God’s own country, from where I hail from had glorified the three wheeler and the men at its helm in a blockbuster movie by the title "Aye Auto". Not that the auto-wallahs out there went out of the way to hail the glorified status adorned to them. But they were far more endearing than the auto-drivers who rule the Bangalore roads.
My angst against the steerers of the three wheel wonder was lying like a dormant volcano ready to errupt at the slightest disturbance. The volcano had a verbal breakout last weekend during my weekend trip to the Total Mall adjoining my apartments, Springfields (on Sarjapura Road).
As I came out of the mall, little did I realise that I had too many bags to carry home, thanks to the trolley I was wheeling out with me. As soon as the same crossed the Lakshman Rekha drawn by the mall, I had a security person helping me offload the bags from the trolley.
To add to my woes my little one who was happily trotting along in the mall with me wanted a lift (a manual one) back home (just 200 metres down the road). That’s when my gaze crossed with the auto-wallah who was eyeing the opportunity. He shot the magic number "30 Rs" . No sooner than I vent out my feelings verbally, he said that "Lot of travel within the apartment ma’m, Rs 30 to your flat , Rs 20 to the gate".
This being the only auto around, with my son nagging and the shopping bags giving that heavy look, I hopped on to the auto and used the next few minutes to instill some gyan on humanity to the auto driver. As I got down from the auto and paid the auto wallah along with some verbal tips, he gave me the most cold look with his eyes that read "I don’t care"!
This is not a one-off incident. The autos camped outside Total Mall and Springfield Apartments all have the same rooster " Use my services if you want, I don’t really care if you chose not to". ⊕