Harley Davidson Taxi

I don’t know if they’re still there, but when I used to visit Delhi in the 1990’s I used to visit the Harley Davidson taxi stand at Connaught place. (This photo is from 1996). They plied a fixed route to the wholesale markets in Old Delhi. Their engines were replaced with Bajaj deisels many years ago, and it was a delight to chug along from what used to be ‘modern’ Delhi (ie 1950’s style) to Old Delhi, which was delighfully pre-war.

Old Delhi was the opposite of the ‘supermarket’ or ‘mall’ approach to selling, ie a small amount of everything being available in one place.

India’s old style of selling came from village traditions, where different areas (usually certain castes in that area) specialized in different skills or manufacture or repair of particular goods. So in cities there would, for example, be a street full of ‘shirtings, suitings and saris’ shops. Another street might house all the metal locker and luggage shops. This would be fine if you only wanted to buy one sort of thing. If you wanted to buy a lot it took several journeys.



~ by lovedubs on March 14, 2007.

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