Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hamara Bajaj, An Indian who stood by Indian..........

Like most middle class children in India, I have been literally brought up on it. And when I hear those unforgettable words, ‘Hamara Bajaj‘, they mean a whole world to me.
It is very difficult to imagine my Grand father without his scooter, the reliable workhorse that has stood by him, always. To me it symbolizes everything that he stands for - his sacrifices, his struggles against all odds, his perseverance, honesty and diligence towards everything, and even his love and care. It is a complete picture in itself, but pictures would be incomplete without it.
And that phrase holds for India as a whole, a complete era gone by captured by one symbol -
‘Hamara Kal, Hamara Aaj, Hamara Bajaj‘. The proverbial common man summed up in all his hopes and failures, a spirit that refused to die amidst dreams that could never fly. The ‘license raj‘ India was the potholed roads all around, and the scooter was the common man, diligently negotiating the twists and bumps on two small wheels, shouldering responsibilities much beyond his capacities but seldom complaining - those were our fathers (and their scooters), weren’t they?
How can one forget those days of ‘Hum do, Hamare do‘? It was perfect for those ‘complete family’ rides, when car was a luxury much beyond the common man’s reach and the ‘Nano’ was not even known as a dream. The humble scooter was trusted, loved and depended upon, like family. And it marched along, matching every step with the common man, taking every pothole in its stride, sometimes breaking down but never giving up. That was ‘Hamara Bajaj‘, which delivered India from the hopeless days of ‘license raj‘ to the unbound aspirations of liberalization and globalization.
And having done its job, our friend and companion for two complete generations is walking off to sunset, all by itself. All good things, they say, must come to end. But it might be more than just a coincidence that the genesis of ‘Nano’ lies in the picture of a family of four traveling on a scooter, the picture that moved and inspired Mr. Ratan Tata. Like the proverbial friend who always gives, this was perhaps the parting gift from a true friend and companion, ‘Hamara Bajaj, Hamara Kal‘.

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