By Vivek Prakash
Many things are uncertain in Mumbai – the weather, the possibility of an appointment actually happening on time, the chance of getting through the city without hitting some obstacle or other…
But one thing is perfectly certain: you’re wanted at the traffic jam, they’re saving you a seat.
If, like me, you think owning a car in Mumbai is a pointless waste of time, you will take a taxi several times a week. So your place in Mumbai’s permanent gridlock is likely to be inside a Premier Padmini taxi, a vehicle I have come to think of as the grand old dame of Mumbai’s streets.
The car is not a sexy young model. It is a solid, dependable companion. Clad in a black and yellow uniform, it is an anachronism still plodding through the city streets nearly fifty years after it was first designed.
Gallery: Mumbai’s ancient taxis
But nothing lasts forever. A couple of years ago, the government issued an order that all taxis over 25 years old have to be retired. So before they vanish from Mumbai’s streets forever, I set out to find out everything I could about these taxis.