Joy in the little things of Life!!
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Thursday, July 14, 2011
But there is something that is very particular to Bangalore. And it is the auto woes that we Bangaloreans suffer from. If you are from Bangalore, you will agree. And if you are not, please don’t worry. I am here to share these woes with you.
In my initial days in Bangalore, I cribbed and raved about the auto woes, but now it seems really funny. I believe now that I love Bangalore; I have accepted the city with its goods, bads and the uglys too.
The auto rickshaw (tuk tuk for the uninitiated) in Bangalore is a common mode of commute. The auto rickshaw is pretty much similar, the driver being the only difference. There are a variety of them. And with an experience of 2.5 years of daily negotiation, I have decided to categorize them. These categories are based on my observations/experiences. You can for sure have your own (means, you can disagree if you want to). So, go ahead and read it.
• The “Non-talkative” type: This category is the easiest to find. Statistically, 5 out of 10 belong to this category. This category of auto drivers doesn’t believe in talking. They believe in gestures. Probably, they store all the energy and use it to produce electricity. While you are standing waiting for an auto, they will come, stop very close to you and look at you with a blank, straight face. Both of you will engage in a battle of who speaks first. After not speaking for at least 10 seconds, out of embarrassment, you will speak. You will tell him your destination and he will immediately turn his face towards the other side and leave. You get your message and your wait begins again.
• The “On the Run” type: This category is the scariest of all. They don’t believe in the word called “STOP”. They come and stop at least 2 feet away from you for exactly 5 seconds. And the moment you see them, you have to run to them and tell your destination. They listen (as sedated as a shrink) and immediately leave. You get your message and your wait begins again.
• The “Traffic Lover” type: This category is somehow insane. They are party animals. They love people and music. No wonder, they make sure they follow routes that are full of traffic. Their auto will have a loud speaker that is potent enough to make you deaf in a ride of 15 minutes. The music gives them a high and you end up on a road where there are at least 100 vehicles around you. You often wonder if he is taking you to your destination or his. You get frustrated and you get down. Your wait begins again.
• The "I Hate Traffic" type: This category is from “Satyuga”. They are saints. They drive slow, very slow. They talk occasionally. I have a feeling; they count words when they talk. I feel they have hallucinations too. This category dislikes traffic. They dream of a city where roads will not have more than 2 vehicles running at the same time. The moment you tell them your destination, they will make a sad face and say, “Sorry Madam/Sir (depending on your gender), I no go, that road is full of traffic”. You wonder because sometimes your destination is one lonely place in one lonely corner of Bangalore. (Now, you know why I said, they have hallucinations?.) They imagine traffic on every road of the city. Since this category explains the reason for not accepting your offer, you get your message clear. Your wait begins again.
• The “Extra” type: This category is the most irritating of the lot. They always believe in getting extra out of everything. They always want 20 rupees or sometimes even more than what the meter displays. You can’t argue with them. They will try to justify this demand with many reasons (all non sense). You may or may not get convinced. If you are in a hurry, you may accept. If not, you shoo him off and your wait begins again.
• The “Shortcut” type: This category believes they are the most intelligent of their clan. They know Bangalore inside out. They know all the shortcuts in the city. However, if you try to tell them that they are taking the wrong route, they won’t bother. You can talk as long as you want, they will follow the shortcut they know. They are intelligent. Mind you, these shortcuts are through lanes that can hardly accommodate a cycle with huge drains running on both sides of the road. It stinks like Hydrogen Sulphide. You start remembering your chemistry days in school, when you learnt that it smells like rotten eggs. You finally come out of the lane with your nose distorted because of the exposure to fresh human/animal waste. You are almost dead but he is basking in the glory. You want to gain consciousness, and your wait begins.
• The “Penitent” type: This category is rare to find. You will come across them, only when luck favors you. This category is age defined. They are somewhere in the age group of 50-65. They have changed modes in most of the above-mentioned category. Finally, they have realized that they are done with it. They are having a peaceful time. This is the stage of atonement. So, sometimes, they treat you so good that you start seeing a halo around them. They take you to your destination safe and sound. They drive patiently. They don’t take shortcuts. They have no excuses. They don’t charge extra. You reach your destination. And then your wait begins….to meet someone from this category again!!!
P.S.: In a span of 2.5 years, I have met this saint from the Penitent category just once!!