Outrageous even for Delhi- a child riding a Vespa! Down the neem avenue next to dusty Afghan tombs flanked by Royal palms (commanded by Lady Willingdon) A smaller child pillion riding, perky with new-oiled hair squashed like mash potato between paratha of driver and a cushiony elder with hips and arms a handy airbag for the precious filling, the matchstick head guarded by two lollipop pink helmets.
Wait! The driver is a woman, not a lawless child, a sedate tiny slight as a 12 year old, steering slow and steady in choking traffic, bearing her mother and son to INA market for Diwali bombs and sparklers. Imagine her weighing her budget packing lunch for husband self and son, dropping the boy to Busy Bees, after which she buzzes off to work leading orderly days in this disorderly city where no one cares for small people. But this woman has grasped the reins for three lives on her scooter trusting her thin arms, her legs in tight jeans tiny feet in sandals, balancing the precious cargo, waiting at red lights. Tonight she will light candles and diyas Perform aarti round the household gods, offering up her present cargo hostage to Lakshmi, perambulating her flame for health wealth and happiness, cupped tight in her small-boned hands.