Outrageous even for Delhi- a child riding a Vespa! Down the neem avenue next to dusty Afghan tombs flanked by Royal palms (stipulated by Lady Willingdon) A smaller child pillion riding, perky with new-oiled hair squashed like mashed potato between paratha of driver and one other, a cushiony elder her hips and arms making an airbag for the precious filling the matchstick head guarded by two lollipop pink helmets.
But then I see the driver is a woman, not a lawless child, sedate tiny slight as a 12 year old steering slow and steady in the choking traffic bearing mother and son to INA market for Diwali bombs and sparklers. I imagine her weighing her budget, packing lunch for husband self and son, dropping the boy to school, buzzing 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. And tonight she'll light candles and diyas Do aarti round the household gods, offering her cargo hostage to Lakshmi, perambulating her flame for health wealth and happiness, cupped tight in her small-boned hands.