It is sad to see an iconic vehicle like the Maruti Suzuki Omni go. I’ve owned one since 1998, which I finally sold in 2018, after 20 years and 1.2 lakh km. The thing is, it still fetched a good resale price as there’s still demand for the vehicle, especially in rural India.

Back in early 1998, when I was a young journalist on a monthly salary that can barely buy you a good dinner at a restaurant these days, there was not much I could afford in terms of four wheels. I was driving my grand-dad’s hand-me-down 1964 Fiat 1100D in Bengaluru those days, but the family needed a more dependable runabout.

The demands were diverse. My mother wanted a vehicle that could transport everything from aromatic jackfruit to stinky manure. The vehicle should be…



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