The Message from the president said: “We have sold the last of our Chetak scooters and Bajaj Auto will not be building any more of these classics. Bajaj Auto has"retired" the Chetak tooling and closed the plant……”
I remember those teenage days as I first learned to ride a scooter and it wasn’t easy to synchronize the clutch and the gear and the accelerator. A smile crossed my lips as I thought of the college days when a friend wanted to try the scooter and nobody was ready to ride his pillion. I had volunteered and he managed to get us airborne followed by a nose dive to the amusement of all others.
A few years later I moved to Delhi and I had my own scooter, a Bajaj chetak and it was my companion as long as I lived there. I have very fond memories of those days but I also remember quite vividly the two near death experience on the Delhi road. On one occasion a Blue line Bus pushed me so hard that I got quashed between the bus and the pavement fortunately I was unharmed but my chetak took the pressure and developed a crack right in the middle of the chassis. Living up to its name on this occasion as it was named after “Chetak” the legendary horse of Indian warrior Rana Pratap Singh.
The Bajaj Chetak was a very popular homemade motor scooter produced by the Bajaj Auto Company. The original design was based on the Italian Vespa Sprint. We can still recall those days when waiting lists for Bajaj scooters stretched into years and people were willing to pay a premium equal to the original cost to possess one of those. This became the symbol of resurgent India and was a popular wedding gift in certain parts of Indai. I remember people trying selling their allotment at a premium and some trying to get hold of foreign quota to get their hands on one.
Bajaj’s long-running advertising campaign ‘hamara Bajaj’ will continue to find resonance in the ears and minds of the people of our generation while the young generation will never know how much the life has changed after the economic liberalization of the nineties!! And will never see the scooter being tilted on one side and kick started to glory…..
Watch the video here