The Blessed Soul
I have always had bad experiences with auto drivers, more so because they are my lifeline when it comes to transport. Since I am quite a handicap when it comes to driving a car or even riding a bike, the traffic here scares me and well the bus? I tried it a lot of times but that is not a pleasant experience either! What with the smell of sweat permeating the air after a hard days’ work! It doesn’t really appeal to me! So basically, I like the comfort of sitting back and relaxing, taking the air in and just the pleasure of looking out and staring at nothing. Occasionally of course giving directions to someone, showing the way to my destination, but they are not without hiccups.
Every morning a large part of my prayer includes finding a good auto driver who will not overcharge me and also has an honest meter. It’s hard to find a really good auto driver in the midst of 75000 odd ones, but when I find them, I reward them well. So this particular day after office when I was looking out for an auto, mind you it was a rainy day, and like always they were demanding crazy rates. Like one went, “Give me 70, err 80 err okay a 90 if not 100!” Yeah right I will! The others would make a face the moment I told them my destination, like Koramanagla is some where at the point of no return. People, grow up!
I was almost dejected and considering the option of walking back home, well not really! Just then he came and stood right in front of me and with a nod of his head asked me my destination and when I did, he made no excuses and asked me to hop on. He must have been in his fifties and as he was driving he explained through which way he would be taking me and why. When we reached Johnson Market, there was a huge traffic jam and as we waited, there was this lady who seemed to have shopped for the entire month stranded on the road without any help. So she asked him if she could share the auto with me and he looked at me, I agreed, I generally do thinking that I might be in the same situation some day and someone might just help me out. She had to get down at Adugodi and the ride was pretty much without conversation as I had my earphones on. When she got down and offered to pay the auto driver, I wasn’t sure how much she paid, but I could see that the auto driver gave her Rs. 10 back saying that he didn’t need that much for such a short distance.
Now this is the reason that I write this note today, I have never come across such an honest auto driver in my 11 years in this city and I have been traveling quite a lot. I have come across all kind of drunkards, cheap asses and even gross ones who stare at your breasts, to decide the rate of the auto ride reducing us to some cheap commodities but never a gentleman like this guy. Usually when I board an auto I look up the license to check the driver’s name but this time around I was so relaxed that I didn’t feel the need. I know a lot of you will laugh at me thinking how auto drivers can play such an important role in my life, well only single independent women like me without transport will understand. I hope to meet many more such drivers in the city who will inspire me to write about them.