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Golden Memories-Bajaj Chetak losing its hold

“BULAND BHARAT KI BULAND TASVEER—HAMARA BAJAJ” was the popular slogan of Bajaj scooters which were a roaring success all over India. These lines make me nostalgic of my childhood days I spent taking rides on my dad’s Bajaj Chetak. Undoubtedly Old is gold and those memories are cherished forever.

Chetak happens to be special for my family in a special manner. Soon after my parents were married, in 1983, the registration papers of Bajaj Chetak arrived. My mom was termed lucky for the family and so was the scooter. Dad tried teaching mom driving the scooter, but it was too bulky for her to handle. She tore her saree while learning to ride Chetak. However she never let Chetak go.

I have the fond memories of dad dropping me to school on Chetak and picking me in afternoon. When I started growing I used to go walking yet remained dependant on Chetak during rainy days, waiting for dad to pick me from the school gate.

When my younger sister was born, dad got our Bajaj Chetak painted in dark green. Every major occasion in family would have been incomplete without Hamara Bajaj. Be it picking up somebody from some place, be it doing a small errand from the local market or be it any urgency, Chetak was present in every hour of need. Like a silent spectator and a strong supporter it never failed us. My dad was rushed to the hospital on the same scooter minutes before he met a stroke. How do I thank Bajaj Chetak for its support?

Its Performance made it outstanding and we were the proud satisfied consumers.
Mussorie, Sahastradhara, Rishikesh are few places at a distance of few kilometres from my home town Dehradun. We used to go for picnics there every summer vacations and dad used to prefer riding Bajaj Chetak to these places. My dad’s best friend Ashok Uncle also owned a Bajaj Scooter and he used to join us for picnics. My sis and I used to sit with Ashok uncle on his scooter and Mom of course with Dad. Those long rides to the picnics spots were so much fun through the green valleys and natural beauty. Not even once did Bajaj break down or cause a bit of a trouble!!

Bajaj Chetak had captured a major market share in India and it became a must have for every middle class Indian. Affordable prices, powerful engine, world class mileage made Bajaj Chetak class apart. Later followed Bajaj bikes keeping in mind the new generation. Yes agreed, the young MD must have studied and envisaged a huge profitable market for bikes, however there is still a section of people who identify themselves with Bajaj scooter. It will be unfair to separate them from the identity and something close to their hearts. Production of Bajaj scooter, I suggest, should not be ceased, rather can be streamlined or decreased.

UTTERLY BUTTERLY DELICIOUS-AMUL and BULAND BHARAT KI BULAND TASVEER—HAMARA BAJAJ were short listed for Guinness book of world records for the longest running ad campaigns. But Bajaj lost it to Amul pertaining to the changes they made.

When I say Old is gold, people would say that nobody sticks to typewriters or gramophones these days. However I would like to state that these old items of the past are of an aesthetic value. These unique items with golden memories should be kept alive with the common man than in museums instead.

23 Dec,2009 my second winning blog in indyarocks blog contest


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