‘We addressed it as DBQ’

Author and former cricketer Harimohan Paruvu talks of his Bajaj Chetak that nurtured many friendships

April 10, 2018 03:30 pm | Updated 04:34 pm IST

 Harimohan Paravu

Harimohan Paravu

Back in college, owning a scooter was a big thing. I remember we’d just won a Ranji Trophy; we got money from many groups, institutions and the government for the win. I got ₹11,000 from it. There were a lot of fancy bikes around, yet Chetak was more of a symbol for the middle class, like the Maruti was for cars. I remember it cost ₹13,000. We thought it was a stable option and one that wasn’t too heavy on the pocket. Bajaj used to have waiting lists those days. People used to wait for days and months to own one.

A friend of mine suggested that I get one from Delhi, as it cost ₹3,000 less. I was worried about the jugaad there; we weren’t sure if we’d get a genuine model, but my friend insisted. One fine day, the vehicle arrived. What we all particularly remembered was its number — DBQ 6042. After that we addressed it as DBQ. I was in the second year of my engineering course then and I’d use the Chetak to get to college and back, besides an occasional ride to Warangal. My brother even rode it till the West Godavari district with his friends. The roads were in a poor state; there was little light, but it sounded cool then.

 Harimohan Paravu with the Bajaj Chetak

Harimohan Paravu with the Bajaj Chetak

There was a lot of activity around it. We all used to travel triples on it quite often; a lot of my friends would take it for a ride with their girlfriends. All my dates happened on the Chetak too, special to me because my wife and I had enduring drives to parks, movies, canteens — those probably built the foundation of our relationship.

We kept the vehicle for long, even as I got my first job. I sold it because I wanted it to serve its purpose, not just rust and die away. Emotionally though, I was attached to it. It was very popular among my friends in college; there was a particular place I used to keep the keys and helmet for others to use, in case anyone needed it. It was the only two-wheeler I owned before I moved on to a Santro — the traffic had picked up, and I began enjoying the music, air-conditioning and privacy.

As told to Srivathsan Nadadhur

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