The Jealous BMW !

There is a clamour around the decision to send taxis that have worked their wheels over 25 years, to the scrap yard !

The last word on the resilient Mumbai taxi is yet to be written. Perhaps it never will be. For all of Mumbai, Taxi means a black and yellow old world Premier Padmini. And thats not going to change in a jiffy !

Much has been said and read about the London cabbie. And some about the New York cabbie too. However, in my opinion, to have been a cabbie in Mumbai is indeed high in the pecking order of cabbies of the world ! It is not easy to have the forces arraigned against you. Always ! Thats one reason !

The old world engine that should long been buried, still turns the wheel and rubs off the road ! That should get Henry Ford twist in pride !

The door still locks, with a distinct metallic flourish. The radiator still needs physical water filling. The gear lever is on the steering shaft. There are two benches with backrests, that go by the name of seats.

A small pulley works on the window glass and closest that you could get to a seat belt are ropes that would bind your luggage to the boot or the roof grill! Read this. And air-conditioning..well, there is the ‘Mumbai air’ in a ‘certain condition’ that you are sure to get ! And that’s pretty much it !

But here is the bottom line. They get you from point A to point B. Sometimes they fleece. Other times they are ok. ( But the fleece tribe is part of the mainstream nowadays, arent they ?). You will get basic courtesy and experience the odd petulance. In the world of perennial ‘hurry dom’ it is but rare for people to expect more !

In the times of push button technologies, engines with horse powers that discredit horses and their powers and other material comforts that make cars almost a dwelling place, it indeed is nice to see the old taxi share the same road !

After all this romanticising, when the beads appear on the forehead when you travel in a ubiquitous taxi and the rough road says ‘hello’ more often than you would want to reciprocate, you understand that this car was a ‘luxury’ some years back !

On Dussera. Eastern Express Highway. Mumbai

And at Dussera, the taxiwallah adds his dash of pink to the number plate and the string of leaves across a dented radiator grill, and adds paper baubles from the bonnet to the roof, with a fervour and a passion that has to be seen to be believed.

I only wonder if the BMW with a million hoofs inside the bonnet, and zillion gadgets to keep you happy……feels a trifle Jealous !

9 thoughts on “The Jealous BMW !

  1. Aleta says:

    I love the decorations on the bonnet (so funny to see that word for what we call the hood, but bonnet is appropriate if you are going to dress it up like that).

    It doesn’t take the latest and greatest of things to enjoy what is there and the history behind it.

    Enjoyed your post!

  2. Ms Cris says:

    reply to last line – hehehe the black and yellow certainly looks more adorable 🙂

  3. Kavi :

    I am absolutely positive that the BMW burns with jealousy (what with all that superrich fuel , heavy energy consumption etc etc). We have a 35 year old Fiat, which has reached its retirement along side me. Besides the old style stuff you describe, at one point the Mumbai weather so corroded the car, that if you removed the floor mats in front, you could see our special Mumbai potholes thru them. Which fancy car will give you this facility . And we dont glide, we rumble. And every wants a Hummer …..

  4. Pearl says:

    Even in Minnesota we have heard of the legendary Mumbai cabbies, the fearless masters of the road!

    I’m thinking any car would be jealous of the attention shown that decorated cab. WOW. Art on wheels.


  5. KK says:

    Vanakkam… 😀

    Fiat Padmini is an all time favorite for my father. He had one till almost a year back…. Actually many in my family are big fans of this car… I too like it, may because I learnt driving in it.

    Very nice post, brought back many old memories about the car that my father had…

  6. Vinesh says:

    cannot even imagine a different body for the historic cab 🙂

  7. Jeevan says:

    That’s they say old is gold 🙂

  8. Priya says:

    Old is gold Kavi. To me watever cars I see my best bet or favorite is Ambassador coz I enjoyed my lifetime with my family in it and even when I go back.

  9. Kavi says:

    Aleta : Ah ! The hood and the bonnet..! Hmm..language as a cultural artefact. Thanks ! Imgaine having all vehicles decked up like that…

    Ms Cris : well, the black and yellow, is so ubiquitous that one cant miss it !

    Ugich Konitari : LOL ! That was one heck of a comment ! I enjoyed the last word..everybody wants a hummer. Now, i dont wonder why !!!


    Pearl : REally !!! Thats neat to hear. I guess somebody ought to tell them that they are famous..whatsay ! 🙂

    And ah yes..Art on wheels ! Indeed

    KK: Where the hell have you been ? Wonderful to have you back here.Thanks for the comment

    Vinesh : I would agree with you..! Completely !

    Jeevan : They didnt say it just like that..they meant it i guess !

    Priya : Yes ! I agree ! When articles get rooted into memories..they are indeed a powerful combinations !

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.