Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Buggy Ride

Long long ago, it dawned in the mind of a dubious entrepreneur that a rickshaw can be motorized. Thus began the era that we all would like to call as AUTORICKSHAW- THE TORTURE YEARS.

Actually, it was a boon for many of us; in small towns, autorickshaws became a very cheap and convenient way to get across to places. But it was not so when it came to the metros; especially a metro that we are so accustomed to, Bangalore.

The creative mind of whoever came with the yellow and black color scheme for the Ricks must in fact be having a pleasant dinner in hell; or he might still be stuck somewhere in the labyrinth of Bangalore traffic, doesn’t make much difference does it. The sight never escapes you and brings nightmares to you even in broad day light; the shiny yellow and black bug of doom.

With the IT boom they realized the full potential of the spending power of IT employees. Hence started what is a remarkable cost-market analysis which reaps in benefits for them by the day.

Autorickshaw and the Entrepreneur on 3 wheels

The business strategy applied by the auto drivers can put any of the managers in an IT firm to shame. The effective processing of data like traffic congestion by the hour on any route, the effective necessity and the possible spending power of the customer is evaluated in what is timed as two head bobs of the driver. More complex calculations which involves extra monetary addition to the regular fare makes the auto driver to shrug his shoulders twice and contort his face to show how tough a decision he has to make. This will be followed by a low frequency hum of approval or just plain at-your-face rejection when he just zooms ahead. If your request is blatantly incomprehensible to the intellect of the driver (like a trip which will only cost you minimum fare) he murmurs something like a cow having a bad case of diarrhea and zooms off with a wave of his hand which in turn questions your intellect.

One is danger, a herd is a threat to your existence

The scenario discussed earlier is of a single of the species. Your existence in this beautiful world can be in question if your misfortune brings you to negotiate with a pack of drivers. Like a well lubricated parallel computing system, the ground premises are laid well ahead of your arrival; the expenses, possible routes and the ‘right’ attitude. If you find one driver in the pack rejecting your request there is no point wasting your time asking the rest. Collectively, they will manipulate your decision making process to accept their exorbitant request of maybe four times the amount you might have actually spent.

The Rickshaw Man and his Sixth Sense

Unlike us mere mortals, auto drivers do not rely on worldly senses like sound and sight. Though provided with equipments like mirrors, indicators and horns, they rely on something hugely superior to all this; THE SIXTH SENSE. It is what we might call a gut feeling; the auto driver just feels this sense tingling in his brains which will help him decide to take a turn or just stop the ride. His apparent carelessness and lack of awareness of the traffic is a mistake from our part, as we fail to realize the years-ahead-of-time technology and sadhna which goes into the mindset of the auto driver.

Club Auto- 24 hrs open party destination

This is a sub species of the general Auto irritatious group of creatures. This one is found especially with trance inducing hypnotic ‘disco lights’ of blue, green and red. The timing and pattern of these blinking lights are so created to put the rider into a state of trance where his normal senses cease to exist for his own aid. This is usually accompanied by dhinchak kind of music which not just keeps your foot tapping, but gives an occasional tap (read knock) in your heart that by the end of the ride you have just had a near death experience. Though the music might be thought as inferior to our regular senses, the lyrical value of these is an unquestionable assault to our senses. The speakers used in these autos will put any club in the city to shame, with their effective reproduction of bass, and nothing else.

Club Auto is also known as UFOs

Many a foreigner in their trip to India has mistakenly identified the Club Auto as a UFO sighting. The out of the world directions in which the auto seems to travel and the color lights of these are quoted as the main reason of this deception. It is rumored that almost all of the UFOs supposedly stored in Area 51 of USA is actually different type of Autorickshaws abducted from various parts of India and Indonesia. The ingenuity which goes into the making of these remarkable vehicles have puzzled the Americans to wits end and they have concluded that these ‘UFOs’ use technology highly advanced from our so called state-of-the-art.

Idol Worship and Space Marketing

The regular auto drivers of Bangalore city are on a spiritual level above the regular religious customs. They idolize and worship a long haired, bearded movie star in Kannada film industry popularly known as Uppi Dada. The dedication shown by them into this worshipping effectively makes them behave like a Super Star on three wheels.
Also to be noted here is effective space marketing campaign of these Autos. A popular product review website called mouthshut.com apparently enjoyed a 200% increase in hits per day because of this effective mode of marketing. For the auto drivers though, more than just marketing, it was a mode of communication to effectively reach out to the customers as if to say, if you don’t like it, better keep your mouth shut…. Dot com.

Necessity is the Mother of Doom

Apparently for us mortals even after all these tortures, has to depend on the yellow and black three legged buggy driven by the monster behind the ‘wheels’. In this crowded city, where you can rarely enjoy a two wheeler ride, thanks to Bangalore’s contribution to the ongoing debate on green house effect and the ice caps melting, and few of us can afford the luxury of a four wheeler, or even take the burden to drive one down the city, these three wheelers provide adequate relief by providing us shade in this dusty hot city. But like all ‘good’ services in this world, we should realize that, nothing comes for free here. If we take it, make sure we pay for it, a tad higher than regular meter rates though.

No comments: