Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Meter Down!

Recently I came across an article about the auto-rickshaws in Mumbai...The writer of the article had described what might have been his experiences with the auto-wallahs....but frankly even I could relate to them completely and am sure most of you who travel in autos not only in Mumbai,but also in other cities in India will agree to have had similar feelings.

The auto rickshaws serve as the perfect choice of  transport for those who cannot afford a vehicle of their own yet prefer to avoid the mad rushes experienced in trains and buses.But this choice doesn't always seem right,especially when encountered with the following kinds of auto-wallahs.

Described below(w.r.t the above mentioned writer) are few types whom you might encounter when trying to hail an auto....this would be only the act of getting in the auto.....the scenes after that of discussing(read arguing over) the fare,doubting the meter reading etc demand to have a separate blog written on them:-):-) those will be later.....For now,lets get started:

First, the Interviewer: 

You: bhaishab Goregaon jaoge?

Driver: East ya West

You: East

Driver: Station ya Gokuldham?

You: Station

Driver:  Kidhar se jaoge, Link Road ya Aarey Colony?

You: Aarey

Driver: Kyun……Aarey ka rasta kharab hai…

A conversation with him continues like this and yet he may refuse to ferry you if he is not satisfied with all your answers.

Second the Refuser: Imagine a scenario. At 8:30 am in the morning there are four to five people waiting for an auto, eager to pounce on any empty one that comes their way.
Exactly at that juncture an empty auto emerges, much to the excitement of the passengers.

First Person (with hope and enthusiasm in his voice): Seepz…….

Auto Driver: Flashes a smile and says ‘Nahi, Seepz nahi jayenge’

The second person felt that this was his divine opportunity and screamed with ecstasy: Kanjurmarg!

But his joy is also short lived as the driver refuses him as well. In this way the driver refuses everyone, irrespective of the direction and distance of the journey. At the end of it all one is left to wonder whether the auto driver intended to ferry passengers or was he out on a joy ride all by himself?

Third, the ‘Move On Guy’: He is a refuser with a difference. Typically when he approaches a customer he would slow down his auto and give the impression that he is keen to take you to your destination.
But the moment you spell out your desired location, he simply shrugs his shoulder, picks up speed and goes away. Just like that, no verbal refusal nothing.
If you are new to the city you may feel that by mistake you have uttered a word that has very grave consequence in the local language.But as you gradually get used to the city you would realize that it is just a special way that the auto driver uses to refuse the passenger.

Fourth, the Chatter Box: He is the over enthusiastic and over friendly driver you are likely to meet during your way home on a day when you are particularly tired and you intended to take a nap during the ride back home.
The topic can be anything: from Rahul Gandhi’s adventure in Mumbai locals to the driver’s heroics in heavy rains or may be his own son’s stupendous performance in college.
Whatever may be the issue you can be rest assured that you will not have any of your coveted sleep during your way back home.

Fifth the ‘Engaged’:
So it may so happen that during a spell of monsoon you might get drenched from top to bottom but an auto that has parked itself right in-front of you refuses to accommodate you. The official reason being that the driver is already ‘engaged’ to a customer who will come any time soon.You would wait for a long time in that rain but this driver will not budge an inch as he remains firmly committed to that elusive customer....phew!

He surely could teach a lesson or two to those who talk of showing/avoiding commitment.....;)


  1. TRUE!!! TRUE!!! TRUE!!!
    i completely agree....

  2. hmmmm.....I think u really had enough of experiences abt these auto-wallahs....