There has been a question which I have been wondering about for the last few days.
WHERE DO AUTO RICKSHAWWALAS WANT TO GO TO?
Every few evenings, when I come down from my office and am deprived of the pleasure of the company (and more importantly the car) of the husband feller, I proceed towards the auto stand – which is oh-so-conveniently located just outside by office building.
So far, my strike rate in actually getting anyone to take me home has been abysmal. Then I walk one kilometre in both directions, cross the road try from that side; cite locations which are half-way to my place but ZILCH. Most don’t even condescend to stop.
At this point I could have cursed the place where we stay as being inaccessible and whatnot but I have realized that’s not the reason. Auto-walas are completely non-partisan in their refusal. It does not matter who wants the ride. Doesn’t even matter which corner of the city they want to go to. It doesn’t matter what time of the day it is. The answer is a consistent, big, fat NO.
I see them reclining on their seats with their feet propped up on the dashboard smoking beedis. I see them casually leaning against the rickshaw stand sign exchanging views on life. I also see them regularly emerge from the depths of the auto to ask prospective rickshaw-seeking-gullibly hopeful -commuters where they want to go – if only for the pleasure of refusing them.
So the question is what is this mysterious Xanadu they seek? Its not any where of the city – we have already established that. It’s not to their respective homes either – otherwise they wouldn’t be at the stand. It’s not even to the moon – I asked them that once.
The question has started to take over my mind now – I imagine covens on full moon nights where all rickshawalas gather to honk at the moon... I wonder about PUC incompliant smoke belched out from rickshaws and dim hazy bars with strip dancers do a sinuous gyrating around the rickshaw poles. I think about Pran-isque underground dens full of potholes with boiling brimstone.
(I also think I am watching too many bad Hindi movies)
But the question remains. Don’t think we will ever know. Sigh.