, aaya hai mere in khayalon mein.
I get my driving licence. I can drive you.
Ab tum mere ishaaron pr nachogi, sirf mere.

Ok, Ok, dance, lekin basanto, in ghodon ke saamne mat naach..
Ek min..wake up sid!
I have got a deserving makeover!
From behenji to babe!

I get rejigged!
yes, of course, I am favorite of rally drivers and drag races alike but I am a bit more sophisticated now.
I am the new esteem VXI.
With refreshed exteriors and interiors and a bit more shine than ever before.
Spoiled at the rear flaunting a rear spoiler and asking you to drive me.

Did I Ever Say Eternal Love?
Yes, eternal love. I also get a shortlived diesel option for those who want lower running costs.
Powered by a peugeot TUD5 motor, i a th new esteem diesel. india's most fuel efficient sedan that time.

September 2003.
People are broad-minded.
They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater, and even a newspaperman, but if a man does not drive, there is something wrong with him.
But no, nothing wrong with me of that sorts.
I go at a competent dealer and take a long 40 minute test drive, courtesy ek dost..
Tu dost dost na rahaa..lekin yeh dosti hum nahi todenge.
I start her. And get jiving instead of driving. She is put through her paces.
She goes like a rocket, yet cruises like a cuise missile.
her tall second gear can touch 100 in 11.4 seconds flat.
Low seating position and a butter smooth gearshift.
Harsh ride yet agile handling.
Flimsy body yet safe to drive in a controlled manner.
Cause I live to drive. And I loved every moment of putting her through the paces.
I drive in a different velocity, cause I drove the sporty esteem velocity limited edition.

2004. Year 14.

I turn 19. and you complete your vanvaas.
Time for a major makeover.
Time to fall in love again.
The all new esteem.
With a new "junior baleno" look upscale exterior, refreshed interior and a new cheaper price bracket.
My value shouts with a capital V.
I wear the emperor's new clothes.
New clear soothing look.
Clean and clear lights, new grill, bonnet and bumpers.
A sleek sporty silver finish interiors and a new upholstery.
I gain a new kenwood MP3 CD player.
Sales rise again.
The all new esteem.
Fall in love again.
Revamped, rethought, redesigned.

2005. Year 15.

I turn 20. And celebrate 2 decades of my existence on earth.
I play 20-20.
But you..15 years old..3 generations old..you are immortal!
You get cleaner, leaner, meaner and fitter.
You ditch Rudolf the red nosed diesel reindeer.
You get ready for the Euro 3 norms with a 32 bit ECU and deliver an even better mileage.
You top JD power IQS, NFO TCS and CSI study for 3 years in a row for quality and reliability.
Brand Image. You top it.
Milestones achieved.
We look forward. Your grandson is a big superstar.
He is the fuel.
He is the new swift......

2006. Year 16.

I turn 21.
I want to marry as I attain my legal marriage age.
But I cant, not so early.
You go on merrily.
Sweet 16.
Celebrate with a champagne as lakhs of units are already sold.
And you become a cult.
In the midnight sky.
You flaunt your shade of envy.
Called midnight black..

2007. year 17.

do aur do hotein hain bayees.
22 years of unbridled passion for cars.
I welcome you to the big, big world.
In my daddy's biiiiiig car!
Remember that sweet ad of a schoolgirl?
Of course I do, I do..
But sabka ek samay hota hai..its time to say goodbye.

Your eyes and my eyes haven't talked in quite a while
Seems like a lifetime since I walked beside your smile
There's a dark cloud that's hanging above..
Memories never lie,
still we talk about the way that it was..
And I think we both know the feelings haven't died.
I wasn't the one who said goodbye, oh no
I wasn't the one who disappeared in the night,
And I won't be the one to say that we can't try.

2008. Year 18.

Its final..I turn 23..but

Your touch and my touch haven't spoken for some time
You say we've both changed and you're always on my mind
Always on my mind...
I can tell you that it's over and done,
But I would only lose being close to the one that I want
So go on, and ask me if I'm still in love with you.
I wasn't the one who said goodbye, oh no
I wasn't the one who disappeared in the night,
And I won't be the one to say that we can't try.....

No, there was no need for you to ask
Oh please don't ask,
You ought to know by now,
Oh babe, I want you back.....

Sorry, I can't. I may be gone, but I am eternal. yes, eternal.

My great grandson will now guide you to a new level of desire.
I am about to get replaced with the heart car-the swift Dzire.
Oops..its ugly and pugli to the core.

You may be gone, but your great grandson is a dzirable superstar with more than 1,50,000 units sold and keeps the Indian public on wait.

How shall I bid adieu?

As you walk from my side
The tears I try to hide
Are running down my cheek
I find it hard to speak
This is our last goodbye
But darling will you please

Remember me from time to time
The one who loves you
Remember me from time to time
I won't forget you
Oh please remember me
And I 'll remember too

I watch you walk away
But in my mind you stay
An everlasting dream
To me you've always been
And please don't turn around as you walk away

Remember me from time to time
The one who loves you
Remember me from time to time
I won't forget you
Oh please remember me
And I 'll remember too....

Even when I turned 25.
And celebrate my silver jubilee with an esteemed writeup.


Creating history in the Indian automobile history as the longest running nameplate in a modern production sedan.

Yeh kahaani itihaas ke pannon mein amar rahegi...

Last edited by sidindica : 1st June 2010 at 14:02.
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Old 1st June 2010, 14:16   #2
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well Sid, only one word to describe your about true Esteemed Madness - Brilliant,

Waiting for the next episode of this Gala Series of yours, I can only Refresh my 4 year stint with this powerhouse of its times, The MPFi engine was just par above excellence and it was the precise reason that although the Esteem was dumped but its ACE was kept alive Swiftly by MUL. Well it was our first proper car (earlier we had kept Gypsy/Sumo/Qualis) but the first True car for us was a 2001 Esteem. Wow, what a car it was. The max I drove that beauty was 145 on Delhi-Agra Highway

Waiting and Waiting.

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Old 1st June 2010, 14:54   #3
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Poetic indeed, Never realized that it's been 18+2 years since it came on.
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Old 1st June 2010, 14:56   #4
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I vaguely remember reading about the MPFi Esteem when it was launched in a car magazine. The author was like after td'ing it. It was an insane monster (for its time).

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Old 1st June 2010, 15:49   #5
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You know I still have a 2004 Esteem VXi and the last 2 weeks my better half and I have been contemplating if we should sell the car and buy a hatch. It was going to be a touch decision for me since I have realy enjoyed every one of those 5 years driving it. I still miss it a lot, thanks for the lovely long post though I am not as poetic or articulate but I hear you brother.

P.S. I think my resolve just grew a bit on keeping the car instead of replacing it.
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Old 1st June 2010, 15:52   #6
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Originally Posted by sidindica View Post

Creating history in the Indian automobile history as the longest running nameplate in a modern production sedan.

Yeh kahaani itihaas ke pannon mein amar rahegi...
Well actually, the Esteem name has lived for only 14 years. As mentioned in your post itself, the car had a 1liter heart and it was called the Maruti 1000. So 18 years is not technically correct for Esteem nameplate.

And the production was stopped in Jan 1 2008, plant closed on Jan 2, the last Esteem was produced in 2007, so again it hasn't run a complete 14 years.
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Old 1st June 2010, 15:54   #7
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Aaahhh, my first second hand car Its a 2006 Vxi model and still running good. It reaches 110 at 2.5k RPM and max that i could drag her is to 140kmph on the Pune-Mumbai expressway.
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Old 2nd June 2010, 00:28   #8
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Originally Posted by ACM View Post
Poetic indeed
Wordsworth just rolled in his grave

Our Esteem was brilliant, till the MASS folks ruined it :(
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Old 2nd June 2010, 12:40   #9
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I perhaps have the oldest Esteem on T-BHP. Its a Sept 1995 model.
Its still going strong and has done over 1.2L KMS and its engine is still unopened.

Thats how good it is. If only it had a better AC.

I still love that car.
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Old 3rd June 2010, 13:02   #10
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Our '96 Esteem VX served us really well, for nearly 2,00,000 kms at that! I remember waiting for the "VX" model in March (power windows were a big thing then). The minute it was launched, we went ahead with the booking. To my dismay, Maruti didn't offer black as a colour option, so I went ahead with dark blue (used to console myself by saying "Hey it looks like black at night"). Reason I bought the Esteem? Purely because it was the power king of its times. 65 BHP, and feather light build, led to the quickest 0 - 100 of its time. We used to go ga-ga over the fact that it touched a 100 in 2nd gear.

Some noteworthy points:

- Stupendously reliable. Simple construction could take a whole lot of abuse.

- Offered good space at the time (relative to competition).

- Did I mention it was QUICK for its time? People used to lust after Esteems in '96 the same way that they did for the Vtec in 2000. It used to beat the Cielo & Astra hollow.

- Poor air-conditioner. Never did the job over summer.

- Weak power windows. Maruti's standard cost-cutting measures. They were problematic for all the 10 years that we owned the car.

- Interior design was great for its time. Loved the cuccooned feeling.

- Fuel efficiency was rather good too.

- Brakes were HORRIBLE. Not only was the Esteem under-braked, but also the brakes faded entirely after 10 - 12 kms of hard driving.

- Gear ratios were poorly matched for urban driving. 2nd & 3rd were way too tall.

- Car was a good handler (again, by 1996 standards) and was immensely agile. This was the first "powerful" car I owned, and every outstation trip was looked forward to. Solely because of the ghat sections!

- The first car that I got an alloy wheel & tyre upgrade for. Also, a 12 CD changer (big deal then).

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Old 3rd June 2010, 13:28   #11
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beautifull thread !!! its just an HAMARA BAJAJ in cars !! unmistakeble!!!
nobody in india who loves cars can ignore it by any means . it was there in our homes , in inrc , in every other comptition held in this country and everywhere!!
it is what we can not part off with whole our life . had 3 of them and enjoyed everyone of them to the limit
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Old 5th June 2010, 00:45   #12
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Esteem Vxi - 2006. My first car, I named her - 'The Black Scorpion'. Was able to push her to 140 on the bangalore - Coimbatore highway.
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Old 5th June 2010, 23:22   #13
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Sid: Your timing is awesome. Just enjoyed a long drive around coorg on my June 96 esteem. Its run 80000 kms and never troubled us. Well a mechanic was left gaping when i mentioned the age and that the color was the one from the factory.

Well i love this car and its been like a nice faithful pet in our family.

Drawbacks: Rear suspension is light
Power windows sucks
Ac does not cool but am in coorg so did manage
Brakes were the only trouble point for us
Fuel leak from the tank which was never figured out
Rats ate up a lot of the rear seat
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Old 6th June 2010, 02:32   #14
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This body shape is one of the best sedan designs from Suzuki and it's erstwhile partners who developed this car. They continue to produce this car in China which is a highly competitive market and that says something about the appeal of this design. The performance of the stock cars too is not bad at all. A car worthy of tribute.
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Old 6th June 2010, 16:29   #15
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Hey sid, 5 Days and no update on this thread, common man, seems you are beating Sam to keeping us waiting for the next update.

Pls post soon
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