Rickshaw walas in Nagpur – go home at 8 pm. Have to be called on their cell phones and cajoled into giving up their favourite TV show and bribed @ 50 Rs. per km, to drop you back to your hotel. The fully satisfying dinner your friend made digested by the time you are through kicking yourself for dismissing the production car in a spirit of benevolence.
Rickshaw walas in Bangalore – exhaust you. They demand too much money, they answer you back in a strange language, all through the journey you wonder whether you are headed towards where you want to go. My encounters with all the rickshaw walas in Bangalore redeemed by the one hero who helped me get my snatched handbag back on a dark street, at night. When I screamed hysterically, “He’s got my bag, he’s got my bag”, the rickshaw wala made a sharp U-turn into a No-Entry lane, jumped out, chased the thief, all the while screaming like a warrior, and me following, doing the same.
Rickshaw wala in Chennai – deliberately took me from the airport to the wrong bus stand, where there were no buses going to Pondicherry during the day, and where he could get Dhanno and me to book a taxi instead, with a commission for himself. When he saw us digging our heels in, he disappeared. Another rickshaw wala took us from the wrong bus stand to the right one at 50 Rs for a distance of 1 km.
Rickshaw walas in Delhi – I avoid. I feel very unsafe in Delhi, and would prefer to book a car. Provided I could trust the driver.
Rickshaw walas in Pondicherry – had a standard 40 Rs. rate for within the city, and 100 to 200 Rs. for outside. I didn’t even bust my head about it, Dhanno and I just walked, and then took a rickshaw when we were tired.
Rickshaw walas in Pune – are rude.
The rickshaw walas outside my gate in Mumbai – are there 24 hours of the day. I can take early morning flights without worrying who will drop me. I suspect their meters run a bit faster than the standard, even then Mumbai rickshaws are cheaper than anywhere else.
Of course, what I ought to have done is kept a record on the antecedents of all the rickshaw walas I’ve been subjected to, then this would have been a useful analysis for the MNS.
The General Secretary of the MNS defending her leader’s statements with shining eyes and a sincere voice said, he only meant to talk about those people who are arrogant, who don’t mix in with society. As a woman, she said, there were so many times she cannot find a taxi to take her where she wants to go, they don’t do their job well.
I didn’t know that taxi walas take a professional oath to serve the public come what may. Maybe they do, but it gets a bit watered down as they pass along their permits and licenses to each other in shifts.
If we are doing away with (no, oops, sorry, we are not doing away with, just sending back) people who don’t do their job well, the city could be cleaned up in no time at all.
In the meanwhile, I suggest the lady take rickshaws instead.