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.