Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Auto drivers monologue

It was on a Monday morning. I woke-up fresh from the weekend rest, dressed up, had my breakfast and left for work. As I reached the main road from my house, there was an auto rickshaw, waiting for a customer. The driver was ok to come to Banashankari and I sat in the rear seat. He started the rickshaw, shifted gears and started moving towards the destination.

He started off. Saar, I had not come to Girinagar from last 8-9 years. So much has changed here, lot of shops have come all along the road. There was nothing alongside the road before. Only 2-3 shops were there, that too only near the bus stop. Now see sir, so many shops are there. I used to come here regularly during those days as my friend was staying here. Actually, I was not driving auto during those days. I was working in Mico factory, this friend was my colleague and I used to come here to meet him. I left Mico because there was too much politics there; the supervisor was creating lot of troubles for me. I bought an auto-rickshaw by taking a loan. I have still not repaid the loan, sir. There are too many auto-rickshaws on the road and we are not able to make much money nowadays. It was not like this before, sir. It is not that I am not making any money at all. I earn and look after my parents. I got my sister married by earning from auto, sir. Actually the loan of auto shifted to loan of sister’s marriage, which I am still re-paying. My sister was in hospital last week, she had a second kid and I had to be there to pay the bills of the Hospital. It was a girl child sir. My sister’s mother-in-law is a bitch sir, they want me to pay the hospital fees, that too after 4 years of marriage, sir. Why do they make a baby if they can’t pay the hospital bill?

Me: Do these kind of people still exist?

Driver: Sir, we are nice people sir, but we do not want our sister to suffer. For my mother-in-law, our money is not money and there money is only money, sir. My brother-in-law is a manager in the garment factory and he earns well. Actually, my aunt who is a big bitch, told he is the owner of Garment factory. That is why we got my sister married to him. We had given a dowry of Rs.50,000 and later we came to know, those bastards used the same money for the expenses of the marriage. We never complained about it sir, I am a respectable person, and I do not have any bad habits sir. I will never marry till I have cleared of all my loans sir. It is the responsibility of the husband to take care of the wife and kids.

Me: hmmm..

Driver (Continuing): I do not want to be like these bastards who come to me begging for money. Sir, do you know the funny thing? The sister of my brother-in-law is married to a rickshaw driver sir. He is full drunkard and all sir, he is a cranky guy sir, he takes money from these guys also, sir. I have seen it through my own eyes. He is perfect fit for this family of bastards. If they want to go somewhere in the city they give me a call. They do not pay any money to me, they take me for granted. I also do not ask money, not wanting to make a big fuss. But the son-in-law of the bitch always demands money; that is why they do not call him sir, it’s funny to watch the way he handles these bastards. I meet this son-in-law once in a while sir, full drunkard he is, he asked me to join him also to drink. But, I won’t drink sir, my parents have not bought me up like that. They have taught me all good habits. I will not take dowry sir, what is that sir, people taking dowry is like selling themselves sir. I am man, I am supposed to earn and take care of my wife and kid sir. That is what my parents have taught me. We are very respectable and cultured people sir.

Me: Hmmm...

Driver (continuing): What is there in money sir? We just have to work hard and we can earn it sir, have you seen those college kids earning money? They stand in the bus-stands, market areas and give posters to people walking around sir. We can earn money in Bangalore if we put effort. There is no problem, sir. Nowadays earning money from auto has become little difficult, sir. But I work from morning 8 till night 10, to make the money sir. There is no problem sir, there are other auto-drivers who are mother-fuckers sir, and they just sit in the corner of a street and do not go anywhere when customers come. They are the guys who bring bad name to all auto-drivers. Actually, those lazy bastards are the reason we are making money sir. I shouldn’t scold them, if they also start working my business will go down sir. Full corruption every where sir, in Bangalore alone we have 1 Lakh auto-rickshaws sir. Only about 50% will be on the road any time; god bless the lazy bastards, sir. I want to make money, clear loans, marry a beautiful girl and live happily sir. My mother’s cousins daughter is there sir. She is in a village, they wanted to give their daughter to me in marriage. But, I am only waiting to make money before marrying, sir. I don’t want to become like that bastard brother-in-law. You might think, why am I swearing at my brother-in-law so much, sir?

Me: umphh, nope.

Driver (continues without listening to me): What can I do sir? I would have finished my loans and be married by now if this fucking-bastard had taken care of his family properly. It hurts to see my sisters face sometimes sir. He is not very bad also, sir. He doesn’t beat my sister and all sir, thank god. I would have killed the mother-fucker if he had beaten my sister. It is not like that. My sister is very tough girl and might even hit them back if they try so. Husband doesn't give any money for her expenses. At the end of the month he gives all his salary to his mother, sir. She blasts these people off, when they ask her to ask money from me. Very bold and tough girl sir, she was telling me that she will go to work after her second child is 6 months old sir. She used to work before marriage in a garments factory sir, but after the marriage, her mother-in-law didn’t allow her to work, sir. Bloody bitch she is. Not all are like this sir, I have seen my cousins mother-in-law sir, such a nice person she is. She takes care of the kids and cooks for the family when her daughter-in-law goes to work. She doesn’t allow daughter-in-law to do much work also when she come back home. Nice person, sir. In Bangalore, both husband and wife has to work to make a good living sir. Forget poor people like us sir, all the rich people also, both husband and wife go to work sir. So many people I only drop them in my auto sir, I get them as permanent customers in the morning. Bangalore has grown sir, and you know…

Me: Hey, take a right here man.

Driver: ok sir, where should I stop in this road sir?

Me: Stop just after the circle.

Driver: ok sir, It’s a software company, no sir? Everybody has become rich after software companies came to Bangalore sir. When I go to Kormangala, MG Road, how beautiful it has become sir. Buildings are so beautiful and shiny sir. You should see the way girls drink nowadays sir. My brother-in-law is a non-drinker compared to them, sir. These girls are so bold sir? They are completely stoned and can't even stand when they are searching for auto at 11 PM sir. They do not have any fear at all. The way they are dressed makes me puke sir. We do not even dress 2 year old kids in that way, sir. Girls and boys are always falling over one another sir, no balance at all. Don’t know what their parents have taught them sir. Bangalore has changed sir.

Me: hey, stop here, stop here. Just in front of the shop.

Driver: Ok. Sir.

Me: It's 30, take this, thanks.

Driver: Thanks, sir.

-- Madhukar Hebbar


VidyaShankar Harapanahalli said...

Good perspective of life from the eyes of Auto Driver.... probably most us don't notice their existence as human beings and their emotions...

Atmaram said...

Girinagar has changed so as Bangalore.
A good review of Bangalore today from a rick driver's prespective.
In this review of Bangalore, I think his personal story looks like an add on or may be vice versa.

Keshava said...

Look very Realistic, Mate. Is this your own Experience??

Shetty said...

Good one

Madhukar Hebbar said...

thanks for all your comments guys.

Keshava, I have heard lot of talks from the auto-drivers. tried to stitch it together in this story..

Sudhi said...

hmm............... Good realistic perspective .. but as a whole, swalpa jaasthi aithu ansthu ..... that too on a Monday Morning. :| Luckily, I am reading it on a Friday evening ;-)