Next morning, we were greeted by a clear blue sky and, thankfully, the sun was out in all its glory. It was a perfect setting for us. We were handed the keys to our sporty and stunning Vespa S, and, just like eager beavers, both of us took off to explore the serenity of these enchanted backwaters. We didn’t know the local language nor did we have any guidance maps with us, but the moment we stepped out on to the country roads we became instant celebrities. Children and adults alike were attracted to the Vespa S; eyes popping all over the countryside.
The roads in Kerala are mostly two-lane ones with a lot of buses taking up most of the space. The roads were a bit wet and slippery after the previous night’s downpour, but with the Vespa’s decent riding dynamics, we had very little to complain about. We were still figuring out the route in our minds while cruising along the country road and came across a fleet of houseboats anchored along the calm backwaters. These intricately designed river vessels are simply gorgeous even when at anchor. I managed to strike up a conversation with the boatmen and they gladly allowed us to use their majestic boats as part of our photo shoot.
As we rode ahead and decided to wander more into the lush countryside, the helpful local people were perfect guides to us. We came to know about a close ferry point and decided to follow the trail. On the narrow, twisting lanes up to the ferry dock, the Vespa S shone like a star. Its 125-cc mill provided adequate power and ensured brisk progress, while the ride felt comfortable at all times even with a pillion. The front disc brake provided ample stopping power and the sticky tyres kept the scooter planted. We soon reached our ferry and got some great pictures. It was interesting to see the people not paying heed to the incoming ferry’s hoots, for the Vespa S had them in its thrall, not to mention our antics to portray ourselves as supermodels.
Waving goodbye to the genial local citizens, both of us were back on the country road and decided to head back to our resort. Evening was upon us and there was a blissful atmosphere, riding on the road next to the paddy fields, it simply felt out of this world. As I was riding back, I pondered the ‘Do you Vespa?’ campaign and the ride that I had just taken part in. I was able to arrive at a justifiable conclusion: the Vespa is not just a scooter, it’s a part of one’s personality, a style statement and a lifestyle!
Story: Sayem Parvez Syed
Photography: Rommel Albuquerque