My heart racing. My eyeballs dilating. Drops of sweat trickling down my brows. Before you jump to conclusions, this hasn’t become a kinky diary or anything, and no, I ain’t getting me any action. I’m describing to you, the state I find myself in while travelling everyday in Mumbai. Let’s momentarily forget that my chauffeur’s driving skills are matchable to those of a blind cat, I’d still say commuting is a task. I thought we’d do a lil Rapid Fire, coz that’s the In thing. Grab a pen and paper or just open your Smartphone Memopad and have a cookie for every time you answer “No” to my questions.
1. Have you ever had a brawl with a rickshaw driver on the road?
2. Have you ever honked like a man-off-meds because the car ahead of you is as fast as an asleep snail?
3. Have you ever broken a signal? Or reprimanded your chauffeur to do so?
4. Have you ever had to ask for directions owing to the to lack of appropriate ones (or any)?
5. Have you ever abused on the road? Mentally or in actuality?
I’m not cruel, you can cheat and have one cookie. Coz that’s the only one you’re getting all day. My point is, when was the last time you were enjoying local travel? It’s inconvenient, stressful and oh-so-consuming. For my international readers (far and few they come), our rickshaw drivers are a combination of Gordon Ramsey, Simon Cowell and Joan Rivers. They seamlessly break signals, recklessly spit paan on the road and expressively slur. The person who issues them licenses is sure-as heaven not a God fearing man.
You ask me what we can do, I say, a lot. Don’t encourage them to drive rash, or speed up when you’re getting late. It’s your fault. Report them if they take you for a ride (pun intended) to raise the fare. A wise man once said, “Don’t succumb to wrong, as that puts you equally at fault”.