Auto rickshaw or auto or just rikhshaw, however you may call it, if you are in India , you would have definitely traveled by it one or the other day. About me, I was an auto addict . 1 km walk to bus stop and then wait for another bus to go to office was too much to ask from lazy me.
So when I say , I travel by auto , you might have started picturing myself coming out of my apartment waving at an autowala who would drop me to office. There would be polite conversations about weather/Good day wishes. How comfortable and easy isn't it?
But that's not true!!People who have traveled by auto in Bangalore/Pune (I haven't traveled by Auto in any other place) would know exactly what I mean. If you are lucky, you will find an autowala who is ready to go in your office route after at least 20 people who have rejected your request.
Then the autowala will start bargaining with you as if to show that the only reason why they have meters is to double/triple its amount. Once they set the amount, you stand no chance of reducing it . Also, you will be scared to let that person go thinking about more rejections .(This statement doesn't sound so stupid when you are getting late to office:) ultimately you do give in and agree to pay the amount.
Once you are inside the auto, he suddenly transforms into Michel Schumacher(I am not into F1 ,so if there is any latest addition to fastest driver list, I am totally ignorant of it). He tries to get his three wheeler even in the slightest gap other vehicles maintain. He starts shouting at every person around him but does manage to wave at fellow auto drivers.
About poor me, I will be just gazing at the meter which ticks faster than count down timer. If you think , I should let him know about meter not being accurate, think again!! He will either drop me off at the very place or start arguing with me so loudly that everyone around will start gaping at me. Also, remember, autowala's are gifted with senors which detect if you are new to the place. Other than my office route, I can never remember any route thanks to my direction sense:-(
So after all this, I manage to reach office. If its one of the good days, Mr.Autowala will take the money originally agreed upon or the huge amount showed by his meter(whichever is highest) and leave you alone. Most of the days, there will be renegotiation from his part. Reason , you may ask- Bad roads/heavy traffic/had to take U-turn/do not get any passenger in that route etc.. Again no point arguing with him. So, I pay the amount he says, go to office fuming .
You might think of me as in sane, but I do miss auto here in US. I have nothing against auto , its just the autowala:)[Hope none of the auto drivers read it, considering their unity and network , I won't be able to get any auto when I visit India this time:(