Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hello Auto

Three wheels, a pig like face and as synonymous with India as Elephants and snake charmers, welcome on board our very own autorickshaws! Apart from being one of the most common modes of transport, it is a face of every city in India. Funny but true, every city is recognised by it's Auto drivers. So I'd just like to take you through a ride of autorickshaws in different cities.

Well, let's start with the capital, Delhi. The auto drivers are absolute thugs who hardly use the meter and charge you as they please. But their USP is the long routes they take to justify the amount they charge. And if you're new to the city, nobody can save a hole in your pocket. They step out with a drilling machine and aim at pockets. One good thing however is that they hardly refuse to go to any area. Even if you want to go across the street, they'll ask you to sit while they take you for a ride.

Well, this exactly is the biggest difference between Delhi and Bangalore. If you ask an autodriver to leave you at a place 5 km away, he'll tell you directions and ask you to walk instead! They really are that dumb! But don't get mistaken when they seat you and turn the meter on. They fiddle with meters and you end up charging more than you would in a Delhi or Chennai. Even though not so common, it is something to watch out for in the city of pubs.

Next is the turn of the most notorious autorickshaw drivers! The cymbals clash, the trumpets blow and the applause roars! Make way for the undisputed winners, Chennai! First and foremost, meters do not exist. No, not even for decoration in some autorickshaws, hence exorbitant rates. Next is their attitude. I'm sure, Himesh wouldn't write "fulltu attitude dede tu zara" if he had travelled by Chennai autos ever.

And the biggest reason for their notoriety is their driving style which can make any atheist chant hymns and mantras out of nowhere. If you want your auto to stop, you better watch the incoming traffic because they would just switch lanes and hit the footpath without seeing anything that would be coming their way. It's at the end of the ride that you get to know the exorbitant rates were actually for a roller coaster ride in the guise of an autorickshaw.

Well, after going through all these cities, you finally go to Mumbai. Step out of the Railway Station or airport and hire an auto. He'll say yes, seat you and turn the meter on. All of a sudden life is simple.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Please Use Me

life nowadays is becoming more and more materialistic. More in terms of disposing material, rather than possessing it. There was a time when a pen used to be a treasured possesion. one would keep his pen for ages put together. Now even cameras dont last that long. The only option we have is to dispose. technology changes so fast that repairing costs more than buying new.

On one hand we talk about recycling and reducing wastes. on the other hand, we dump huge possesions becaus there's nothing we can do about it. Income is also treated in terms of disposable income. Quiet literal, it simply means the more income, the more you dispose.

"Disposability" as i may call it has creaped into our lives to such an extent that it goes beyond materials. Be it relationships, jobs or even contacts, nearly everything is disposable. Simply put, the disposition of disposing is quiet fast catching up.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Reverse Big Bang Theory

Edwin Hubble in 1929 discovered that celestial bodies and galaxies are drifting away. Thus was discovered "The big bang theory" which states that the universe is in a constant state of expansion. The theory goes on to prove that spaces are ever-expanding

Having said that, I would like to say that today we live in times which holds relevance to what i would like to term as a 'reverse big bang'. The stars may still be drifting away but today spaces and distances are shrinking. Continents might not be merging to form the Pangea again but geography for sure has become history.

We talk regularly to people halfway across the world. I need not explain how technology helps bring people from various parts of the globe on a common communication space, though not physical or geographical. One of the most common examples would be that of chatting over the internet with people from all parts of the world. Ironically though, we may not even know who lives in our neighbourhood.

When I mention that spaces have shrunk, I not only mean distances between places, but also personal spaces. Earlier where families would use the same products and commodities and watched television together, today, each member has his/her own "brand" for every commodity. And also separate televisions playing separate channels/programs.

The time of joint families is long gone. Nowadays, even nuclear families are on the decline with the rise of single parenting. Thanks to shrinking personal spaces. The shrinking now goes beyond separate televisions that i've mentioned above. Media is getting as personal as possible with "media-on-demand", namely ipods and laptops. We are in the process of being reduced to secluded species, both socially as well as intellectually.

All that said, could Hubble's theory still hold true in today's social scenario, considering the fact that bodies are continually drifting away?