Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bombay Cabs | Kaali Peeli (black & yellow)

With this piece of graphic art (above), creative agency Design Stack has tapped into an emerging zeitgeist by paying colorful tribute to Mumbai's vehicular lifeline, the kaali peeli (black and yellow) Mumbai cabs.

The iconic cabs were actually based on an Italian model, the Fiat 1100D. The Premier Padmini, as the car came to be known, debuted in 1964. The cars were manufactured by Premier, one of the first Indian companies to start making indigenous automobiles.

The design, robust utility and economy of the Premier Padmini Mumbai cabs have ensured their popularity, even after Premier discontinued the line in 2000. An event which took this often accursed vehicle beyond retro and straight into the cool hall of fame.

Last year when the Mumbai High Court ruled taxis over 25 years of age off the roads, the drivers petitioned and won one more year's grace.

There are some 55,000 kaali peeli Mumbai cabs on the asphalt today and they rattle on, as many other things here do. Who knows how they have survived with long-dead suspension (our streets have potholes the size of refrigerators) and exposure to monsoon rains that lash down for hours on the non-air-conditioned cabs.

In other words, for us passengers it's suffocate or be drenched. The interiors are an assault on the senses. Think neon blue disco lights, polyester seats, burning incense and whatever else the owner can find to express himself in this, his rolling office.

Still, in spite its ramshackle appearance, the kaali peeli Mumbai cabs are an everlasting city motif, a feat of classic India-via-Italy auto design that helps keep our financial capital rolling.

Next time you complain about one, think of the coming day when they'll all be gone. And in the meantime, start studying our Beginner's Guide to Mumbai Cabs for ways of getting around without having to reach destinations with a backache and a damp backside.

Source: CNNgo.com


by Priya Singh said...

Very cool. Nothing compares to the taxis in India except perhaps for those monster TaTa trucks!

Akshay Shirolkar said...

Wow! Lovely post! I have really enjoyed while reading your post. You posted great information about mumbai's kaali-peeli taxi. I am so glad that i found your blog.
Black and Yellow Taxi Mumbai

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