The usual business
I never knew that India even though being a secular democratic union could be ruled by the so-called down trodden market called the auto-wallahs! If not the whole country, at least Bangalore... packa! And they are a huge novel of ‘gyan’ by themselves. They give you the best of knowledge, the weirdest experiences and the sloppiest of treatment. Really!
It’s night time --9 o clock, and naturally they are on the better lands. They have an auto, an object of utility for emotional blackmail and the test of time makes us succumb. They ask for Rs 90 and we go “Kya Bhaiya, at 9 o clock! Accha, Rs 10 extra ...” He doesn’t even wait to listen to the rest of it and is gone. We wait hopefully for reasonable guys. Here comes the next one, and he demands a 120. He’s really rubbed the wrong nerve for us, now. Feeling incompetent and just plain irritated, we go, “Bhaiya, aapke auto ka daam nahin poocha! (We didn’t ask, how much your auto is for) ”
The not-so-common care
The wait is on, and then another guy smoothes in. He asks for one-and-a-half the meter. By this time, it is already 10 and we are ready to agree for anything. The auto guy is a Mausi (a strange phenomenon, but we have noticed that most auto drivers who are Muslims, are much sensible and don’t ask insensible rates. Please do not take this as a religional compliment). We are own our kit pit, talking about the day at work and on, finally my stop comes and the overly caring auto-wallah goes “Aap jaldi kyon nahin nikalte office se? (Why don’t you leave office sooner?”
Aghast by the response, we go in union, “Bhaiya, aapko koyi problem hain kya? (Brother, do you have any issues with that?)”.
While dropping my other friend at her stop, he breaks out in sobs, “Hum tho aapka bhalla maante hain (I was talking for your good only).” A rare sight, I should say.
Weirdness at its whole
I was on another auto trip. And I told my friend over the phone that I will be in the area around Ulsoor lake. This strikes a note, in the auto-guy’s brains and he goes “Aapko patha hain madam, iss area se lekar wahan thak, Tamil Nadu ka hain. Hum Tamilians ne bohut sahan hain. (From this point to that place, is actually Tamil Nadu. We Tamilians, have suffered a lot in this state)” Feeling utterly awkward with this conversation, I shut up and cut the call. And he goes on about how his family worked in the royal chambers, and how his cousin sister was ill-treated. I can sense a strange smell, a drunkard’s aura, in the auto. He (all auto-guys have mobile phones now, believe me), gets a call and he goes “Saale, can’t you see I’m telling her the story? Now I have to tell her about the snake bit too.” I’m shit scared and have no clue about what to do. The thought of my featuring him, if what he was saying was correct, now just stays shut in my mind. The only primary thought, ‘I have to get out of this auto soon’.
With all their own whims and fancies and thoughts, they are definitely an interesting lot. Pain in the asses, but I should admit: Tales from these guys, are the best. And whatsoever, they are a part and parcel, of my mediocre life!