Tuesday, December 15, 2009

adieu


The New Year is synonymous to change as we bid goodbye to the old and welcome the new. This year I am very nostalgic about the Bajaj Scooter as we bid farewell to this icon with a heavy heart. The scooter has been a part of the life of every Middle class Indian and even if they did not own one.

The Message from the president said: “We have sold the last of our Chetak scooters and Bajaj Auto will not be building any more of these classics. Bajaj Auto has"retired" the Chetak tooling and closed the plant……”


I remember those teenage days as I first learned to ride a scooter and it wasn’t easy to synchronize the clutch and the gear and the accelerator. A smile crossed my lips as I thought of the college days when a friend wanted to try the scooter and nobody was ready to ride his pillion. I had volunteered and he managed to get us airborne followed by a nose dive to the amusement of all others.
A few years later I moved to Delhi and I had my own scooter, a Bajaj chetak and it was my companion as long as I lived there. I have very fond memories of those days but I also remember quite vividly the two near death experience on the Delhi road. On one occasion a Blue line Bus pushed me so hard that I got quashed between the bus and the pavement fortunately I was unharmed but my chetak took the pressure and developed a crack right in the middle of the chassis. Living up to its name on this occasion as it was named after “Chetak” the legendary horse of Indian warrior Rana Pratap Singh.
The Bajaj Chetak was a very popular homemade motor scooter produced by the Bajaj Auto Company. The original design was based on the Italian Vespa Sprint. We can still recall those days when waiting lists for Bajaj scooters stretched into years and people were willing to pay a premium equal to the original cost to possess one of those. This became the symbol of resurgent India and was a popular wedding gift in certain parts of Indai. I remember people trying selling their allotment at a premium and some trying to get hold of foreign quota to get their hands on one.

Bajaj’s long-running advertising campaign ‘hamara Bajaj’ will continue to find resonance in the ears and minds of the people of our generation while the young generation will never know how much the life has changed after the economic liberalization of the nineties!! And will never see the scooter being tilted on one side and kick started to glory…..

Watch the video here

6 comments:

  1. Oh how sad. It always makes me melancholy when I read of such things.

    My husband recently sold an old classic car (TVR 1967)as he had very little time to work on it the past few years. It needed a good home and tlc but we miss it so. It was the car he picked me up in for our first date and it is sad to see it go.

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  2. Oh, I so enjoyed the clip!
    I think I can relate to this, it is interesting how we develop affection for objects, that might be simple, but which represents the simpler (often better) in life.
    Zuzana

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  3. You got me all nostalgic..we had one at the time we got married(not a gift but his khoon pasine ki kamai),those were the best days.A car i.e.Maruti800 later hijacked all the fun away.

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  4. Thank you for making me smile over my own 2-wheeled growing up in the US.

    Glad I saw you at Kavita's

    Aloha, New Friend!


    Comfort Spiral

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  5. "Hamara Bajaj" is the classic ad featuring people from all walks of life. As a teenager I was scared to drive this in the beginning because of its bulgy hind side. Being the first, it will always be favorites for us and will be a sweet memory forever.

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  6. Thanks for sharing!! Brought back many nice memories!!

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