An Ode To The Ambassador Mark III

The iconic car from Hindustan Motors - a symbol of Indian industry and ingenuity will not be manufactured any more 

7/14/2014 12:34:10 PM
written By : Anuradha Khandelwal Print

Ambassador or Amby as it was fondly referred to has been a witness to my growing years. Being the dealers for Hindustan Motors in the North-east of India, we always saw a string of these cars - from the hunchback version of Mark I to Mark II to the Mark III that I was most familiar with.

In our garage there was my father’s favourite, the two-toned Hudson and my cousin's favourite Mayflower in black, which we were not even allowed to go near. There was the Studebaker, which was more for picnics, but Ambys were our mode of transport. And it was in the Amby that we saw the world beyond our limited borders.

If there is ever a prize for the most spacious common car, the Amby will win hands down. Every Sunday morning all of us (and there were many as ours was a joint family) would pile into the Amby and go for a long drive with my uncle. He would park the car and then make us children run around on the empty roads. A good exercise! I remember it was such fun... and how green was the Surma Valley then... water bodies all along Rongpur, the undulating hillocks of Meherpur and following the river Barak on our way to Masinpur. Small bashas and pukurs and shupari gaanch along the way and those beautiful bamboo fences as demarcations. And the birds and flowers and rice fields. And the North Cachar Hills in a mauve blue haziness all around. After running around we would pile back into the car fighting over the window seat and reaching home hungry for breakfast.

And in 1960, when I was a little over four years, I was sent to Loreto Convent Shillong. The Amby took me along the route which I continued to travel by till 1972. From Silchar we hit Gumra and Kalaincherra and thereafter the soft hilly terrain gives way to huge mountains on one side and deep gorges and ravines on the other. We halted at Sonapur which was breathtakingly beautiful and went to the Circuit House overlooking the river below and had our packed food which was always pooris, aloo, aam ka achar and bhindi if it was summer and matar aloo or matar gobi if it was winter. And chilli pickle. One always met up with an acquaintance and sat around drinking tea. 

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