Tracing footsteps to the discussion...
Counting some of the best Bajaj MomentsI still recall how my childhood, and that of those who once piggybacked on scooters, had plenty of Bajaj moments. This was no ordinary means of commuting. It was a family possession, a conversation starter, iconic & classic at the same time and faithful like a stallion with horsepower of its own. A Bajaj ride with me seated along the wrong axis, i.e. with my back against my father’s back, was adventure. Counting the number of shadows and trying to define them as the scooter rode on empty roads came naturally to me. It made me feel cerebrally gifted.
My Bajaj: a spaceship, pirate carrier, tanker, a means of inflicting destruction
Growing with it & letting it grow on YOULater, as I gained vertical growth and shoulders became broader, I was trusted with carrying more household essentials, many utilities stuffed in polythene bags that I now carried in either hand. Carrying more was a matter of pride. Sometimes, the polythene cutouts would hurt. But this did not mean defeat. The ability to withstand it and still make it home with the groceries intact was about fueling my ego. When I stepped down from the scooter after such voyages, I felt stronger, a lot nearer to becoming a man.
When Worlds Collide, We Drift Apart
Can the past be awakened?This is like the perfect catch 22 situation. Our Bajaj is beyond repair. Mechanical redemption would cost us more than double of what we paid to bring it in the first place. Years of neglect have pushed it beyond restoration of any type. I am guilty to some extent and so is my father – when it first entered our family circle, we had an unspoken bond – we will lookout for each other! Then, what happened?
I know I am not the only one
This sense of nostalgia is not uncommon with Bajaj scooters that are easy to find in almost every locality of Delhi except for families who might feel ashamed of what now looks like a transportation medium worthy of people who dig into manual labor to get their daily bread. When I look back now, this isn’t about the deterioration of a classic scooter. It symbolizes of how we have evolved and at what cost. Just like my Bajaj, everything that was about holding onto the goodness of an era has become secondary. I can only wish that more people, across more families, owning something similar, will take cognizance of what is happening and at least try to restore some of it…”some” is good enough!