Ripples of my Reflections

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The woes of a share-auto traveller

Hey people,

Hope you had a merry Christmas and wishing you a Happy New Year in advance 🙂 Everyone is in the holiday mood and blogging seems to be downstream except for a few posts here and there. Anyway nothing has changed in my life. If you wanna know what exactly is happening in my life, I can tell you – “When you expect something to happen, it seems like your life is on a pause button and time is taking its own time to give you what you want. But, when you love doing something, time just spins on its wheels” That’s exactly what’s happening to me. My life seems to be in pause mode.

Enough digression! Being in Hyderabad for the past year and having used share-autos for commuting to office daily, I have come to observe and learn the tactics needed to travel in a share-auto, which by the way is a more popular mode of commute than the local buses themselves. So here are some interesting almost life-changing things that might happen to you if you travel regularly by share-auto.

By share-auto, I do not mean the big ones which can accommodate 8 people. It is just the normal auto used as a circus show-off carrying more than it can. The share-auto drivers are self-assumed kings of the world and will have fixed destinations. They will run their auto to and from their destinations without a single passenger but will not think of changing their route to another one even if there are mobs of people waiting for a transport in a different route. Once you spot a share-auto, yell out the place where you wish to go to. If he finds you right, he is likely to stop the racing auto 10 feet forward from where you stand and look back, else he will just speed off.

Next, they have fixed rates. Either accept and get in or it is just get out. You cannot tell him that just the day before you paid 10 bucks and it is unfair that he is charging 20 bucks today. This rule applies especially when the never-ending recurring T-strike is on.

Suppose that it is your lucky day and you get a share-auto within few minutes of wait, make sure to hop in as quickly as possible, else you will find yourself face-down on the road, for the drivers will have an estimated instinctive time-limit before they start the auto. They won’t look back to make sure that you got in, if that’s what you were expecting. And if you are waiting for a share-auto and so are 10 others, prepare yourself to be a street rat and fight your way. If you prefer to be the docile type, call up your manager and apply for leave and go home.

Once you are inside the share-auto, hang on to the side bars for your dear life. The auto will race light and win the race! It will slide through all gaps available rocking back and forth, with its passengers juggled mercilessly. You will actually feel that you can fly. Women folks, be wise and choose the corner seat if there are guys in the back seat. Use one hand to hang on to the auto and one hand to defend yourself, else pervey perversons will show what they are capable of. This sad thing still happens.

And guys, you are cursed for life to be hanging only from the front seat along with the driver. Even if you come first and wait in the share-auto for an hour, you won’t get a reasonable seat to place yourself on if there are more than 2 girl-travelers. Be it pouring rain or scorching heat, you have to just accept it. Sometimes 4 guys including the driver will sit in the front and 3 passengers behind happen. Though I can’t say if the driver is really sitting and driving the auto, in such cases. He might as well be pressing random levers at the end of his foot and driving the auto by instinct. But, if you want to reach office on time wading through layers of traffic, you cannot put your mind through all that.

Image Courtesy: http://www.shatabdigaurav.com

And when you want the driver to stop at a place, yell “stop” 10 feet before the place actually comes to save on the walking time. And one universal rule, if you are in a real hurry for a meeting, just hire a direct auto and go. Else, you will have to wait in the auto until it fills up and overflows with people and by the time you reach, you will definitely be late.

Even with all this, you need a lot of luck for reaching your place safely without your heart popping out of your mouth. So, take care and good luck!

Until later 🙂

15 Comments

  1. LOL, what little I do know of the Coimbatore share autos seem docile in comparison, Keia 😀
    Good one..

    • He he 🙂 That’s true PeeVee! I have always wanted to conduct a competition between Chennai share-autos and Hyderabad ones. They seem equally “life-changing and life-challenging” 😉

  2. Hehe, luckily I escaped all this because Google sent cabs to our doorstep 😀

    I used to travel by those 7-seater share autos in college. Those were a lot of fun, and we always chose the one that played the loudest music.

    Nice write-up, had fun reading it. Write more about Hyd please, makes up for missing it so much! 😀

    • Lucky you 🙂 And yeah I missed that loud music! Given that I get to talk to my family only during this transit, the music would make it impossible, blaring in its glory.

      And thanks for the suggestion Sumi, I will put more into writing about Hyd 🙂 It sure is a lovely city. As much as I want to move to Bangalore, I know I am going to miss this, once I am past it 🙁

  3. Chennai’s autos will win hands down anyday when you take driver antics, pricing, argument and behaviour into consideration compared to any city in India for that matter.

    The share auto scene is a little more positive; services on certain routes are good and the pricing is a steal compared to other modes of transport. But overcrowding is a perennial issue as you have mentioned.

    Good write up.

  4. Good one !
    Share auto is the place where you can see unity in diversity !
    http://deepakkarthikspeaks.blogspot.com

    • You are absolutely right Deepak! The auto-drivers here will generally fight among themselves as if hell broke loose, but when it comes to fixing rates and haggling with the passengers, they go hand in hand, no matter what!

      Thanks for coming over 🙂

  5. hahaha…felt nostalgic after reading this share-auto thing…we were a group of 4 roomies back then…used to be fun…good write up Keirthana…happy new year!

  6. Haha typical of them.
    Good one 🙂

  7. Being in Hyderabad, I am well aware of the shared auto woes!!!!
    Sometimes they won’t even let a lady sit as they won’t be able to accommodate four passengers at the back seat.

    LOL at “Even if you come first and wait in the share-auto for an hour, you won’t get a reasonable seat to place yourself on if there are more than 2 girl-travelers” so true ….poor fellows!!!!

  8. I haven’t travelled in hyderabad much. But i have seen the scenarios mentioned above 🙂 In Chennai, Some of the drivers will think they are driving aeroplanes 😛 😛 They will try to overtake two buses by going in between the two.. so felt some horrifying experiences in share autos 🙂 🙂 Nice one 🙂

    • Yeah, I missed that point about driving between the buses! The slightest gap visible and these supermans will zoom in and out, oblivious to the horror of the passengers!

      Thanks Ravi 🙂 Appreciate your coming over!

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