Thursday, May 22, 2008
4 gears 3 wheels 2 people 1 God 0 compromise
Right now I live in Hyderabad and once when I travelled by bus back home, I woke up, thanks to the bus driver who was honking like crazy.I was wondering where the bus was then.
The answer came in the form of an auto driver. He was the reason my bus was honking and he swerved the auto to his right, stopped the huge volvo bus and screamed "aiiiiiiiiiiii otha ootaande sollnu vantyaaa?" (Tamil Slang/Swear but it exactly translates to : !@#$$%, have you told home your going out?). My driver mumbled something in telugu and "requested" him to move his small auto out of the way.
The holy sweet words of the auto driver early in the morning joshed me up. Why? Cuz I knew I had reached Chennai!!!
Its unfair to blog about Chennai autokaarans(auto drivers) when the guru krishashok has done it himself. But having lived in Chennai for 22 years, Im passionate about Chennai and and its a sin to ignore the Gods on 3 wheels
Try as you might, you wouldnt find a good auto driver(oxymoron) ever, in Chennai. If you want to take an auto, be prepared to make an ass out of yourself. Dont try to act smart and remember, they are the Gods.
My futile attempt at bargaining with an auto guy:
Me: Bosssu moggappair polama (conciously tryin 2 sound way too local so he doesnt charge me 1/25th of my salary)
Translation: Could we go to moggappair?
God: Moggappair aa?...Romba dhooram aache (Ok this is how it all starts. he tries to give me geography gyan here)
Translation: Thats too far right?
Me: (ahem) seri evlo sollunge ? meter oadumaa?
Translation: Alright how much? Is your auto-meter working?
God: Meter laam velaikkaagadhu pa...onnyum ille oru 200 rupees kuduppa straightaa ootukku poidlaam (There it is, God sez he requires 200 bucks to take me home)
Me:Poitttu varathukku ille naa verum one way dhaan
Translation: Im asking for one way only and not for return too!
(This is my usual dialogue. I know it sucks but then some Gods may entertain a good joke thats why I keep trying :( )
(The God gets a little offended now)
God: enna nakkala? porathukku mattum dhaan. seri seri 190 kudu polaam.
Tanslation: Kidding me? alright gimme 190
Me: Lastaa solraen 130 varennge naa vaange illena venaam.
(On hearing 130 bucks, the God laughs now.And he gives you that look which makes you feel your begging for alms)
God: aen yaa distance ennannu theryaadhaa unakku? (mumbles a swear word but saves it for future use)petrol enna velai le pogudhu theryuma?(from geography to economy) evlo litre aagum theryumaaa?(general knowledge now) vandhuttaan . 170 lastttu varenna vaa.
(Translation here doesnt matter.Bottomline:God has given his verdict-170 ! take it or leave it. And he is ready with his hands on the starting rod-A signal that says this is your last chance)
Me:anna ungulku venaam enakku venaam 140 na correct rateuuu
(Yeah what to do? I cannot stomach giving him 170. I dont even spend that much for my two wheeler fuel for a week or so)
(By now God has decided he has to show me who He is)
God: U#$$#%le(censorship required here) 170 kudukka vakku ille nee ellam edhukku da auto le vare? Bus le po daa.
Translation: He declares that Im only worthy of travelling by bus and asks me to basically fuck off.
And me , I exchanged similar pleasantries with him for a while but since I know they have this whole union thingy and I could get bashed up I spoke no more!
The only time in my life where I think I won the bargain was when I went home recently.
An auto guy asked me for 80 bucks, I boarded and then he asked me for 100 after i reached home. I obviously refused.We argued for sometime and this God gets pissed off earlier than I expected. Guess what this God did? He said I can keep it and went off. (yeah yeah he gave me all the swear words, some gyaan and cursed my generations-to-come before leaving)
22 years man, 22 years! Even after living here for this long I can never ever get the better out of an autokaaran deal.
But wait! One thing I must mention about the Chennai autokaaran God is that the Lord will show mercy on you in 3 situations:
a)you are a lady AND you are pregnant(many a time, a free ride)
b)you met with some minor accident on road AND your bleeding(he definitely wont wait outside the hospital for the dough)
c)your bike stopped and you need it to be towed for cheap(Our Gods have a unique skill of pushing your bikes with their legs while riding their autos-this will of course cost you but they re considerate and wont charge you much)
Anyways like them or hate them, you can never ignore them. They are rude, abusive, haughty and most importantly indispensable. Thats why they are the Gods. Hail 'em :)