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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Citizen’s Journal - A menace called Autorickshaws


Just reached home. Completely drained, both my cell battery and my brain. Traffic in Bangalore moves slowly even after 9pm. I decided to hire a rick.

The moment I got into the rick, the driver said “1.5”. I obliged. Though we speak about woman empowerment and equivalent statuses for men and women, the bitter truth is that cities like Bangalore are never safe for women, especially after 9pm.

He had already decided to take me for a ride (Bangalore Darshan in short). I could read his mind and I said “Go through Residency - Hosur road”. He took me through Kasturba Road instead.

It really upset me and I literally squalled at him. Soon, he changed his demeanor. He started acting quite naive as if he had just arrived in Bangalore. On reaching Vittal Mallaya Road, he said “Guide me how to go now”. I guided him through the routes that I am aware of.

On reaching my house, I paid him 1.5 times the meter charges. I expected him to give back the change which he didn’t. That’s when I said “Arre yaar, chaar rupiye se main tea/coffee kareed sakti hoom. Tum log change kyun nahin carry karte? Petrol aur diesel ka daam kam ho gaya, phir bhi tum log humhain lootna bandh nahin kiya?”. He gave in, gave me the change and sped with his three-wheeler.

I wonder, with increase in petrol/diesel prices, the bus/auto/cab far increases but why not vice versa?

What do you have to say?

7 comments:

wishes galore said...

Hi,
am new to blogger world.got it into space while wandering through google..

completely agree with the autorickshaw woes .Such is the case everywhere...While i was in banglore a year ago , i too got to bear the dominating auto-wallahs who shows that they dont understand hindi and charge this "1.5"( strange custom!!i met with it then for the first time) and yes the ubiquitous "change nahii hain"....

parijaatha said...

For the 2.5 years that I stayed in Bangalore I fought (almost) everyday with autowallahs. In fact I have walked many kms refusing to pay what was demanded.

I have only these suggestions to make-
a) Learn a few curse words in Kannada. (Its nice when people understand what you are calling them!)
b)Get to know the name of a few Traffic police inspectors.If name calling doesn't work..try name-dropping.
c)Take pre-paid whenever possible...or take the bus.Its not as convenient..but you will have lot of blog-fodder.
d)Do your duty.Complain to the respective forum.Probably nothing will improve.But do your duty and keep your fingers crossed.

whoami said...

@ wishes galore
Thanks for dropping in. Keep visiting

@ parijaatha
Good suggestions. Shall try them for sure

Anonymous said...

I agree with Parijatha...
It will be good if you learn to speak the native langauge.. which may help you out to get the actual road and the price for your travel

whoami said...

@Anonymous
Will try that provided I can devote enough time for learning the language

Anna Bond said...

Will try that provided I can devote enough time for learning the language

er...haven't u been in bangalore for like 10 years now?
I think this deserves a complaint to kannada rakshana vedike.

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