Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Joy Ride

My experiences with the rickshaw drivers are very limited. But whenever I had a chance to hire their services, I must say that the experiences were not pleasant and often it would end-up in ugly brawl over the money demanded. I never won the arguments, but I realized most of these drivers use the lines like “what is Rs10 for people like you sir? Its peanuts compared to whatever you may be earning, but even a single rupee for us has a huge value”. I never wanted to go into full detailed analysis of this value-proposition business so after some time we used to settle for amount which I and he both felt perfect fit. Ever since my bike came use of rickshaw had gradually decreased and now it is almost negligible

Yesterday, since I was not in a mood to drive and also the distance to be traveled was more, I had to rely on using the services of rickshaws. I came out of the complex, and there was this rickshaw standing, I asked him for MG road and without any bargain he said yes.

Once I entered inside the rickshaw looked completely different as if I have entered into some magical world. The usual worn out leather-look seats had given way to the nice upholstery made up of velvet with groovy patterns. The backrests were redone to suit passengers; there even was a head rest for the seats. A carpet was laid on the floor and the roof has a false ceiling. The normal black meter was polished and sported nice silvery look. There was temperature meter on one side, a digital clock on the other side. The back rest of the driver sported a nice showcase, complete with toys, flower pots and decoration items, when viewed from the passenger side. So much so that the rickshaw had CD player running in it (heavy bass and treble settings prevented us from making out which song was playing).

After all this experience I was surprised to that the driver never complained to tender exact change. To be precise, 43 rupees.

It is only during the return journey in the evening when we took rickshaw back home, ordinary I must say in comparison with the morning experience, I realized that the meter had been running faster than it should have. :(

Conclusion: Stay away from jazzy rickshaws. Later I realized from my friend, who had done extensive research on rickshaws, the worst looking rickshaw are more likely to have the most authentic drivers.

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