This scooter probably supported the main wage earner of a family. He probably got stable, settled, bought a car and ignored this mechanical wonder.
Scooter and the Middle-Class
A mother sitting sideways, a child sandwiched in the centre. The wife’s hand perched on the husband’s shoulder, or not, depending on the note on which they left home that morning. There is the little boy sometimes; standing in front between handlebars and father. He is usually the talkative one, he is pointing to things or asking questions. Sometimes the second one is in the mother’s arms, awake or asleep or looking straight at me. This is a typical middle-class family I often see at crossings.
When I see them at the signal light, the huddled family feels aspirational. It reminds me of the time gone by. Of the time my family used to use a scooter on vacations at my village. Of me standing in the front between the handlebar and my father, asking questions, my mother sitting sideways with my brother in her arms, all going someplace. The fresh breeze. The road by the beach. These were some pleasant memories.
The scooter was the symbol of prosperity in the 90s. The car will somehow never match up for me. The unity of purpose seems lost. The latching on to each other missing. And it’s getting worse. Navigation apps tell us where to go, and you have to be quiet all the time so that she can be heard. We drive in silence, and the only voice is of the Google Maps lady saying: "In four hundred metres, take a right." I distinctly remember me riding my grandfather's scooter in the village along the plantations on the unpaved road with my cousins, sometimes listening to the radio. No Google Maps, no seatbelt, just me and the pillion rider (and the pack of band-aids in the dicky :p). Even if we have self-driving cars, or even flying cars, nothing can match up to the thrill of the scooter rides.
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