Meter Haaki Guru !!
It has been a little more than 2 years for me in Bangalore, and the only Kannada I know is the “auto language” (which is broken too). I don’t own a vehicle of my own, so I depend on public transport a lot. Sometimes I am a little impatient, and can’t wait for a bus (Volvo only), and one magic wave and a few moments later, voila comes the savior clad in khakis (most times), and riding his 3 wheeler.
Very convenient way of travel, especially in Bangalore traffic, the only problem being the outrageous rates the driver comes up with. If it is anything after 9pm, sometimes earlier, the auto guys’ knowledge of numbers is limited to multiples of 100 or 50 (if you’re lucky).
It’s a 3 km trip to my house from office, 5 rupees in a BMTC bus, 10 rupees in a Volvo, but by auto, well that depends on the auto-wala’s whim and fancy. They will have a million reasons to give “Time nodi sir” or “Vaapis khali barbeku sir” or the simple and straight forward “100 rupees agathe sir”. Firstly, excuse the language please. I really do suck at Kannada. But then yeah, those are the lines that most of you would have heard atleast once. What am I saying, this is Bangalore, you might hear it every single day.
Somehow there comes along an auto guy who agrees to go for meter charge, but the meter runs faster than Usain Bolt during his World Record 100m sprint. Before you know it, the meter shows a big fat 50 when all it is supposed to show is 27 or 28. And you can’t argue with him because you have no other choice. There was this other instance where my roommates and I had to go to a friend’s place sometime in the night. Mode of transport had to be auto. We reached there in half an hour with the meter reading 150. We were in a hurry, so didn’t bother to think about it either. We left his place at about 1 in the night, and thankfully got a rick guy who agreed to take us for 1 and a half meter. We reached our place in another half hour, and the meter read 97. I mean, same distance, same time to travel, but a 60 rupee extra on the meter.
Lesson learnt. Well, in that case it would be more feasible for me to fix a price before sitting in an auto. I can’t afford to tell the auto guy “Meter Haaki Guru”…