In a city as vibrant and diverse as Mumbai, there are certain icons that become synonymous with its identity. One such icon that has been an integral part of Mumbai‘s landscape for decades is the iconic “kaali-peeli” taxi, fondly referred to as the “Premier Padmini” taxis due to their distinctive black and white color scheme. However, these iconic taxis have recently bid their farewell to the bustling streets of Mumbai, marking the end of an era in the city’s transportation history.
The “kaali-peeli” taxis, with their distinctive black and yellow color scheme, have long been a symbol of Mumbai’s charm and character. These vintage taxis have been a part of the city’s daily life, ferrying commuters, tourists, and even celebrities through the bustling streets of Mumbai. Their unique design and charming retro appeal made them a beloved fixture of the city.
It was on October 29, 2003, when the last Premier Padmini taxi was officially registered as a “kaali-peeli” taxi at the Tardeo Regional Transport Office (RTO). This marked the end of an era and stirred a wave of nostalgia among Mumbaikars, who had countless memories associated with these iconic taxis.
One of the most cherished memories associated with the “kaali-peeli” taxis comes from none other than the ‘God of Cricket’ himself, Sachin Tendulkar. This iconic cricketer and Mumbai’s beloved son shared a heartwarming story of his last ride in a kaali-peeli taxi, making it an unforgettable moment for both him and the city.
The story goes back to a significant period in Sachin’s career. He was recovering from tennis elbow surgery and was all set to make a comeback to the cricket field. India was scheduled to play Sri Lanka in Nagpur, and Sachin, along with his brother, was en route to the airport for this crucial match.
However, fate had a different plan for Sachin that day. While on the way to the airport, close to a flyover, their taxi suffered a sudden tyre puncture. The situation was dire, and missing the flight was not an option. It was at this critical juncture that a kaali-peeli taxi appeared on the horizon.
Sachin, with his cricketing gear, luggage, and kit bags, was in a tight spot. The limited space in the taxi’s backseat seemed insufficient to accommodate his belongings. Nevertheless, the taxi driver recognized the cricket legend and, without hesitation, agreed to give him a lift to the airport.
But here’s the twist in the tale: there was already a passenger in the taxi. However, the passenger, showing remarkable warmth and generosity, allowed Sachin to share the ride to ensure he didn’t miss his flight. Sachin had an additional suitcase that his brother had to carry in another autorickshaw to the airport.
In the end, the taxi driver, the accommodating passenger, and Sachin managed to work together efficiently. They ensured that Sachin reached the airport on time, thanks to the Mumbai spirit and the iconic kaali-peeli taxi, which came to the rescue when it mattered the most.
Sachin Tendulkar’s kaali-peeli taxi story is not just a heartwarming anecdote but a proof of the camaraderie and resilience of Mumbai’s people. It highlights the deep bond that the city shares with these iconic taxis, which have been an integral part of its fabric for decades.
As these beloved taxis take their final bow and retire from the city’s streets, they leave behind a treasure trove of memories and stories, much like Sachin’s own memorable encounter. The legacy of the “kaali-peeli” taxis lives on in the hearts of Mumbaikars and in the rich history of the city.
[Video] Sachin Tendulkar Shared His Beautiful Kaali-Peeli Mumbai Taxi Story
Ek Mumbaikar ki ek Kaali-Peeli kahaani…
Thank you for those memories! 🚕 pic.twitter.com/6X06vfczmK
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) November 4, 2023