A Few Auto Rickshaw Stories

Let me just say that if you’ve never walked(or trekked as Nigerians would say) down to your destination because of the way auto rickshaw wallahs act, then you’ve not had a real public transportation problem.

First story ended with this conversation-

wallah: I call police!

me: I also call police!

wallah: Ma’am I call police, now.

me: I wait for you here, you call that police!

It all started when I decided to call up some friends and asked them if they would love to see the kite festival, mostly because I wanted to take photos of a festival I might not get a chance to see again. We got in auto, went round the city trying to look for the “happening” place, in terms of people flying kites and smiling. At least that was what I imagined in my mind. I didn’t find a place with enough smiling faces.

Yeah, it was nice to see kites everywhere but I didn’t get a single good photograph. I was a bit frustrated but all in all it was a fun day UNTIL we decided it was time to get back home.

The wallah told us it would cost Rs200, we were fine with that because it was late, our place was really far and most importantly we are foreigners. We got in the auto, and the journey began to our “destination”, a destination which the wallah told us he knew and he even called a friend to confirm that he knew where he was taking us to.

So, we’re 3 people in the auto rickshaw, one person had to get off the auto on the way to our “final destination”. We got to the “first destination” and the guy asked for Rs200, we told him not to worry about it, we would give him the money when we get to our “final destination”. And all hell broke loose!

He said no, what he meant by Rs200 was that each person was going to give him Rs200. In my mind, I was like, my friend, you just met the wrong set of foreigners. So, he was expecting Rs600 for an auto drive, were we newcomers? Did we look like Jaipur newcomers? Even with the way I pronounced the name of my “final destination”, did he still think we were new to this auto-richshaw-negotiation game? If we knew that was what he meant, we would have called a taxi and enjoyed the air conditioner and good shock absorber.

We didn’t want to cause any trouble so we told him to go after paying the Rs200, we were no longer in need of his service, we longer want him to take us to our “final destination”. The guy was like “No!”. By this time we (the 2 of us left) were already looking for an alternative to get to our “final destination”. He kept following us and I told him to stop following us because he was getting me angry.

That was when he said:

wallah: I call police!

me: I also call police!

wallah: Ma’am I call police, now.

me: I wait for you here, you call that police!

He sped his auto away and as soon as he was out of sight my friend and I ran to like the girls we were to look for a bus home.

Unbelievable but true, of all days in the world, on this particular day there was no bus. So if he did actually call the police they would have met us at the bus stand. I think he knew what he did wasn’t good that’s why he didn’t make a report or an FIR.

You see, the guy sounded quite serious and I wasn’t ready to talk to any Hindi speaking police officer at that time of the night.

One thing we should get from this story?

Always sound confident even when you’re in doubt.

Never let people scare you when they make petty threats.

If you’re a lady, never be afraid of men. Period.

Story number 2, I went to the post office with an auto wallah whom I thought I could call a “regular customer”.  After my post office business, I got back to my faithful, loyal, innocent looking, auto wallah. In a way, I would say I was relieved that I didn’t have to start bargaining for a new auto or start describing where I was going to.

One second, I’m putting my bag in the auto and the next second I stumble because this guy just drove the auto away. How could he not know I wasn’t in the auto yet. In just seconds! Couldn’t he check that everything was in place before he drove off?

I started screaming: Ram! Ram! Ram! Stop! Ram!

How do I tell him I’m not in the auto when he’s driving so fast.

The chase began, I was on foot and like someone who was dumb, I started giving signals to the people in front of me, who were staring. My signals were simple to understand- you know like, waving my hand and pointing and the auto wallah. They just stared the more.

God so kind, the traffic light turned red. He stopped, I don’t think he stopped because of the light, I think he stopped because there were police officers there who would’ve extorted money from him if he didn’t stop. Just like Angelina Jolie in Salt, I crossed the road over to where he was parked waiting for the light to turn green.

And trust me, before I got into the auto, I gave him a very very very good slap. A slap that even his angry wife had never given to him before. He just looked at me, he couldn’t complain about the slap. He had a mirror to know if someone was in his auto or not.

I kept saying “Ram, how could you do this? Do you want to steal from me? I give huge tips because I’m a nice person 😉 and I thought you were a nice family man”, all this while I was panting.

While in the auto I was just thinking about the things I had in that bag, and how fast I crossed the road. It felt nice that I could be that fast.

That was the end of relationship with Ram the auto rickshaw wallah.





2 thoughts on “A Few Auto Rickshaw Stories

  1. lol Sira ds stories really cracked me up when I remember my experiences with the auto rickshaw guys over here. The way they run away without giving balance. They drop you on the road before getting to your “final destination” if you pay them in advance. Sometimes I don’t even pay coz when I notice they want to cheat on a fixed price route, they will be like they are walking away so I’ll call them back and increase the fair (Like we do in the Market in Nigeria) but unfortunately for them, I’m Nigeria so we both walk away… lol

    • haha, I think we should just keep walking away. Recently, I’ve started using buses more, its cheaper and there’s less arguments, the only problem is, I get stared at too much and the buses take too much time.

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