Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Today, I'm in a mood for display!

You might be wondering what’s this avoidable, not-so-trendy vehicle doing here?? Well, it’s here because I consider it a three-wheel wonder and the most amazing public vehicle designed yet. You may not give it a damn unless it gets stuck in the traffic and you are kicked out of an important class with the most exuberant ‘get-out’ command possible!
Well, moving on, the Indian auto rickshaw is something that can easily demonstrate some very fine nuances of India’s so called ‘aam aadmi’. TV host Sajid Khan once said, “When the hand made portrait of a bollywood actor or actress reaches the mud-guard of the rickshaws, you can say that he is popular now.” Don’t you feel it’s true? 50% of the rickshaw mud-guards sported Hritik Roshan’s ‘biceps-angle’ portraits after KNPH, Shahrukh and Aishwarya also made it there but Salman Khan and Himesh Reshammiya are the all time favorites!
Taking a step forward from bollywood, in India one doesn’t need to check out the internet to find out the number of religions followed in a particular area. Rickshaws speak them all. I could somehow notice that the rickshaws in the Pani-gate area had golden or green colored stickers on their windshields that said, “Khwaja Garib Nawaz (K.G.N)”, while those around the RTO office had some Punjabi religious names. Obviously with the 33 crore deities, Hindu windshields are visible all across the city making it impossible to mention their names! Surprisingly, the railway station territory shows some secularism and the mutual co-operation between rickshawalas there is readily evident. Isn’t it amazing?
Now, there’s this funny and familiar rudeness of people in the business. Once I asked a rickshawala, “Why do you people always charge only one rupee greater than the meter reading whether it is Rs.10 or Rs.100?” I expected a technical answer. But all I got in a reply was something like this, “I won’t bloody mind if you want to pay me more.” Two others surrounding him grinned at me. I got out of there as soon as I could!
By the way; watching women argue with the rickshawalas for fare money worth ‘prime numbers less than 5’ is even more enjoyable! You can make a ‘high TRPs yielding’ reality show out of it!
Rickshaws drive me crazy for numerous other reasons. I’ve never seen a Moto GP biker or an F-1 racer sway his vehicle like an audacious rickshawala does in the jam-packed Raopura (a locality in Baroda) streets! A rickshaw can boast of the smallest turning radius compared to any other public vehicle. I mean, a U-turn isn’t a big deal; full marks for the degree of freedom. Indian rickshaws have the music-systems and woofers of the level only next to those installed by ‘MTV Pimp my ride’! Well, the only difference is, instead of Snoop Dogg, you’ll have to listen to ‘Himesh bhai’.
There’s one more thing about Indian rickshaws that leaves me absolutely bewildered. From outside, they seem to be good enough to just accommodate, let me think, two ‘skinny’ Punjabis or three ‘healthy’ Gujjus at most. But believe me, I have been one of those 10 people successfully present inside! Limousine makers, can you boast of a higher occupant capacity?? Hmm…. Did you ask, “What about safety?” Well, if the rickshawala is a satisfied and stable man, you are safe. But if he’s a Dhoom fan and is ready to take on the world when it comes to winning the road race, all you can do is as under.
Trust the God on your rickshaw’s windshield, fix your hairstyle in the looking glass from two different angles and reach your destination saving ten bucks back home! Mom will be happy for sure! SALAAM RICKSHAW!!!


  1. its great to see hw much u observe......thngs r put in very creative manner thats impressive.....very few pple hav this much observation capacity.....keep it up.....keep writing nd keep entertaining....really good.....

  2. shukriya!!
    it's great if you feel entertained after reading them. . .