Tuesday, 4 October 2005

The Kolkata Taxi

Currently they maybe seen in their 'yellow with royal blue strip around the waist' avatar, but this was not always the case. There was a time when most of the city cabs were just yellow. And then again there was the time when all of them were half black and half yellow. However, one thing that I haven't seen change in these past two decades is the fact that the taxi's themselves are invariably the Hindustan Motors Ambassador.

And today the wisdom in this dawned on me as I sat in one of these behemoths as it carried me over the sea of potholes and tramline ruts that passes for central Kolkata thoroughfares. I was imagining what would happen to my teeny-weeny Alto if it were to face such a situation. Very possibly it would have disappeared right into one of the gaping manholes that appear suddenly in the road! (Oh, the manholes have covers and all, it's just that they form depressions in the road whose depths can be measured in feet!) The Amby of course had no trouble negotiating these minor hurdles, and why not, the suspension is the one used in most TATA six-plus-wheeled trucks!!

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