Thursday, November 12, 2015

#Grandsire greatness





                     #Grandsire greatness


The large black and white portrait of a man in a Nehru jacket with stern eyes and a slight smile welcomed me into the grand Chettinad like home in Madurai, a temple town in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. A floodgate of memories opened up like a torrent as I kept my eyes riveted to the photograph and the bespectacled man mesmerized me to an extent that I found my paternal grandfather in flesh and blood, right before me as serious and stern as ever!
 Carbon dating my memories I heard the baritone of my Thatha “common tell, if ten bananas cost 50 rupees, what is the price of one”? The 7 year old curly haired girl trembled in fear and looked at the iron man in a ironed veshti with a spotlessly clean cream coloured shirt to get some clue for the question. The mind was a blank, more so due to the fear of the hard task master than the math itself and bananas seemed never an inviting fruit at that nightmarish moment! “Kittu,” shouted my Thatha, “this girl of yours is not at all alert , I don’t know how she is going to study!”The Q&A session ended even before it started and I heaved a sigh of relief and rushed out to play hopscotch with my buddies.
Every morning I stealthily watched my Thatha meticulously polishing his burgundy shoes and getting ready for the morning walk, the crisp shirt and pants looking new as ever and the walking stick firmly hung by the elbow. In the one hour of his absence, I would rummage his spic and span room delighted by the artefacts. The “Eiffeel tower” paper weight was always an attraction and I would caress it to my heart’s content eager to own it but never risked that temptation for fear of the aftermath. The radio would be next, tampering, twisting and turning all the knobs till a cacophony of signals and waves buzzzeddd...across. The “Hindu” daily paper neatly folded on the “easy chair” was an easy target but for the shrill cry of my mom “Suni....out of Thatha’s room now” and like a scaredy cat I saved the rest of sabotage and vandalism for the next day. Thatha reclined in his easy chair and the cryptic crossword was done in a jiffy looking at his watch to find out whether he had bettered his timings. The flute and violin recital from the radio enthralled him and words of “shabhaash” in appreciation added, to evoke my curiosity. I tried my best to recognize the worth of the music, the musician and the avid listener, but failed miserably on all the three counts!
I peeped bravely at the fully filled black and white squares of the crossword and squeaked in absolute delight and awe at his alacrity much to his exasperation and promptly ticked me off! He had his breakfast at eight in the morning, a meagre meal of two idlis with chutney and washed it down with a hot cup of coffee. He was a slave to the clock and all his activities were ruled by the hour hand! His waking up, bath, meals, radio time, read hours all were timed to perfection.
A strange kind of rapport grew between us, two divergent poles, one, a tyrant and a dictator, and the other a wide eyed snooping meddler! Years rolled by and I graduated from a headstrong fiend to a mellowed desirable teenager imbibing his qualities of straightforwardness, honesty, discipline , determination, punctuality and of course the love for the cryptic and the math but never to come anywhere close to his prowess! In my growing up, I learnt a lot about the grandsire from my dad and the fondness for this paternal forebear grew in leaps and bounds and he became an icon, an unmatched noble character. He lost his wife, my grandmother at a very young age and single handed brought up five children in an impartial manner that started from the same type clothes they wore to the same harsh upbringing with the same quantum of punishment, eventually making them successful individuals. A civil engineer by profession, he worked in the public works department of the government, an upright equitable officer dreaded by those working under him. Nothing could allure him and any attempt to grease his palms was dealt with mercilessly. Many roads and bridges have his trademark style of perfection and the most notable one is the bridge across periyar river in Aluva which stands as a testimony to his greatness.

                     
The iconic bridge built by Thatha in Aluva, near Kochi
                             
His name 'T S Narayanaswamy' etched in the plaque
 
            



He nurtured, cared and lived life in his true inimitable fashion that is nonpareil. He rarely laughed, mingled, watched TV or partook in festivals and rituals and kept to himself and his routine. When I got married, he had a natural affinity for my husband primarily due to the fact that he was an engineer, a non smoker and a teetotaller, the basic requirements to get the passing grades from him. My hubby was drawn to him like a magnet for his discipline and meticulousness and both were in awe of each other. When my Thatha fell sick, Sriram nursed him to good health and maintained the same sense of perfection in keeping the medicines and other essentials. And then the Patriarch changed, it was like the Sun rising from the west, he cared to crack a joke or two, woke up Sriram early in the morning and both watched cricket much to my amusement. But his tryst with time continued unabated and his stature as a grand dad grew taller in my eyes.

I was filled with pride at his fair non discriminate virtue and even though I have never sat on his lap, ruffled his hair or hugged him or listened to a fairy tale and enjoyed the warmth and affection of a grandfather, he was made of greatness that left a lasting impression. And when the big banyan tree fell, I wept alone for a Thatha who was unique, rare, exclusive, solitary and one and only one!




So dear readers, what do you think about this 

                           


glorious association? Tell me the answer and you could be the winner!
The #madeofgreat campaign is the first time Tata Motors is undertaking an overall brand association campaign with a brand ambassador. It rides on a strong consumer motivation of ‘Seeking Excellence’ and ‘Self Belief’ which is showcased by the confluence of two global brands-Tata Motors and Lionel Messi. The campaign builds upon Tata Motors’ DNA of trust, authenticity, reliability, simplicity, as well as its commitment to innovation.

Lionel Messi is talent galore with conviction and is an icon for today’s youth. He is a winner who is trustworthy, reliable, pioneering, simple and driven by self-belief, which is what is at the core of Tata Motors as well. Thus, proving to be an ideal fit for the role of Global Brand Ambassador.​


49 comments :

  1. You have brought out the greatness of the man and the high points in his personality.A stickler for time,meticulous and nothing slovenly in his habits,a high integrity and personal rectitude,ability in his work,disciplinarian with fairness and an undemonstrative affection describe the great man.Such people evoke awe and slight fear but truly have hearts soft as marshmallow.A glowing tribute indeed..

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    1. Sir, your flowery language has further enhanced the beauty of a character that is unblemished and one in a million! Merci

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  2. Dear Suni
    Fantastic ! So authentic a description of the patriarch as possible ! I was moved to tears. Please send this to all sons and grand and great grand children
    Appa

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    1. Thank you appa...I am honoured and touched by your words, will definitely send it to the thaths clan!

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  3. The story of a Legend in himself - that's how I will describe it in a short sentence. Very well written with snaps which enhance the simplicity yet greatness of the man.
    My answer: Tata is a name which any and every person can rely on for its honesty, commitment and perseverance. Lionel Messi is a legend who has carved his name in history books with total dedication to the game, simple living and improvisation which is seen with each game he plays. The association of Tata Motors and Lionel Messi as their Brand Ambassador will definitely give an edge to the Tata group over its competitors solely because the brand Ambassador also holds the same reputation of not letting his fans down ever, like Tata Motors who have given the best to the world over the decades. Its an exemplary association par excellence.

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    1. I guess we are in the midst of many legends...Thanks UK for the valuable thoughts!

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  4. Really touching and a true recollection and depiction of the great man! We all should read your account and imbibe these good qualities. Only after reading your essay we realise his goodness. Hats off to you
    Syamala- mother

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    1. I am deeply honoured to be showered with encomiums from you amma and I cherish each and every word ..

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  5. A touching post indeed. Defines your precious relationship with your Thatha.

    I feel Lionel Messi and Tata Motors are the kith and kin of the same team (an international brand), share similar goals (long-term international growth) and are here to stay for the long run.

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    1. Appreciate your accolades here Gauri and yes..Messi is indeed a " messiah " for Tata and vice versa!

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  6. Hi Sunita my first time here, this post reminded me of my thatha in a way. I have never sat on his lap, ruffled his hair or hugged him or listened to a fairy tale either. But the bond that we have shared is etched in memories.What I find amazing is that bloggers like you and me find our inspiration in people whom we love-our parents, grandparents, siblings and friends. It is a pleasure reading such posts where you can feel the same connect. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to speak about our people who are #madeofgreat. Messi is a brand by himself, he says it took him 17 odd years to become an overnight star. Thanks to his collaboration with TataMotors as a global ambassador, we are getting to know about him more! We are getting to know about more amazing people in this world through posts such as yours. Cheers! :-)

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    1. Hello Dr Raksha...great to host you on my show and yes it is a wonderful feeling to talk about people who made and make lasting impressions in our lives...they do become celebrities for us ..
      A team effort for Tata and Messi to outshine their competitors ..truly said.

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  7. Suni, your description about thatha in few paragraphs is really very touching. In my little experience I had with him, I can only sum up this great person as a “true gentleman” & from bottom of my heart I say that I can’t get yet another person like him in my whole life.
    Messi & Tata motors are both in the same league to achieve the GOAL by creating history.

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    1. What a glowing eulogy from a person who has had the opportunity to come close ( though short) to a exceptional character such as Thatha...

      Tata and Messi, a deadly combination that has firmly set their " goals" in sight!

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  8. Very illuminating write up indeed. Kudos.

    Speaking of the great union of Lionel Messi with Tata Motors, I strongly feel it is a privilege for the Tata group to be associated with Lionel Messi.

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    1. Thank you Rio for honouring my blog page...
      I think the privilege is mutual as both are good strikers in their respective fields!

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  9. The origin of two distinct giants were ordinary but their rise to such glorious heights becoming global icons is due to sheer determination, hard work, dreams and sincerety.
    Well written amma!

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  10. What a surprise to find you Adarsh here...thanks a gillion..it means a world to me!

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  11. Granddad, lovely! I too share a granddad of the same qualities and could relate to many things in this post. Beautiful moments of remembrance and those tiny moments when I had an opportunity to see him with wet eyes when I just came out of a near death incident. Thanks for this post. I am so lost in these memories that I could only which Tata Motors and Lionel Messi have a long association for making such an beautiful aspect part of this program.

    Best
    Katie
    Admin
    Chennai Focus

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    1. Happy that this post has made you nostalgic,connecting and correlating with the events here! We are indeed fortunate to have such inspiring souls around us and thankful to Tata motors and Messi for giving us this opportunity to reminisce about such great influencers in our lives!

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  12. A lovely read Sunita. Its touching to see how deeply your grandfather influenced you even without consciously trying to do so. Such is the aura around some people who create a deep uplifting impact with their overall personality of demeanor. It is natural that you feel the pride when you see his name etched on the plaque near the bridge.

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    1. Somali, thank you for appreciating this piece and yes, the imprints engraved on the sands of time by my grandad leaves a lastng impression and the plaque is an endorsement of the same.

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  13. Very touching post. It is moment of pride to see your grandfather's name etched on the plaque near the bridge.
    Lionel Messi and Tata Motors association leaves an impact on the society as they worked hard in their own way to attain goals.

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    1. All players in different fields big or small do leave an impact on us but few among them create an impression that last a lifetime...thanks Chandrika for your valuable thoughts.

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    2. Suni- tears rolled down my cheeks as I was reading your wonderfully hand picked phrases and anecdotes. Kudos to you Suni. Many people did not like him for the simple fact that he was a disciplinarian . If he was given to certain tough attributes one should realise that he lost his life partner when needed most. I am one of the fortunate sons of the patriarch.That he brought us up sacrificing some of his personal comforts is what I admire in him most. There were many unpleasant events in his life in which I can proudly say that I was involved as a staunch supporter of my father and which I wish to refrain from elaborating. Your write up is the greatest tribute to that unflinching character.
      Lots of love

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    3. Periappa, I am deeply honored and humbled by the encomiums showered on me, honestly do not know whether I deserve them. You are indeed lucky to be the scion and a proud progeny of the man of integrity and truly carrying on his legacy. You have bequeathed all of his great qualities and endowed with his blessings. Danke Periappa.

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  14. Suni, brought tears to my eyes. I cannot express myself as well as you have penned down your thoughts. But I could feel every word that you have said, every corner of thatha's room, his easy chair,his shoes, radio etc. It is such a coincidence that only yesterday I was telling one of my friends about thatha's easy chair and how we would do anything to get a chance to sit on it when he was not around. I treasure the letters he wrote to me when I was in Abu Dhabi. Thank you so much for bringing back all those memories. Great work, beautifully written. Thatha will be proud of you sister!

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    1. Meena Thangachi, I am choked for words and bereft of expression for the profound impact of my post on you, and extremely glad that you went down memory lane and relived all those glorious moments. Yes, Thatha's room and his 'easy chair' was an enigma much like the man himself! I am moved beyond words at your brazen outpourings and your personal experiences with our beloved Thatha! HUGS!

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  15. The great values and words reverberates like it's alive today. I am sure if you could pen more, you would have gone on and on, bringing old times to present and we would have still enjoyed the selection of words and related to it well..
    They were special, perfect in virtues and values and your tatha was sure one of them..

    I had known him less then but through you, now, known him more.

    Such values and disciplines are with which the new India was formed and which we so much miss now...

    May we see more of them...

    Great writing Suni (if I might call u so) Great. It made my wife Meena cry..

    As William Wordsworth said, "immotions Recollected in tranquility"

    N.Sankar

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    1. Sankar, I am truly overwhelmed by the spontaneity of your thoughts and words. I am delighted that the grand sons-in-law too have the same endearment, regard and observation about Thatha. Also happy that this post has evoked a feeling of nostalgia and pleasant remembrances and encouraged to know that it has served its purpose well which I had so earnestly desired! I am really getting high with the overdose of praises! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

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  16. Dear Sunita, I am spellbound after reading about your Thata ( Grandfather ). You are sheer lucky to learn so many of the best habits from him. It must have been such a hard task to raise 5 children without the spouse. And most commendable is that Thata succeeded 100%. I can imagine your love and regard for this grand persona.
    Association of TataMotors' with Lionel Messi spells Grand Success Story to me as well as to all human-kind , cause when Two Great forces join together their strength and merits multiplies and rewards are highest. Tata means Trust , Power , Humanity , Philanthropy , high and modern technology , futurist vision plus much more. Lionel Messi is Talent extra-ordinary , hardworking , passionate , humble , tough body, fearless mind plus passion galore. I am absolutely sure that coming together of these two legends will be fruitful and wonderful.

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  17. Thank you Sujata for gracing my blog and making the observations about my #madeofgreat person. Even though I may have imbibed some of his glowing qualities but I do not stand anywhere near the magnificent personality.
    You hit the nail on the head about the two stalwarts, the coming together of which is a 'perfect formation' !

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  18. I love the way you described your Grandfather! Your narration is so profound that I was hooked to it till the end. A wonderful post about a wonderful man! Love it, Sunita. :)

    As for the answer: Messi is the absolute best in his field. An association with him is sure to provide a great boost to the already prime reputation of Tata Motors’! This combination is the start of a great era, where Indian workmanship will be renowned all over the world. Undoubtedly, a great move for the Indian automotive Industry. :)

    One friendly advice: Please refrain from using the font you have used, keep it simple. It sways attention and disturbs the flow. Hope you don't mind! :) Shall visit your blog in the future too.

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  19. Merci Radhika for the panegyric comments on this post and appreciate your lingering presence here.
    However, I am surprised at your observation regarding the font - it is not garish or flashy but simple flowing handwriting and I believe it adds a personalized touch to the essay.

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  20. Hey Sunita, lovely post, heartfelt! I started reminiscing about my Aajoba as I read about yours. Whatever their personalities, they always share a great bond with us. Mine was one of the closest friends I've ever had and I miss him terribly.
    As regards Messi-Tata, a marriage of Messi's excellence and the Tata brand durability can only take the brand 'forward'.

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  21. Appreciate your thoughts Leena on this post, yes all forefathers by whichever names we call them are truly and remarkably great! Glad that this post has taken you down memory lane to longingly remember your Aajoba!

    You bet the fusion of Messi and Tata is remarkable and they are going from strength to strength!

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  22. Such a beautiful heart-warming read... how inspiring the relationship that shaped your life and values in the due course of time. Truly, our grandparents are a real gift in our life teaching the valuable lessons that we need to imbibe in our life as we grow up and get out to face the world.

    Coming to the association of Lionel Messi with Tata Motors, Tata is a name in which the Indians trust and believe in and Messi is the God of Football, a genius and a magician with the world at his feet, so the coming together of the two is really purely "Made of Great"!

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  23. Thank you Arti and I am drooling in your adulation, yes our grandparents are people who we venerate.
    Loved your comment on the great combination!

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  24. This is nostalgic and truly heartwarming write up.

    Answer to your question :
    Tata Motors has earned the goodwill from giving the best and innovative Automobiles and it is also known as one the best Automobile Manufactures. And if you see the Lionel Messi , his throughout dedication, zeal , targeted goal of life and technically soundness make him big, achiever and remarkable position in the world.
    As per me, the association of Tata Motors and Messi is a grand amalgamation of two legendary entities of the world, and their amalgamation will definitely break down the clutters and affect the cut throat competition of Tata Motors. Tata motors will sure get a huge preference by the fans of Messi. This will sure make a record of Tata motors in the world of production or may be the highest selling automobiles.
    Tata motor’s main target is to give an impression on the large amount of crowd and this can be achieved only through the Messi, because the youth generation is crazy for MESSI and this can be smart move and a great achievement for Tata Motors they positioned MESSI as their BRAND AMBASSADOR .
    In the nutshell, Tata Motors , Messi joining hands will definitely give more soundness in technicality of promotional strategies and Messi’s influence will influence the audience for choosing Tata Motors and expand the business drastically.

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    1. Thank you Bhawna for visiting my blog.
      A very elaborate answer to the question indeed!

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  25. What an amazing writer you are. You just made me feel through your post, not just read it. Amazing description about an amazing man. Your grand dad is a man of uniqueness, vigour, charisma and cool. I'd definitely visit your blog again, this is not merely a contest-visit.

    For the question,
    Passion is a driving force behind both Messi and Tata motors. It energises the former to be a passionate footballer, scoring goals and winning matches for his country and pushes the latter to come up with innovative yet technocratic machines enabling the racers to hit the roads with unexplainable happiness.

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    1. Welcome to my blog and humblef by your observation.
      Yes, passion do make us to excel.

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  26. Hi Sunita Ji
    Indeed a nicely written post. I wish you good luck for the contest
    Here is my answer
    The association of Tata Motors with Lionel Messi is that of two greats. Lionel Messi has been exceptionally talented who with his hard work, determination and sacrifices has got better and tougher in his chosen sport so is the Image, reputation and quality of TATA Motors that have transformed brilliant ideas into masterpieces of engineering and created a brand and products that we are so proud of as Indians. Lionel Messi has transformed his body and the mind body co-ordination into a masterpiece of precision and excellence it would not be wrong to say that Lionel Messi is the TATA Motors of sports where as TATA Motors is the Lionel Messi of vehicles both giants in their own spheres driven by the drive to excel and lead by example. So Lionel Messi is the best choice for becoming the brand Ambassador for TATA Motors
    When I say this I cannot help but see the parallels between your Thatha and your husband both not just belonging to the same profession but also driven by the same set of values.
    Your portrayal of your grandfather is brilliant and makes me feel as if I am face to face with the brilliant engineer.
    aaloke19@gmail.com

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  27. Gracias Alok..Glad that you have made a connect not only with Messi and Tata but also with my grandad for the values they behold!

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  28. Your post describes #madeofgreat so well that it has winner written all over it. Good luck for your entry.
    Here is my answer.
    Like minds think and act alike looking at the track record of TATA Motors it has stood the test of time and built a business that was built using bricks of hard work on a foundation of trust. Authenticity, reliability, simplicity, as well as its commitment to innovation are the trademarks of brand TATA Motors. These same qualities are present in Lionel Messi who with his immense talent has made a mark for himself on the international football field .Facing all hardships he has worked hard toiling on the fields and in training sessions facing injuries and pressure to come out trumps and be a winner. Thus these two greats Lionel Messi and TATA Motors are made for each other .There association is a bond of two legends
    In case you pick me a winner my email id is : princess09hema@gmail.com
    Fingers crossed :)

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  29. Your post defines #madeofgreat to the hilt. Goodluck for the contest
    My answer is:
    Authenticity, reliability, simplicity, as well as its commitment to innovation are the pillars of strength on which TATA have built a brand that has put India on the global map. It is a brand that has stood the test of time just like Lionel Messi who tackles opposition on the field with his skill,agility,strategy,brilliance and raw power to reach and score a goal so has been the track record of TATA motors who has become a brand leader and a global giant. These qualities make TATA Motors and Lionel Messi perfect partners who stand for the same set of values thus Lionel Messi is the perfect brand ambassador to represent TATA Motors.
    Hope my best to be a winner here; do contact me for the prize at mahima2014j@gmail.com
    fingers crossed

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  30. Hey Sunita,Lovely post ,actually drilled me from within!! Kudos..well for the answer for your question -
    It seems it is a wedlock of two functional bodies with similar strengths..i.e Trust ,Reliability & assurance of emerging as a winner.

    TATA brand name itself spreads a positive aura & by choosing Forward player Lionel Messi as Tata Motors Brand Ambassador clearly depicts their Code of conducts & signifies that something big ,reliable ,long lasting is awaited to be launched by them.
    Just as arrival of Messi on the ground spreads cheer amongst the fans & panic among the competition ,similar would be the future of Tata motors when they launch their products be in small medium or elite segment. All of us should say..hey wait..Tata motors is launching something with best design ,best features & best price..No competition will stand against them!

    Well ,that’s the trust we have in them & this amalgamation is certainly a reflection of it! Both are #madeofgreat

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  31. Yours is a very well written post your .Its is a very nice description of #madeofgreat
    TATA Motors is a brand associated with performance, endurance and excellence. These words are also synonymous with Lionel Messi who plays as a forward and weaves his magic on the football field.Just as Lionel Messi is considered the best footballer in the world ,TATA motors which is Indias premier automotive manufacturer gives wheels to the people of India with its wide range of vehicles. Both believe in excelling in whatever they do and set examples for others to follow. They compliment each other as both are reliable trustworthy and leaders thus Lionel Messi is the natural choice as the brand ambassador of TATA Motors
    Please consider me as a winner
    Email: yagneshbjoshi10099@gmail.com

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  32. Your post defines #madeofgreat in an awesome manner.Very well written and interesting post indeed.
    My Answer
    Tata Motors is a brand that makes durable vehicles, with its MADE IN INDIA mark makes every Indian proud. It is a brand seen globally as Trusted, Reliable, Innovative and at the forefront of technology. In its journey since inception it has overcome all odds, competition, and adversities with grit and determination. These same qualities are associated with Lionel Messi who was very talented and hardworking from a very early age. With each game that he played he kept improving his skills and built a career to become one of the best player of professional football. There qualities make both TATA Motors and Lionel Messi giants who perfectly compliment each other and Lionel Messi the right and perfect Ambassador who stands for the same values that TATA Motors does.
    bhuwan198grover@gmail.com

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Stop by or stumble or take a forced break and share your wonderful thoughts , I am waiting with bated breath!!!