Auto Rickshaw drivers in Delhi (and elsewhere) are believed to be a crooked lot. Loitering around in their (now eco-friendly) three wheelers, ready to fleece you at the slightest pretext. You want the shortest route; they always take a detour feigning traffic jams, closed roads or some other not so ingenious excuse.

The law requires them to ply by meter (unless you take a pre-paid from an authorised booth). When you ask them to, comes the eternal excuse, “Meter kharab hain” (The meter’s not working). A few days ago I took an auto rickshaw (non pre-paid) from the Old Delhi Railway Station to my residence in the eastern suburbs. I had negotiated the fare beforehand. The electronic meter was covered with a rexene flap. On it written in stylised Devanagri was, “Maaf kijiye munimji chutti pe hain” (Sorry! the accountant is on leave).

I smiled, but on reaching my destination had to pay the driver Rs. 10 more than what his perpetually on leave munimji (accountant) would have otherwise calculated.

Categories: Uncategorized