Deeply moved and inspired by the cerebral palsy (a neurological disorder that impacts movement) of her cousin, Shonali Bose directed a remarkable movie ‘Margarita with A Straw’ in 2004. It starred Kalki Koechlin as the lead actor. Koechlin portrayed a teenager Laila, who despite her physical limitations is adventurous in her spirit. Brought up in a middle class family by not so overprotective parents, Laila is an outgoing kid with a clear sense of independence. She is smart, attends college, and is also musically talented to interact with normal human beings without any difficulty.

Treading the theme of fearlessness, self-acceptance and a young woman’s interest in sex, Laila, who has a crush on a rock band lead singer Nima for whom she has written songs, travels to Manhattan for higher education. It is here that she is able to explore about sexuality, and is drawn to a blind young women and to her class mate. In an interesting twist of the tale, Laila, in India, is shown moving around in a Bajaj Tempo Matador F307 that her family owns.

The Matador F307 is shown as a vehicle that is suitable for Laila to travel in. Especially because her wheel chair fits into it. Ruling the van segment for some three to four decades before the Traveller took over, Matador, tracing its roots to the German Tempo Viking of 1962, and was introduced after the oil crisis of 1973.

Built initially under license from Vidal & Sohn by erstwhile Bajaj Tempo (new Force Motors), the Matador, over time came to be powered by an in-line four cylinder indirect injection Mercedes-Benz OM 616 diesel engine that produced 65 hp and 125.52 Nm of peak torque. A front-wheel drive design except during the later phase when a rear-wheel range was made available,

the Matador F307 was available in six versions (station wagon, mini bus, ambulance, delivery van, utility van and dual cabin pick up truck). With body bolted to a strong tubular frame consisting of cross members, the F307 was equipped with a ZF 4DS10/2 type four-speed gearbox. The front suspension was made up of laminated torsion bar springs and telescopic shock absorbers. The re rear suspension was made up of leaf springs and telescopic shock absorbers. The full-forward control van has a 190 mm ground clearance.

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