It is one of the apparent paradoxes of the world of Hindi cinema that though Maruti-800 Car, the ultimate expression of middle class having been arrived has moved into the annals of history, it has seldom found expression in the cinematic oeuvre. It indeed is one of the apparent paradoxes that need to be unraveled to find the reasons why it has not found expression and whether it could be a pointer to the fact that Tata's Nano, the new small car has a chance at all to find a representation in the world of Hindi cinema.
Though it was introduced in 1984, Maruti-800 car was not preferred owing to the fact that the size of the car did not convey a sense of grandeur at all. Right from the time when the automobiles were introduced on the silver screen, it was the size that defined its presence. Therefore we had imported and battered Impalas and Chevrolets being the preferred choice of the lead players be they playing the role of a hero or a villain.
If one were to contrast with this sort of aversion with the Maruti car with those of other such diminutive sized cars in films being made in other countries, it would be found that the film makers of other countries have not been enamored by the size but have gone more with the demand of the script. Incidentally, Saif Ali Khan did drove one of the smaller versions of Kiya Car in SALAAM NAMASTE in Australia, but would he be convinced to drive a Maruti car in the Indian setting is a difficult proposition to answer. Most of the stars would be content to drive a battered Fiat car but would not be agreeable to drive a Maruti Car at all.
Is it got something to do with the fact that it was something that was really middle class and therefore identifying with it could have had a bearing on the element of exclusivity that the stars seek to convey, or is it also a fact that Maruti cars per se never used any film stars as brand ambassadors to sell the cars so the stars also consciously or sub-consciously tried to keep it out of the cinematic exposition.
Another reason why Maruti may not find such a connect with the world of Hindi cinema could be owing to the strong and ubiquitous presence of Fiat cars in the landscape of Mumbai, and as majority of films have Mumbai as the background, the Maruti cars, which were more an identity associated with North India lost out as a vital motif of the social landscape of the country. It may be a small gloss over of the social landscape but it could have a bearing when the history of Maruti car is chronicled. May be, for posteriori sake, somebody would take the cudgel.