I don't drive to work. I have a car and I have 3 valid excuses for not driving. No, don't get me started. And, I hate the claustrophobic buses. I also hate most of the commercial sedans and the few smelly hatchbacks that offer attractive deals. I hate ACs in vehicles. I totally love the unsafe autos. Ok, don't get me started on why UNSAFE, then WHY unsafe.
Ola-ed an auto on Rakshabandhan to meet a friend over coffee. That Saturday all our North Indian brethren on Sarjapur Road decided to lunch out and have some fun midtown. Well,imagine the traffic bottleneck on this stretch. Idreez Pasha, the Ola man of the hour asked me if there was an another route other than Sarjapur Road. Conversation was bound to happen. He was very brief and direct. He is from Kolar, earns honestly and goes home to his wife and kids every alternate week. No lodgings in Bangalore - his auto is his home. I thought I'd hire him to ferry me to work everyday. He also offered to show me Kolar whenever we intended to do a trip there. I didn't have the heart to keep him away from his wife and kids every alternate week that he went home.I decided against hiring him.
The same afternoon post coffee and some shopping, I was looking for an auto. This time it was Chand Pasha. He is a fancy creature with a big joint family. He wanted to earn an extra 20 bucks. I reprimanded him not to beg and haggle like this. I told him that customers would give you 'dua' and more than 20 bucks if your 'neeyat' is clean. He kept insisting he is a good guy and I kept telling him he must be!I told him I'd rather lose some 50 bucks but never see a dishonest person's face ever. Incidentally, I found him at the auto-stand the next day and he dropped me to work and he owed me 20 bucks which he assured me can be sorted in my return trip if he was around and that he was going to ferry me to work everyday. I gave him a courtesy call in the evening to check if he was around, he was not. The next day, his phone was switched off. His 'neeyat' was to earn 20 bucks more!
Honesty does not have a religion. Truly. The other day, my colleague and I flagged an auto home. He dropped off my colleague mid-way and we were homeward bound. The display credentials intrigued me. He was also a Pasha and he had an honest meter. I didn't strike any conversation with him, I was just a passing listener to his one random phone conversation. He spoke his Hindi with a highland accent.I was convinced he is from Kashmir. So out of curiosity, as I was paying the meter fare, I asked him where he was from. He said he was not from Bangalore. Further probing, and he said, he came to Bangalore 25 years ago from Kashmir.
Some auto experiences in Bangalore.