February 17, 2018

Hamara Bajaj In Bora Bazaar




Of late it no longer feels like a long walk from Kala Ghoda to V.T since the time we took to winding our way through Bora Bazaar, dodging people and vehicles without taking our eyes off the myriad stationery and other shops and happenings along and on the narrow road that runs straight before exiting a short way off the iconic railway station.

We both revel in the old world charm of the place, from the shops, the people and the wafting conversations. It’s a place that calls to the organic nature of its character, a bazaar that’s more like a neighbourhood than a place of sterile commerce.

It helps if you’re in no hurry to get someplace, a luxury we were fortunate to have early this week, and a relief after the interminable wait for our turn with the token at the bank round the corner.

The little ‘nothings’ along the way make long walks a breeze. This time around it was the unlikely appearance of an old Bajaj scooter with an empty sidecar.


The scooter with the sidecar seemed to appear out of the blue before slowing down to find a way through the busy Bora Bazaar street. 

An old Bajaj scooter with a sidecar is not a common sight anymore though I’ve seen a few of late, so when one made an appearance with an elderly couple in crisp white that set off their presence against the alternating greys of the bazaar, the character of the street reverted ever so slightly to the good old days as I’d imagine the bazaar to be.

The gent astride the scooter kept his eyes on the jumble of the traffic ahead while the lady took in the view about her. The scooter seemed to be family, a comforting presence by the virtue of having served them for a long time, beginning with middle class aspirations for mobility, upward as well as transportation.

It was a Hamara Bajaj moment no less, even if far removed from its origins, and era.

It didn’t take long for the iconic tune to well up in my head as they floated ahead, their demeanour set firmly in the middle-class and family values from an era long gone, when a newly energised middle-class tuned in to Hamara Bajaj on their telly in the eighties.

I tried to imagine their youthful faces from three decades ago, of the moment they were handed over the scooter, their first ride together, the space they made for the third person in the sidecar. I must have smiled at the thought for I caught a worker looking at me with a bemused look on his face unless I imagined the reason behind his seeming bemusement.



We paused to let the scooter pass before catching up with it as it waited to pass a tempo carrier, blocking access to pedestrians seeking to squeeze past them. I didn’t mind in the least.  

Every once in a while, hurdles by way of vehicles jamming the considerable foot traffic are more an opportunity to pause and take in the sights jammed cheek by jowl on either side of the street than an irritant.

This is all the more true if one does not have to catch a train from V.T. which  however most people do as they stream in a single minded march, head high, eyes fixed in the direction of the exit the moment clocks strike six and offices across Fort begin to empty of workers from all over the city and beyond.

Some things haven’t changed even if the Hamara Bajaj era did!

~

I’m writing this to the tune of Aa Chal Ke Tujhe Main LeKe Chalu wafting from the kitchen. “My dad used to sing this,” K tells me as I let the song wash over the Hamara Bajaj one, reaching further back in time to an India of a time long before me.

2 comments:

Anupa said...

Interesting read...Memories of an era gone by are always welcome..just like I guess a few decades later ..we will think of today as a sweet memory decades later.

Dwiti R said...

Humara Bajaj was definitely an era !
Don't think any other has come as close...