India Insight

Mumbai Holiday on a Vespa?

Think Vespa, and images of Audrey Hepburn and rides down cobble-stoned streets immediately come to mind.

How about families of four riding precariously on the choked streets of Mumbai or Delhi?

Piaggio, the Italian vehicle maker that has made the Vespa since just after World War II, has made a big success of its three-wheeler auto rickshaws and commercial vehicles in India, and intends to relaunch the iconic brand here soon.

Why now, when vehicle sales are sluggish, at best? Why now, when the two-wheeler market has moved pretty much decisively to motorbikes? Why now, when a certain low-cost car is close to actually rolling into homes of a lucky 100,000?

But not so long ago, which middle-class Indian family didn’t aspire for — and wait months for — a Bajaj Chetak?

Good Samaritans do exist in Delhi, despite heartless image

An Indian friend of mine arrived late for dinner the other night, with a curious tale.

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