Archive for December, 2013

Auto Traveling-Hyderabadi Style

December 17, 2013

Auto Travelling-Hyderabadi Style

 

Auto is a mode of public conveyance and in Hyderabad, we find many senior citizens, ladies and sick use it more often. Many of our Indian Cities/Towns have autos to commute.  Every City has its own its specialties and problems. Let me share some  scenes  from Hyderabad. It is worth blogging, i felt.

Of late, I have been travelling a little more by autos  and venture  to put my personal views. This blog  is  meant only for fun and does not mean offense to anyone.

I consider myself very lucky, if the auto comes readily to my destination by putting the meter. It had happened to me only one day recently and made me thrilled. Now the new autos are more open and can look outside to understand the topography and enjoy seeing skyline of Hyd’bad. As I am a little tall at 5’9″, i find difficult to see outside or know the direction. I am like a horse with side covers put on both eyes. If i find the driver too rash, i will take the courage to tell him that i am  not in a hurry. I also request him to slow down for speed breakers and pot holes on the road. I know, otherwise, my spine will turn sore after the auto travel. Another funny thing about Hyderbad is that it has areas with many similar sounding names and most likely the autowala will hear what we have not meant. I sit in the auto after fixing the rate, say Rs70, not sure he will oblige me with change.  It is very rare that he carries any change. Even, auto come by meter, the fare is always rounded to next 10 or 20’s. Initially it is used to bother me a lot as I happened to shift here form Mumbai, but now I am reconciled fully.  I am afraid to take any auto with 2 drivers sitting in the front, may be i had some bad experience.  we find some number autos at a center and surprised  to find that none of them are interested in passengers. And  one driver refuses, no one will come from that group. We have to wait for a passing empty auto.  we do not have any indication whether the coming auto is empty or on hire, especially in the late evenings /nights the meters always up and we are fooled  in to call a engaged auto.

As we plan to catch a train at any of the railway stations in Hyd’bad, we wit with bated breath for an auto to reach station on time. It is a suspense to be experienced to be beleieved. Many times, i find, during the night, auto lights are not working and wonder how the driver is able to streer his way in pitch dark.

Some times, the driver is in a mood to communicate, i tried to chat with them cautiously, as i do not want to hurt his sentiments. Mostly, the topics hover around politics, inflation, corruption, their problems etc., . Some times, the chat is quite interesting. Occasionally, i find an auto with a blaring stereo and my request to reduce the sound goes unheeded.

Recently, i came across a driver, his name is Mr. Jahangir, he has been shown me that he was awarded prize for Honesty by the police as he happened to return some valuables to the owner.  Initially, as you try to fix the fare he says Meter is not working.  They justify their overcharging of fare by rationalizing that everyone is looting other in the country, so why not we? We also come across gentleman drivers who are educated and well groomed.  They also discuss local politics and express their favorite party and who they will vote. I have also came across nice guy who was a lorry driver, became a cab driver and now owns two autos. They say the cost of a new auto with all taxes will cost around 2 Lakhs on road and also reveal how much their net earnings in a day.  One auto driver even correctly  guessed my destination in Abids to a Homeo Medical stores. Some of them stop auto to relieve themselves on the side of the road at a “do not urinate”  place. One Autowala was furious when i suggested to him a shorter route. The experiences are unlimited and interactions were very informative and  a good time-pass. May be you can also share your highlights. Adding salt to injury, HTP(Hyd’ Traffic Police) gives mobile number for lodging complaints about refusal to come and overcharge over meter rate or any rude behavior by the Auto driver. we have to take it with a big spoon of salt.   

But, with all this , i offer  Kudos to all these autowalas who navigate you through difficult traffic in a highly polluted city in all seasons to make a living and reach you to your destination. 

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