I always wanted to chronicle all my bitter-sweet amazing auto experiences, however mundane they may seem to anyone. I have always enjoyed my auto rides in this city. It's the next best thing that can happen to a single woman (no, but I am engaged to be engaged) in a big city who does not how to drive, has not made much effort to learn how to drive and does not have that 24/7 kinda boyfriend or fiance who would double up as a willing driver, thanks to so many XYZ factors.
Ok, so learning how to manoeuvre a 2-3-4 wheeler was/is never in my agenda. I come from the city of the princely pines - Shillong, where walking forever is a dream. I was forced to take the bus and the Maruti 800-cabs only during exams, not because I had to but because Papa wanted to accompany and travel in peace. Yes, the grand Ambassador taxis were phased out due to "old age" and they were stylishly replaced by the Maruti 800 cabs - 5-7 rupees is still the standard fare. Autos were introduced for plain-er areas, but I have seen them struggle gallantly up the winding hills. Oh, how adorable they looked from behind! You know, my sister refused to travel home in the quintessential auto-rickshaw during a Dussera outing, saying it would not do justice to her formal clothes. I guffawed!
My folks don't think it is a good idea for me to start driving in Hyderabad, they are paranoid about rash and reckless driving. They think there is enough short-temper heritage and legacy I carry that won't be a comfortable proposition. So, one more reason why I have not learned driving.
Overheard a conversation at work why one particular lady never learnt driving, her loving husband vowed that it would be a dream to see his wife dropped to work in a chauffeur-driven car. He fulfilled his vow and lives his dream. His wife is happy. So, she has her reasons not to learn driving. Cute.
It was and used to be very romantic to have a loved one come to pick you up for a romantic and quiet evening far from the madd(en)ing crowd. As both parties involved grow into it, there is the greater need for practicality, like avoiding traffic snarls and saving time and hassles. It does take away a chunk of the charm but unconditional love, affection and acceptance and I say - "Remember the auto-guys?"
So here's to a series dedicated to my ever dependable autowallahs.