indianarrative

Sydney unveils Bollywood style taxi to woo Indian tourists

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An Indian bride in Jamie Robinson's "Bollywood Car" (All pictures courtesy sbs.com.au)

For those wanting to drive away homesickness blues or keen making oneself feel at home in Sydney Australia, a ready solution is available. Hire the traditional “Kaali Peeli” taxi – Ambassador – and either go for a spin or use it as a photo booth and click pictures.

The taxi is owned by a British car enthusiast Jamie Robinson who is passionate about buying and collecting quintessential vehicles from around the world.

He has appropriately named his Kaali Peeli taxi as “Bollywood Car” and it is tastefully decorated in traditional Indian style with objects like signages and flowers and artefacts Robinson brought after his trips to India.

He told SBS Hindi: "I decorated it with a lot of artefacts that I accrued when I was travelling around India for my 40th birthday. These come from Amritsar (Punjab) to Darjeeling (West Bengal).”

This special vehicle is referred to Australia’s  only vintage Indian car which can be hired either for a ride or converting it into a photo booth for events like weddings, and more.

In conversation with SBS Hindi, Robinson narrated the incident when for the very first time he came to know about this taxi. "It started when I watched an episode of Top Gear, and they had a race in it between the taxies of the world. In the race, there was a New York cab, South African cab, Mexican beetle and another from Russia. But, they also had this cab from India, which is a Hindustan Ambassador. And it was a lot more colourful and caught my eye.”

Falling in love that instant he decided to get the vehicle from India. Incidentally, the Ambassador won that race.

After adding the vehicle to his fleet, which includes the classic London black cab and a pink taxi, Robinson advertised that it was available as a hire and a wedding car. His target customers were Indians as well as those who love Indian culture. Now it is used for by people and firms to advertise their businesses like Indian restaurants and even for a stylish wedding.

He is now planning to add a 'Kolkata taxi' which is different from the yellow-black cabs from Delhi and Mumbai. “Oh, I love Kolkata taxi. So this time I would put the colour scheme as the Kolkata cab because of it's orange with a blue stripe. So, it would be really nice to have more cars like that.”