No one calls for a Taxi anymore. They just confirm pickup or schedule them on their mobile phones.
Ever gone on a ride in one of these before? The famed yellow (Black-Yellow) Ambassador was declared the best Taxi in the world by Top Gear. No, wait! “The greatest Taxi in the World is the Hindustan Ambassador” – I’m not saying it, watch it here.
Its been over 50 years since we’ve had the Ambassador. India’s pride. Powerful, unique and fast, the taxi drivers love driving around this city beast. Most (If not all) drivers I’ve met, swear by it. It’s in a class of its own.
If you are in Kolkata, you cannot miss this monster of a vehicle. It fears no one. Literally – the “no refusal” is just a design, it will refuse, if it feels like.
The ride is affordable, cheaper than the app based cars (some taxis are on the TYGR app). Not as comfortable or necessarily cordial. Unless, the driver is in a good mood. It’ll get you places, in one piece. Not sure about those on the road.
A BBC video on India’s iconic Ambassador reveals that the Ambassador is now “a fading memory”. Hoping it will still have some more years in Kolkata. It’s still a viable mode of transport, though Uber and Ola have gained immensely. Thanks to the bad attitude of a few drivers.
Check out the awesome Red coloured Ambassador in the video. The German Ambassador to India chose to drive around in an Ambassador over BMWs and other expensive cars. Why? He says, it’s unique and represents India.
Read this nicely crafted opinion in the Hindu Business Line by Sumeet Chatterjee, an “Ode to the Ambassador“.