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:: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 ::


After a break from the city for 2 weeks, I land at the airport and head to the pre-paid auto counter. The cop there says no pre-paid facility, just go by the meter; which surprises me. I don't understand why. And then he adds, you need to pay 16% extra, which adds more surprise on the top of it. Further inquiry reveals that the prices have gone up by a rupee a kilometer. Having been recently in Delhi where transportation is much cheaper, I get irritated. Nevertheless, I don't have a choice. Had I had no luggage, I would have taken a bus without thinking twice.

Anyway, I get into a rickshaw. When I get in, the meter is already showing Rs.12. I ask the driver to reset it once and he pretends as though he did not hear me. I say again and he speaks to me rudely and taunts me as though he wants a fight. But I keep quiet and keep my cool, and he resets the meter. A few kilometers later, he asks me which route to take when he clearly knows there is only one sensible route. I answer. In 45 minutes, I am home. He reads the chart for mapping the increased fare, and says it is 120 rupees. But I know my math; I take the chart from him and see that it is only 110. I tell him so. After all these things, he feels he has the right for an extra 10 rupees. And he gets into a shameless begging routine now for that additional 10. I shrug, give him only the what is due and leave him without speaking a word.

And then I make a mental note to take the bus more and more, a process I have already started sometime ago with some degree of success.


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