Kaali Peeli Over Any Other TaxiMumbai city once preferred Padmini over the bulky ambassador which was once popular in Kolkata and Delhi. Embraced for its comfort and compact nature, Padmini was a big hit during the 70s and 80s, with over 63,200 registered taxis.
The Mumbai - Kaali Peeli Bond
Mumbaikars share a strong connection with these taxis. First debuted as Fiat 1100 Delight, these taxis were further called Premiere President and finally tagged as Padmini in 1974. A legendary car, the Kaali Peeli Padmini Taxi carries along a reminiscence of the good old times. Although an era would come to an end, the Fiat or Kali Peeli Padmini will always be alive in the hearts of Mumbaikars.
Mumbaikars Get Nostalgic - TestimonialsHistorian Deepak Rao shares his memories. He said “It was like a family car where everyone would fit in easily. The front seat was a long one unlike seats of present-day taxis and could accommodate three including the driver. You never felt cramped in these taxis.”
KM Mishra, a devoted and emotionally attached Padmini driver, said: “We always got a word of praise from commuters who found these cabs comfortable in terms of good leg space, suspension and also ride quality.”
Driver Rajesh Shukla said " Padmini was also a ‘superstar’ as it had appeared in many Hindi movies. Farooque Shaikh Saab made us feel proud when he played the role of a taxi driver in the film ‘Gaman’. He also represented most of us as the role he played was that of a migrant who had come to this big city from Uttar Pradesh."
Parel resident Kishore Raj recalled, “For any trip—be it personal or professional—I would hail a Padmini taxi as these drivers were excellent navigators. They knew every road and colony in the island city and suburbs, and I never had to look up any Google map.”
What Calls a ClosureOther cars have taken over Padmini. While the Santro model took an 80% lead, WagonR's took 10%, and i10 took 4% of the taxi shares.
With this news, Twitter was stormed by many emotional and overwhelming comments. Mumbaikars may have opted-out of the kaali Peelis as other vehicles took over, but their memories attached to Kaali Peeli will keep the taxi alive for posterity.
Image sourced from hindustantimes.com
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