Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bangalore Autowallahs- The Quintessential guide to get rich quick

Ever been fleeced by an auto driver in Bangalore? Now who can honestly say no to this one. We've all been victimised at some point or the other. Sometimes I half wonder whether there are crash courses/manuals on how to become a rich auto driver. I wouldn't be surprised if there are. An equivalent of Fayol's 14 principles maybe? Lets try and picture the manual shall we? We could call it 'the principles of 'auto'cracy! Quite apt I'd say! So here we go..

1. 'Aim for the sky' principle-
What I need: An ignorant passenger who likes a good 'bargain'
Modus operandi: (assuming the meter charge is Rs 50)
Me, the auto-guy (M): Auto boss?
Passenger (P): Madiwala jaaoge bhaiyya?
B: 300
P: kya baat kar rahe ho? Bahut zyaada hai
B: 200
P: 100 me chaloge?
B: (like I'm doing him a favour) Chalo theek hain...baitho! (Mission success!)

2. Principle of 'delaying the quote'-
What I need: A passenger who agrees to sit in the auto after I agree to travel to the destination
Modus operandi: Once the passenger is seated, travel for 10-20 metres and then drop in the '20 rupees extra hota hai' line! Usually, at worst, the passenger will get off. However, chances are that he will continue to sit in my auto as he wouldn want to get off n go through the painful process of finding another auto again. (Wuddup!)

3.' Tamper the meter' principle-
What I need: A tampered meter
Modus operandi: No nonsense! I shall tamper the meter, so i don't have to waste my time on lengthy negotiations. Awesomeness!

4. 'You were vague' principle-
What I need: A passenger who just mentions an area and not an exact destination point
Modus operandi: I will drive the passenger to the area and once i figure out where exactly he wants to go, within that area, i will throw a fuss about him having not been clear earlier. I shall subsequently ask him for Rs 10 extra for having caused me a gross inconvenience. (Works more often than you think!)

5. 'I shall help you make a choice' principle-
What I need: A passenger who doesnt know the shortest route to his destination
Modus operandi: I shall drive the passenger to a junction and ask him which way he would prefer to go. Chances are he might pick the longer route if he is ignorant. Better still, he will put the ball in my court and ask me to take the shortest possible route. Most certainly sir! Bwahahahaha ;)

6. 'Ghoom ke aana padta hain' principle!
What I need: A gullible passenger
Modus operandi: Just use the title line whether or not its applicable. Passengers who are not too familiar with the roads tend to sympathise and I win a right to charge extra! Woohoo!!

7. 'Start early' principle!
What i need: A passenger who is unclear about the 'one and a half' and 'double meter' rules
Modus operandi: I shall start charging one and a half and double metre long before the the stipulated 10pm and 12am rule and convince him that the rates are already applicable. Have you heard of the saying 'An early auto-wallah gets all the moolah'?

8. 'Luggage!' principle
What i need: A passenger who is carrying luggage (Doesnt really matter how much)!
Modus operandi: I shall make it seem to the passenger that the luggage is an inconvenience for me and makes it harder for me to drive. If iam in the mood, I will even offer to load it into my auto. Who says Bangalore auto-drivers are not courteous?

9. 'I will drop you for free' principle-
What I need: A 'self-righteous' passenger
Modus operandi: I need to invent reasons that i can use as a claim for a higher fare than the meter displays. There r plenty of em' like traffic n some of those listed above. During the ensuing argument, I will sarcastically offer to charge him nothing, make him feel cheap and walk back to my auto. Some passengers tend to fall for this! Believe me! They will feel bad about not paying me anything and so they will pay what i want and may curse me while at it. But I couldn care less about the curse, could I?

10. 'Its raining' principle (seasonal)-
What i need: The monsoon season
Modus operandi: Do you know who my favourite god is? The rain god of course. When it rains, I have an unquestioned right to quote whatever fare i want. Its a hassle-free opportunity to make some quick bucks! Hail the rain god!

Been there and been done to right? thought as much.
All right I think I'm gonna stop it here though i can list a few more.

PS: If i die a mysterious death tomorrow, we all know whom to suspect don't we?;)
PPS: Since this is a dear topic to me, here's a related video that you might enjoy!


  1. Good stuff. I would add one more point - "udhar se khali aana padhta saab" principle.

  2. nice one :P can be extrapolated to any major indian city apart from mumbai

  3. @anoop: cheers! :)
    @ sumanta: hehe...ur right sumanta..that shudv made the 10 actually :)
    @ myth: thanks :)...yea i guess many of em have similar a few customised city specific strategies...

  4. Hahahahha! Good one! You should live in chennai!! Lol


  5. Very nicely written dude.... Everybody will relate to it!!!!

  6. Great one Vineeeth !

  7. Just heard - Govt. to revise norms on computing Inflation in India; in the list of honourables such as CPI, PPI, WPI etc., Raghuram Rajan has proposed inclusion of AFI - Auto Fare Index. The cabinet has approved it a priori knowledge! :-)

    Awesome take!