Four bangles


There was a highly decorated chakda* standing close to these boats. Both of its rear mud-flaps had four interlocking rings painted on them, copies of the logo of the Audi automobile manufacturer. This was the first time that we had seen this logo, real or otherwise, since beginning our travels through Gujarat. Some years ago, my late father-in-law used to meet his Gujarati friends for a drink at the Bangalore Club on Saturdays. I used to join them in the Men’s Bar, from which women were excluded until recently. This bunch of friends enjoyed telling jokes. Once, one of them told us that in Gujarat the farmers are so wealthy that they can all buy Audi cars. And because of the logo, they refer to them as char bangdi, which means ‘four bangles’. Having heard this, I was on the lookout for Audis in Gujarat. Until we saw this chakda, I had not seen a single Audi logo. And, it was until almost a fortnight later that I saw an actual Audi car. When I told someone in Gujarat about this, he said that in Saurashtra although farmers can be wealthy they do not tend to waste their money on fancy cars, and elsewhere in Gujarat the wealthy now buy Mercedes rather than Audis.

Note: * chakda: 3 wheeled motorised truck

4 thoughts on “Four bangles

  1. Talk about dangling a carrot — I’m really enjoying reading the snippets of your forthcoming book on Gujarat! You certainly have a talent for writing!


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