Friday, November 22, 2013

"In the name of God!" - Conversation with an Autowala


This is a blog post of a funny incident that happened with me in Bangalore, the city of nasty autowalas (auto-drivers)! Here, incidents like meter tempering, excess fares, faulty meters, abusive language is very common. However some autowalas are good too, no doubt. In my past 3-4 years of stay, I share a kind of love-hate relationship with these as I've met both kind of autowalas. In my case most of the time I engage in an argument if they ask to go without meter or charge 10-20 Rs. extra on meter fare value. It is hard to convince them to follow meter against their numerous reasons for not following it! Sometimes, I try to warn them by telling about police or I simply look for another auto. Nevertheless I simply fail in most cases. I have so many memorable incidences to tell. However this one is little different -- God came in between us. Or rather, I brought him in!! :D

It was evening 6:00 pm and I was looking for autos in K.R. Market area. Since it was office-off time, none of the autos were free and also the buses were all jam packed. I started walking towards K.G. road, thinking that I may find an auto on my way. But I couldn't! I got one auto and he asked me 150 Rs., more than double the meter rate and I refused hire him after gently asking him to go by meter. After walking around 4km., I saw a vacant auto in a traffic signal. At that time I was near Majestic Bus Stand. From Majestic, roughly 55 Rs. fare is normal.

"Malleshwaram Jaate?", I asked. (Will you be going to Malleshwaram?)

He replied, "Malleshwaram me kahan?" (Where in Malleshwaram?)

I said near 18th cross. He asked for Rs. 90. without meter.

"Meter se chalogae?", I asked again. (Can you go by Meter Fare?)

"Meter slow hai, islye to bina meter ke jaa raha!", he replied. (My meter is slow, that's why I am going without meter.)

I smiled since I had no option and it was getting late. I told him Rs. 60 is the max I could offer. He came down to Rs. 75.

"18th cross, Temple Maramma tak jana hai", I said and sat inside. (18th cross, Maramma Temple is where I want to go.) That is where our campus' entrance gate is located. And then came the funny part.

"Aap log 100-100 rupaye coffee peeney mein kharch kartey aur abhi apko problem hai", he taunted. (You guys spend 100 bucks on Coffee and here you have problem)

"Wo log proper bill bhi detey bhaiya! Apka to meter hi slow hai", was my quick reply. (They provide us proper bill. Here your meter itself is slow.)

Then after a momentary pause I said, "Kya bhaiya, aap sandhya ke samay zada paisay maangtey, pata hai uper se bhagwan cross hotey iss samay!" (You are asking for extra money at the time of dusk. You know God travel around during that time.) During my childhood, my grandmother used to give me this reason to wake me up if I was asleep in evening.

"Arrey aap 5-10 Rs. ke liye bhagwan ko beech mein le aaye!", he said. (You are bringing God just for 5-10 bucks)

I replied, "Mandir mein to itna hi daaltey naa aap, to bhagwan to beech mein aa hi saktey!" and laughed. After then he did not uttered a single word. My stop came in some time and it was a temple! (If in temple you can donate this much, then God can also mind for this much!)

To pay him, I took my wallet out followed by a 50 Rs. note and two 10 Rs. note. I was searching for 5 Rs. change and then he said, "Chalo 60 Rupaye hi dae do, kya aap bhagwan ko beech mein le aaye!" (Just pay me 60 Rs., You bought God in between!)

He took 60 Rs. from me and left.

I smiled an moved on!



PS: The auto-driver in photograph is not the same one as in the post. I took that photo long time back when I was learning panning-photography.


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