Home News Bullet Meri Jaan? Not Really, Not Anymore

Bullet Meri Jaan? Not Really, Not Anymore


As a child, it was great fun to see my mamas and chachas in Ayodhya ride the ‘Bullat’ (called Bullt in Delhi) and go on and on about it. They would even hum the iconic ‘ye bullet meri jaan, manzilo ka nishan’ song. 

Like a typical boy, my response was to just sit on these stationary bikes, reach for the locked tilted handles, and make ‘dug dug’ sounds to myself.

As a teenager in the 90s, I heard many bhaiyas in the colony have endless discussions on the RX 100 vs the Bullet. We all know who won.

Since then, I have had fun rides on many versions of the Bullet – the Electra, 500, 350, UCE, and so on.

Last week, my colleague Tabish told me about a brand new 2023 version of the Bullet parked in the office parking area for a review. I dashed to take a first look.

I am not an avid biker. Nor do I love doling out specifications in WhatsApp groups and conversations. Like crores of ordinary Indians, I am in love with the legacy of the Royal Enfield Bullet.

Sorry RE, you took an iconic name and ruined the product. And I can safely say, for millions of its fans, you took the timelessness of the Bullet and threw it out of the window.

The new Bullet, quite literally, lacks the kick. I mean, seriously, how could you get rid of the kick-start mechanism?

Why did you have to replace the iconic chrome silencer with one that has a matte finish?

Whoever told you that the ‘Classic’-ification of the Bullet was a good idea?

RE has made the bullet ‘more refined’. In the 91 years of its existence, people have loved it because of the way it was.

What cancelled the new Bullet for me was its sound. The iconic ‘dug dug’ is gone. It sounds like any other bike.

I could not help but say all of this in a TV review of the bike. The RE team reached out. They were polite. Claimed they did ‘not want me to change my opinion’ but courteously attempted to tell me how pollution norms and assembly line compulsions meant that the Bullet had to be this way.

To that, all I want to say is – I wish I did not have to see the Bullet this way. You may have launched something like a Bullet. But this ain’t the same ‘jaan’.

(Sanket Upadhyay is Consulting Editor, NDTV Group)

Disclaimer: These are the personal opinions of the author.

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