Auto-matic Thieving.

"I am here to rob you, heeeee heeeeee."
“I am here to rob you, heeeee heeeeee.”


Have you seen movies or cool shows?

Is that a yes?


Have you seen the sequence where the character

gets into a random cab/auto-rickshaw and

commands the driver to follow another vehicle?

Is that an affirmative?


Well for all of us Delhites that ain’t happening. EVER.

Why, you ask?

Let me explain.

As you all know I travel around in buses mostly. Sometimes when I feel too lazy or tired or rich I take an auto-rickshaw, more commonly know as an “auto”. The general protocol of hailing an auto is to wave your arms like the windshield wiper of a car, pray that the driver saw your moves and stops. The driver shall ask you “Where do you want to go?” and depending on his wisdom and whim he shall either let you sit or dismiss you and rattle off.

It is a lucky day if the auto driver agrees to take you to your destination.

Getting the driver to agree is Stage 1 of Mission Auto-ride. Stage 2 is the price and fare. How much are you willing to give?

7 out of 10 drivers will state a price so exorbitantly high that it makes me want to switch professions and take this job. The remaining three, I assume, are law-abiding men who charge according to the government rates. Bless these men. Now since it is most likely that you found a looting thief, you stand there and argue.

“Go according to the meter.”

“No, it’s too far away”

“It’s too cold.”

“I won’t get any passenger from there.”

“What will I earn?”

“Do you want to go or not?”

“I am an idiot who will rob you because I can sniff desperation in the air. Pay up!”

Some-days I cave in, some-days I tell them to F off. The latter is rare.

According to the law, an auto driver cannot refuse you and has to go by the meter to ANY destination you want within the city. Does this happen? Of course not!

The driver knows you want him, you know you want him and end up paying more money for the convenience. Is it their fault that you crave this luxury so much? I don’t think so. The Delhi government has a complaint cell for errant drivers. One threat of a complaint and no driver dares to cross you. Does the average citizen do this? No. Why? No one wants the hassle, that’s why. It’s a vicious cycle. The customer’s want feeds the driver’s greed.

The auto driver is aware of the fact that if you aren’t desperate enough or late enough to cough up his exaggerated price; someone else is. He knows that you neither have the time nor the inclination to register a complaint against him. He knows the customer and plays on the psyche.

Stupid customers.

Stupid me. Sometimes.

I am guilty of wasting a LOT of money only because I did not want to fight. There are many others like me. It’s the likes of us that let these people get away with their lawless, thieving and surprisingly dominating ways. It shouldn’t be so. I have promised myself that I shall not get into an auto-rickshaw till the time the meter is not on.

Needless to say, my dreams of ever chasing someone on the roads are dead for now.




This was published here!




16 thoughts on “Auto-matic Thieving.

  1. Its common in all parts of india 😦 really sad 😦 I try my best not to travel in the ‘”auto” and i do rarely , But my mom does daily and she complaints of numerous verbal harassment she faces( includes almost everyone these days) on the hands of rickshawala’s. Very few honest one’s remain. I don’t think the situation is going to change because we need them more than they do. And if we somehow can change that situation then they would consider some ethics.


  2. I feel you. I lived in Bangalore for three years, and I love love love that place. But those autowallas. Man, do they drive me insane. First, you need to get through the bargaining bit, then it’s praying that you’re alive at the end of the ride.


    1. I hear you.
      They have so much attitude! Although here the alive part is not a problem. With so much traffic, there is hardly any speed.


  3. Awesome one .. Yet again !! 😛
    Btw, need a big help from you , even though its gonna be embarassing. Ping me


      1. First of all, they don’t run the meter. Prices of trips become a known thing in the city, but some drivers argue and say they want more. Some of them can be so insolent and arguments can get nasty especially if they are talking to a woman. There was this one time when I was younger and I was in a taxi with my sister and my mum, and the taxi driver wanted more money so mum refused. As we were getting out of the backseat, the driver reached his hand over to try and stop us, and I had to push it and bang it against the front seat. We left quickly, and we heard him saying nasty curses behind us.
        Another thing that’s came up recently is that taxis are not that safe because you are alone in a closed car with a man. Some drivers are actually thieves or rapists in disguise and they may kidnap the riders to steal their money or rape them.
        So, I think “microbuses” are a safer ride. They are the 15 passenger cars with the sliding door if you don’t know them, and the fare is set more or less. Some people still argue over it, but much less than taxi drivers.

        Stay safe! ^_^


  4. Hi babe!
    That sucks! I wish people were more honest, especially drivers who try to take you the long way to raise your fare or just charge you some insane amount. Here’s to hoping you always find someone who’s honest and fair =)



  5. No doubt, I’ve been cheated more than once in India, by rickshaw drivers and venders… but I somehow feel badly for the guy in the picture above! My guess is that he thought he was being immortalized. 😉

    Worst experience ever in a rickshaw? In Varanasi, late at night…. my daughter was in the rickshaw in front of me, her driver was driving very erratically. Mind you, my driver was driving like a madman! (there were 3 of us in each rickshaw)… he raced around a corner and flipped over. I was a freaking out, to say the least. He was totally drunk, and a crowd gathered, helped my daughter out of the flipped vehicle and dragged the guy off. I hate paying what we pay, but it’s pretty straightforward, at least.


  6. Man, you never catch a break, do you?! As traumatized as I am by your stories (haha) I still want to come to India! (Because this place sucks so bad, it makes your place seem like an island resort.) I do hope that women are given fair treatment eventually though. I would probably be a bit of a troublemaker…


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