This morning I had my third quarrel with autowallahs in a row. It seems that the new 14-rupee meters have been successfully rigged en-masse. Now there are various opinions about haggling with autowallahs over fares, especially when the amount is so small, and it means so much more to them than to you, and all that sort of thing. So my rule is usually to pay up quietly for up to 15% rigging, argue at anything between 15-25%, and politely tell the autowallah that his meter is very, very obviously rigged and I am paying only what I pay everyday, if the hike is 25% plus. Only in the middle case does the autowallah shout at me, in Kannada of course (to ensure I feel like an encroacher and a cheat and an ignorant ass). So now I need to find a non-hypertension-inducing strategy to deal with this situation.
While on the subject of autos, there's this nice system in Bangalore where the autowallahs display their licenses on the back of their seats. Except the typist at the transport office often does not care for spacing and punctuation, and so I've had the pleasure of being driven by a CLINGARAJU and a TRAMESH. And yesterday, the auto ahead of mine read: "I must be dead because this is heaven and you are an angel". Which was nice, except our heaven was a traffic jam, and the angel, my autowallah, was honking like a maniac at the auto that bore the wonderful words. AND his meter was rigged. Sigh.