September 05, 2011

Auto-rant-tyrants

If you saw an evil-looking woman flailing her limbs about and yelling like she was possessed outside the Egmore museum, hey, we've met. After all, I was in Chennai, the city of the brotherhood of nasty auto mafiosi where they will charge you money even to run over you with their noisy instruments of torture. In a city where the auto fares are calculated in Adi tala, (read eight times the actual price of the ride), it is hard to stomach the temerity of an auto driver who takes you to the museum when you ask to be taken to Music Academy. That broke my heart. I almost offered to teach him to count the swaras even though he charged me money for taking me to the wrong destination. 

So the reality of Chennai autos didn't strike me all week, because a more patient colleague did the bargaining, gently reasoning with overambitious villains. Come Friday, she left, and I was thrown to the wolves. One day, and the delicate threads that tethered sanity to my being were blasted apart.

One thing I fail to understand is their complete disregard for all knowledge that is geographical. Or their failure to understand that localities are continuous, ongoing units, processes almost, and that you will not choose to alight at the first house in Thousand Lights when you are, in fact, looking for the thousandth light. 

And that irritating habit of saying thirty rupees/ fifty rupees/ _______ (replace with random atrocious figure) when your destination is a few yards away. That is just mean. You know, the next time you go to your friendly neighbourhood ______ stall, I hope he charges you thirty rupees extra for your _______. Will keep the wheels of economy well-oiled. So mean, that even those Kurla station auto drivers look like saints; I should compose something in their praise. Even Bombay has traffic, okay? 

Was Mahisasura an auto driver in Chennai in some birth?