How Auto Rides are Killing Me

Auto Rickshaw

*Picture from

If you look inside one of those omnipresent auto rickshaws in Pune and spot a particularly hassled passenger, it might as well be me. Wave out to me, Good Samaritan, and I may last out that bit longer. Why the drama, you say? Read on.

I cannot expect to always get an answer when asked to be dropped to a certain destination. The likelihood of an answer depends on the quality of my destination, the driver’s mood and I assume a few others unstated factors. I must learn to equate silence with either a “no” or an obnoxious fare.

They never seem to find passengers anywhere. My chosen destination is always either too close or too far, too crowded or too sparse, and always bereft of people needing an auto ride.

If I am lucky enough to find someone who will drop me, I may have to pay a good amount over and above the meter reading. It is apparently the half return fare and the drivers have the right to claim it. Why? See reasons above.

I have to be prepared to be introduced to new roads, lanes and turns especially if not familiar with the route. I have tried saying that the GPS tracker suggests an alternate route but am grumpily told that stuff is crap.

As a customer, I must carry exact change. I cannot expect the auto wallahs to have change when it is morning (too early in the day), afternoon (lunch time) or evening (rush hour). The little bundle of notes under the seat is meant to be taken out only in extreme circumstances, usually after a nasty argument.

I am facing severe withdrawal symptoms. I really miss the crowded, air-conditioned compartment of the Delhi Metro which barely let me stand yet always safely dropped me to and from work – all at very little cost. And now, all this auto-mated learning, all at once, is killing me. Help me, Lord.


23 thoughts on “How Auto Rides are Killing Me

  1. I suppose the auto’s in Pune run on meter? In Goa…we have to go by what they say, its ridiculous and walking is a better option.
    We also have ‘pilots’/motor cycle rides that take us to destinations at a little cheaper cost 🙂

  2. Pingback: Too Chicken In Love | Of Paneer, Pulao and Pune

  3. True. If you are at mercy of autos, life is truly bad. It is better to cycle to work, at least you are independent 🙂 I used to hate it when I was dependent on their whims and fancies and especially when it rained, it was the pits.

    • A cycle sounds like an infinitely better idea! The auto wallahs in the city are getting more temperamental by the minute – almost as if they will be giving us a ride for free!

      Oh, the rains are a horrible scenario when it comes to public transport, much as I like them warm and snug at home. 😛

  4. While I have no experience of your public transport system (?) we all have choices. Most major cities around the world (Toronto is mine) have problems of congestion, pollution, and questionable taxicab services. One has to look at all the options and perhaps make a change. Is it feasible to bypass the taxi by buying your own vehicle? Is their an alternative public transport system? Would flexible working hours make a difference? Do you really have to work there? If all those questions come with negative answers, then it becomes your choice to display whatever emotion you want. When you are next getting frustrated, look at the people who do not have jobs. Look at the people who are walking to work. Look at your driver who is breathing exhaust fumes all day. Be thankful that while your life is far from perfect, it is so much better than many others.
    I will be smiling at you in your next rickshaw ride. Please smile back at me. 🙂

    • You have become my go-to person whenever I feel frustrated or low. Hats off to your attitude and huge thank you for taking the time to help me feel better about the situation. 🙂

      Well, we are considering getting a private vehicle though this is likely to take some time. Perhaps, I will get used to the city’s public transport in a few days and will then save myself the daily frustration. As for counting my blessings, what’s better than the thought that Saturday evening is almost here? 😀

      I definitely will wave at you the next time I feel furious with the autorickshaws. See you then! 😉

      • I know that you visit our Blog so perhaps, next time, you could click on the Just Thinking tab. It is the start of an idea which I hope proves useful and interesting to many people like yourself. You may wish to express an opinion (on anything) and hopefully get some good feedback. Regards. Colin.

  5. Ah the Pune Auto Rickshawwala is the king of the roads none dares annoy. Well say a little prayer and keep your fingers crossed when anywhere in Pune traffic. Cheers 🙂

  6. Oh! Sad for you..I thought only Bangalore had that auto wallahs problem..
    Get a vehicle to drive – 2 wheeler or 4..I know it’s me who is saying this who can only make peace with a bicycle but driving your own vehicle is another name of independence

    • I gues this is an omnipresent problem. 😦
      I couldn’t agree more – a private vehicle seems like bliss! I will give this serious thought. Thanks Parul. 🙂

  7. That was a one nice post debs,it is usually the same in Bangalore ,like you said depending on the quality of the destination!!Phew…and if at all you manage to sit in an auto with a decent driver,you are said to be lucky, also people comment that you have done some good thing in your past life!!Anyway take your time to adjust to the auto’s!!its pretty much going to be the same for another decade!

    • Welcome here Brunda! 🙂 You nailed it – we should indeed consider ourselves lucky if we manage to find an autowallah who agrees to drop us at a reasonab;e fare. I am trying to adjust.Let’s see how it goes… 🙂

  8. Hmmm well how about getting your own vehicle that will save all the hassle. .

    I remember when in bangalore every auto guy was like that.. In the end I had to ask the hotel guys to get me a taxi to where ever I had to go …
    How are you doing debs…

    • Hey Biks! Long time, no see? Hope you’re doing awesome…I am doing great.

      Well, R and I are considering buying conveyance but that has to wait till we settle the neverending expenses of settling into a new home. 😛

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