I happened to travel by auto again today & my overall journey quickly reminded me of my recent experience with Mumbai auto guys. This post will be more relatable to Bangloreans who travel by auto rickshaw often.
Location, Bangalore: Me already late, desperate enough to catch an auto rush to this nearby auto stand and see some 15 auto guys just relaxing under that tree.
Me: “X road challenge”?
1st driver: Blank look on his face, stares at me & then very conveniently turns his face away.
Yeah, I know Bangalore auto guys have the birth right to not respond!!!
Amused me replying to the 1st one & turning to the 2nd one: “Arey bhaiya reply toh kar dete”, “X road ge barthira”? (Me trying my luck best with broken kanadaa)
2nd driver: “Illa Medaam, morning time traffic jam”
Thank god at least he gave a reply, Kanadda works!
Me experienced enough to know that no point in wasting time with this 2nd fellow turn to the 3rd one: “X road ge barthira”?
3rd driver: Simply shakes his head left to right & then right to left.
3rd driver: Does not respond & turns his face away!
Gawd, give me patience please!
Me to the 4th driver: “X road ge barthira”?
4th Driver: Despite me trying my best in Kanadda understands my accent, looks at me & says, “whokay maidam, but one & half rate”
Me: “yake one & half? It is 11 am right now”
4th driver: Smiles & starts reading his kanadda newspaper back!
Oh, I am getting late, I need to get an auto. Let me settle down for anything which this next guy asks.
Me to the 5th driver: “X road”
5th driver who was already observing me interacting with other fellows replies: “Ok, but medaam 40 Rs. Extra”.
From his accent I know he knows hindi
Me: Yake 40 Rs? Normal fare to X road will be hardly Rs. 55-60.
Driver ignores me completely & starts talking to another driver standing nearby.
Me: Ok, I will give you 25 rs. extra.
He quickly turned on his auto keys & said: “come in medaam”
I was anyways late by now, so I immediately jumped in desperate enough to reach the place asap. Finally I reached, the meter read Rs. 60 exactly. I took out 100 rs. note & asked him to take Rs. 85 ( 100 +25), he took the same & says “medaam no change”.
Me: “Arey, u already charging extra 25, give me 15 rs. back, I know u have change or get change from somewhere”
Driver very well knowing from my last phone call that I’m already late smiles in his typical way, “medaam change illa, u get change from somewhere & give me 85 rs.”. Bloody**** he very well knows that there is no place nearby from where I can get the change right now & I m getting LATE!
Frustrated I leave the auto by finally giving him that 100 rs. away!!!
Location, Mumbai: Few days back, I was out on a personal trip to Mumbai and was traveling by auto to some location:
Me: “Y road”?
1st driver starts the auto & turns his meter down. Wow, with a delight I jumped in the auto & we reach the destination in some time. The meter read Rs. 89. & I handover a 100 rs. note to him, he quickly returns me rs. 10 but is still rummaging in his pocket & small cash box. After collecting my bag & all, I get down. Auto guy with a very sorry face asks me, “madam 1 rs. change nahi hai, chalega kya”? Yeah I have lived in Mumbai for long but after all these years in Bangalore I was nothing less than SHOCKED at his reply. He was sorry for not returning 1 Rs.??? I immediately replied, “haan haan koi baat nahi”.
After finishing off my work, me needed to go back to the same place. I see a local black & yellow cab with door open.
Me: “Z road”?
Driver silent & looks at the door of his cab.
Me again: “Boss, Z road chaloge”?
Driver holds the door & me with all my Bangalore experiences assume that he is shutting the door. Me quickly started to walk away saying: “Arey bhaiya bol toh dete ki nahi jaoge”
Driver: “Arey madam baitho na, darwaza hi toh aur khol raha tha, aap pooch kyun rahe ho Z road, jab taxi nikali hai toh chalaunga hi nahi or jaha passenger jayega waha le hi jaunga na”.
I sit in the cab quickly with my eyes wide open…jaha passenger jayega waha le jaunga na! Oh wow, I think I had forgotten I was in Mumbai & not in Bangalore where auto guys don’t travel if there is traffic or heat or morning or night or…well this list of reasons can be endless actually.
I have lived in Mumbai for long & now living in Bangalore for last few years & I only know one thing about auto guys of these two places – “ Mumbai will always be Mumbai & Bangalore will always be Banaglore”!!! I love Bangalore but I do miss some of the things of Mumbai a lottttt!