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Need, Greed or Just Old Habits Refusing to Die?

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by satchitananda, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Me : Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road.

    He thinks for a while and shakes his head.

    Me (attempt 2) : Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road.

    Rs. 20/- extra, he replies.

    I walk away. It takes about 8-10 more attempts to find an auto-rickshaw driver who is willing to go for meter fare.

    Soon enough, due to various reasons, I am forced to take a cab. It might be slightly more expensive, but at least they come and then behave themselves. Also, I don't keep getting bounced up and down in the craters of Bangalore like a particularly frisky ball ..... or so I thought until a couple of them went over speed breakers as if they were a product of mirages ending in me hitting my head on top and my spine when I hit the seat again.

    Sorry Madam.

    Sure, my head and spine are fixed with that one simple word "Sorry". All my problems have disappeared. But mind you, the kink in my head has not been fixed the way they do in movies. I need to cherish and take care of whatever little matter I have inside that box, so what if it is grey.

    Soon enough I revert to the auto rickshaw. No use paying so much if I still have to do an imitation of said frisky ball. After a few more experiences, I decide to disobey the surgeon who said (in the manner of a school principal) : No two wheeler.

    Me: But ......

    S: No two wheeler

    Me: How can I ...............

    S (putting on his school principal act) : No two wheeler. Now what did I tell you? Repeat it?

    Hmm..... I make a mental note to give this school principal's advice a try again.

    Meanwhile the petrol charges go higher. Tariffs are increased. The minimum fare by auto is Rs. 25/-. If I take a cab to go visit my mom during off peak hours, I pay Rs. 175/-. If I take an autorickshaw, I pay Rs. 162/- or whatever the meter is tampered to show. However, I have been ditched at awkward hours in awkward places by cab drivers who did not show up. I guess the demand for cabs has gone up ever since the rates of auto-rickshaws pulled up to near par.

    Me: Banaswadi.

    Rs. 20/- extra

    Me: Do I look crazy to you? For that fare I can take a cab.

    I start to walk off. He calls me back and takes me for meter fare.

    This morning one more refused to ply to the hospital. So did the second. The second one did not get off so lucky.

    You refuse to ply someone to hospital? What is the use of having such a nice autorickshaw if you won't even use it for a good purpose?

    Catch myself wanting to say something more, so just say

    Bless you, you'll do very well in life.

    It is a sight I never thought I would ever see on the face of an autorickshaw driver. He looked sheepish first, then guilty. I just walked off and found another one. Just as I was getting in, what do I see? This guy just whizzed off from there as if mad dogs were after him.

    "What is it?", it makes me wonder. The autorickshaw tariffs have almost caught up with cab rates. Still they tamper with their meters, demand extra fare on top of that, refuse to ply. They'd rather sit and chat or sleep, but they don't want to do some honest work and earn good money. Is it "need" or is it "greed"? Or is it just down to some "old habits refusing to kick the bucket"?

    As for me, if I can live without them, I shall lead a happier even if a shorter existence - God willing. So except for going to the hospital (I don't want to be made to stand outside the classroom by the principal for being caught flouting orders), I take my two wheeler and go where I will, when I will. Days when I don't feel upto it, it is back to the imitation of the frisky ball in an auto/cab. The only difference is these days there are more auto drivers who agree to go for the meter fare after trying their luck at fleecing the customer - may be all sensible folks travel by cabs.
     
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  2. shyamala1234

    shyamala1234 Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Satchi,

    Superb!!!
    Did you visit Hyderabad recently by any chance. Only names of localities change....same scene at Hyderabad. We also hire cabs as often as possible in the place of autos. Demand for them has increased so much that cab services went on strike recently for increase in fares. There is no need of metres in autos....anyway they do not charge according to the meter. Then why meters are there? May be somebody who is manufacturing them is getting benefitted.
    Syamala
     
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  3. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Shyamala, on principle I refrain from travelling in any auto that demands a single rupee extra. I don't see why my need should be exploited and I be held hostage to someone's greed.

    Of late, probably due to the increasing number of people travelling by cabs, I suppose demand for autos is reducing. More often than not, when I just walk off without bothering to reply, the driver climbs down from his high horse and agrees to go by the meter. This was certainly not the case a few months ago.

    There are many autos that often wait downstairs and refuse to ply for no apparent reason. There is an elderly driver who has consistently refused to ply whenever I asked him. The other day I went up to an auto to ask him if he'd take me to the home. I realized it was the old man. I told him "Anyway you will refuse" and started walking off when he called me and took me where I wanted to go.

    This daily battle of wits with auto drivers and cab drivers is enough to drive me totally batty.
     
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  4. vjbunny

    vjbunny IL Hall of Fame

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    DEar Satchi
    THe bug to earn more by hook or crook has caught everyone... So weaker people will become easy bakras to fleece.....
     
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  5. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Hey Bunny, so nice to see you here. :) I can very well understand need but a lack of a connection with reality and chasing something out of proportion with one's own effort, expenses etc. is a self-defeating exercise in the final analysis.

    Have you noticed how these auto wallahs often just sit around, chatting, refusing to ply? Now people can't afford the current auto rates and so use their services less. So with the combination of laziness as well as of lesser demand, they have effectively axed themselves on the feet. Naturally when they do ply, they still want more money. It's a vicious cycle. Anyway, everything has a way of balancing itself out.
     
  6. coolsandy

    coolsandy Gold IL'ite

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    My experience taught me a simple logic. Always hire an auto which is on the run and never those which are halted at their stands(designated one or forcibly designated one). And, never argue with them. We will be forced to stoop as low as them.

    But, I have come across many good autowalas too. And they have always been helpful. While I was in another city, I took an auto to my office. I could make out roughly that the meter charge would be Rs.40 and nothing more than that. In the initial days, the autowalas said, 'madam, 50 rupay se kam nahin hoga.' I waited for sometime, hired those autos which were passing through that road and I made sure it was always Rs.40. It went on for many days. To ensure, I wouldn't get late to the office, I used to start a little early(to compensate the waiting time for autos) Seeing this, one of the autowalas at the stand, came to me one day and told me 'madam..chalo... chalees hee de dena.' And from that day, I didn't have to wait for auto. The autowala knew my office timings, he would be waiting for me there and I would directly get into it. Things went on smoothly.

    There are so many such incidents with me. At the same time, I had my share of dealing with rough autowalas too. But again, I hardly remember any of them. Because I have these good memories of good autowalas. :)
     
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  7. Sriniketan

    Sriniketan IL Hall of Fame

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    Satchi,
    Need or Greed or old habits die hard..what I think is 'make hay while the sunshines' or 'grab whatever comes in handy out the burning house' mentality.
    My mom used to tell me that the flower vendor, they prefer to just throw the unsold flowers in a dust bin rather than give away at a low cost or even free, during those times.

    Sriniketan
     
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  8. Quebec

    Quebec Platinum IL'ite

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    [​IMG]


    Yes, this is the answer to all your problems.........

    A very very highly placed source has told me this secret........

    So when ever planning to go on a Auto take this magic with you..........


    Take Care
    chow
     
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  9. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    Satchi my experience anywhere in south of India is the autodrivers quote exorbitant rates and refuse to go by meter. Any threat of complaining to state transport authority elicits only scornful laughter and a reply that they have paid their monthly "dues" to STA officials and traffic cops and no one would heed a complaint. I found that in Bangalore it is cheaper to take the call taxi than the regular taxi particularly kif you are going from the railway station to the airport. The regular taxiwallahs are thieves of the first order while the Meru call taxis go by meter and the drivers are friendly and courteous.
     
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  10. periamma

    periamma IL Hall of Fame

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    Satchi i am surprised to hear the utrocities of auto drivers in Bangalore .Many of myfriends said chennai auto drivers are greedy and in Bangalore they are very decent.I have many experience with auto drivers.If we hire the auto at 6 am they demand for double charge and once i asked the driver"Do you think we earn the money in an easy way.All work hard to get the money and if you get more from me you will lose it in some other way."Then he accepted to get the regular fare.In another incident the driver start a wordy quarrel and raised his arm to hit my son and i threw my handbag on him to stop the fight.From then onwards i stopped getting down at that station.like this there are many stories.If we raise our voice they behave well.
     
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