Thursday, November 01, 2007

I salute...

the auto rickshaw drivers in Chennai. Unlike their country cousins in Bangalore, they never refuse to go anywhere. They shake their heads and smile at you disarmingly and then quote a price. An unbelievable price. But by this time you are so charmed by his civility that you almost give in. But then the bell rings. You look at him questioningly only to find him still smiling at you most politely. You try to tell him how incredible his price is only to have him explain how he has been waiting to ferry you all his life and how his entire life's karma depends on you agreeing to pay his price for the ride. By this time the brotherhood of auto-drivers gather to convince you that you alone can grant him moksha. Tempted to play God, you give in. The ride ends with you shelling out his fantastic fare and he dropping you a block away from your destination saying he doesn't want you to pay extra for going to the bylane instead of the main road.