Saturday, February 8, 2014

“Bhaiya Andheri East chaloge?”

Some topics don’t need an introduction.  All of us know what happens next after you make an earnest request to the autowaalas to drop you at your destination.  (Disclaimer: All includes those who have Mamtamai Shri Radhe Guru Maa’s blessing because of which we experience pain and strength to get over it. Please pray touching her photo below she will bless you with her superpowers)

Usually when I am looking for an auto I am snubbed off by the rickshaw drivers. Yes, even they snub me. At the instance of hearing the destination Uday Chopra’s body double’s spirit from guesses!.. Dhoom!...  possess him and he flies away at 100km/hr.

On one such eventful day I was desperately looking for an auto because I was.. again no guesses!... getting late for office J After being refused by 225 auto rickshaws and engaging myself in verbal spat with 224 of them ranging from “Toh kya Dubai jaoge”  to “BC, BMW kharid ke chala le” I decided I would just sit in one and force him to drop me.

So post invoking every bit of Naari Shakti in me I forcefully got into one auto rickshaw and to no one’s surprise he refused. I started with requesting him but in vain. I still refused to get down from his auto wasting another 10 minutes. When everything failed I threatened him that if he doesn’t “obey my orders” I will file a complaint with the traffic police. He replied, “here is my auto number, please do it”.

Thanks to technological advancements and therefore smartphone, I scavenged the complaint number. Launched by Shri Anna Hazare(Team Anna Hazare)  this number came to my rescue-  98690 89898 which I found here.  Have you seen a dog when he sees food, those rays of hope in his eyes? …with such emotions I dialed that number thinking this will be a new revolution in Auto Corruption Hatao Aandolan. However, just like Anna Hazare this number also didn’t work. There was also an SMS support which I made use of and that SMS request is yet to reach Team Anti Corruption.

Phew! But main haar mane waalon mein se nahi hun, I said to myself. In the meantime the autowaala had gutkha, enjoyed Bhojpuri songs, gave me hopeless looks etc.
I was sure that there was another RTO number, helpline. I had watched its commercial in a movie theatre. The commercial goes something like this …a girl finds herself in a dark abandoned area that is when she realizes she is being followed by goons. She panics and starts sprinting towards the main road while dialing a number from her phone. The goons are about to catch her but just like it happens in the movies a police car shows up and goons run for their lives. Well, the ad campaign works but the number didn’t.  If I was in a situation like that girl in the ad campaign I would have asked the goons to help me bash up the idiots who started this helpline. On a serious note, I really hope such instances do not happen during an emergency.

Anyway, coming to my agony... there are no words to express how helpless I was in that situation where nothing seemed to work. Honestly, more than helpless I felt foolish and I know the auto guy too was thinking the same about me.

Alas I had to do what I didn’t want to. I dialed 100.The reason why I didn’t want to dial this number is because we know how police is and how things go from worse to worst when they show up for futile matters like these. “Please check the number you have dialed” came the response. “Are you serious”? , I fell from the seat.  After regaining my consciousness I sat their thinking what if this guy had stabbed me with a knife and if in that bloody moment I had heard ‘Please check the number you have dialed’ on a 100 line I would died. Died by laughing at myself, not because of the wound.

In the end the auto guy took pity on me (or maybe he got flustered) and got me another auto who unwillingly agreed.  I jumped into it thinking I was victorious in the auto battle. To change my mood to get back my sanity I put on my headphones and listened to 93.5fm that was playing apna kaam bantaa, bhaad mein jaaye janta. 


  1. Hi Tejas,
    Your pain and agony is not penny and futile. The last post that came from a writer's block was in September and the next after 5 months.
    Readers like me relate immense sensitivity and association for two obvious reasons with this. One being myself the 'prime' victim and two your 'keywords' and beep beeps! :)
    I can imagine the expressions you would be carrying while getting the response ' please check the dialed no. #100'. That's what our other colleague would typically call it 'fuck! Holy shit'. Lmao.
    But anyways, that's the way non mumbaikars deal with, rest all deal in 'aata maji satakli'. Wish you keep treating them well on every occasion. Ideally, I sat quietly on a rickshaw for Saaki-Naaka and then said 'bhaiya chalo' ...kahan? Saaki naaka. Out of 10, I reached 7 times without interruption. I remember while I was coming from Thane to Lokhandwala, I noticed that meter was speeding up like Michael Bolt! I interrupted and immediately asked him to stop. He said- ' arrey nahi bhaiya, aapko lag rha hai' and then he secretly pressed the key wire that rotates with the wheel. I saw him and said in silence, "beta apne area chal, aaj teri raat kaali hai'. Since it was night, I could hardly find any traffic police on way, so got myself just past the
    'Andheri-Check Naka' and said 'bhaiya, yahan rok do! Aage nahi jaana'. 'Kitna hua?' 430 rupaiye. Shaaabas, mere sher!200 rakh, baaki do minute ruk, police chowki se paise leke aata hu' and then he got the shock of life. Bhaiya, maine kya kiya hai? And all that. Policewaale bhaisaab, forun nikle or aa pade peechhe.
    Gaddi bhi Thane ki, bhara bhi zyaada or meter kharab! He realized the pulse of the situation and fled like Schumaker.
    Well that was just an incident to share of many.
    Meanwhile, equip yourself with the database of emergency contact no for key locations to seek help. Every other day, you will find it quite handy.

    Take Care! :)

    1. Hey Sushil, It feels awesome to know someone waits for me to write :) thank you for the encouragement. I hope my next post will come soon. I am glad that auto wala got a lesson of his life.. good work! I can imagine how victorious you must have felt! This emergency contacts thing is a good idea, will do that for sure.

  2. You are a gifted writer !