Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Misplaced good intentions on Diwali

There are good autorickshaw drivers. Only that it's like finding a needle in a haystack. Very difficult. Few people have any kind words about them. Instead, everyone has plenty of anecdotes to describe his or her horrible experiences.

They are rude, is one unanimous opinion everyone has. Other complaints include: refusal to ply, running tampered meters and overcharging.

Here is the experience of a friend who had to travel a little over one km today, Diwali day. The normal fare is just the minimum -- Rs 20. But drivers ask for Rs 30. My friend always insists that she will give only Rs 20.

Today, as usual, the driver said Rs 30. My friend said Rs 20. When he agreed she boarded it. While travelling, my friend thought, since it was Diwali she would tip the driver Rs 5, and pay Rs 25. After all, he is working on a festival day
because financial situation at his home must have forced him to.  

But to my friend's horror, after three-fourth the distance, the driver stopped the autorickshaw and told her that for Rs 20 she could travel only that far!
Feeling totally cheated, she barely managed to control her anger. But, not to be outdone, she handed the driver Rs 15 and walked away. She wondered if there was any one driver who deserved a good deed.

I too have faced many such situations.

When I ask the drivers why they behave rudely, they say they get angry only when the passenger behaves rudely!

When I ask why they tamper with the meter, they say it's a machine after all and it goes bad once in a while!

When I ask why they overcharge, they say cost of living has gone up so much that they have no option but to charge more!

When I ask why they spoil the good image of Bangalore, they hurl a counter-question: how on earth are they spoiling the good image!

Well, I think we should just leave it at that.

1 comment:

  1. Pradeep, your Bangalore auto guys are saints.. I am going to build a memorial for them... !!! Rs 20, 30, meter OMG! In Chennai our guys only speak in three digit numbers!
    ( Nice post and I am game for that debate. But please find me more Chennaites)