Bajaj Sunsets Chetak

My dad bought a Bajaj Chetak when my brother was born. The scooter was the more exciting new entry into the family than my baby brother for me. I remember dad bringing home a lemon yellow Chetak with black rexin seats. His sisters were in town and did an elaborate puja and put a garland around the handle. The memories are so vivid that I can close my eyes and smell the subtle scent of the marigolds and the strong purfume of the incense sticks stuck into the speaker of the horn. I guess mom hated the color or something and so dad got that exchanged with a sky blue one and that remained our companion throughout the childhood of my brother and me.

For the first few years, mom would hold my brother in her lap and I would stand in the front. I had a little game I used to play during our drives. I would put my palms over the speedometer to hide the reading, try to estimate the speed, remove my palms and confirm if I was right. I soon grew too tall and could not stand in the front anymore. I had to start sitting in between dad and mom and my brother started standing in the front. Like all the boys, his little game was to hold the handle and imagine that he was driving. His happiest moments would be when he would get an occassional permission to honk. When he grew up, the sky blue Chetak was the first bike he rode.

Chetak was our little open air family car with two wheels. I felt very sad when we sold the scooter and I feel the same when I read Al Kolvites' words "We have sold the last of our Chetak scooters and Bajaj Auto will not be building any more of these classics"