Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Torture called Waiting


 Diary Entry – 37




There are some people in my family who will spend their entire fortune to travel a few kilometers without any form of discomfort. I have made it my life's aim to show these people there are cheaper ways to travel, without losing out on comfort.

Travelling in an auto-rikshaw was once a luxury for the people in Chennai. Rickshaw guys were an association of crooks a few years ago. I still remember how the rickshaw guy cleverly ripped me off during my 6th grade on a rainy day when I was late for school. He told me it was eighteen rupees to travel where I wanted to go. When I reached the place, I paid him twenty rupees and asked him to keep the two rupee change. He told me to pay up sixty more. He said we agreed on 80 rupees and I had heard it wrong as 18. The twenty rupees was all the money I had. Mom gives me that to buy samosas if I was hungry. She is sometimes worried I will die out of malnutrition. I was gracious enough to give him the two rupees as tips but that was not enough for him.

But things have changed since the time I was in 6th grade. Autos (or share autos) have become a lot cheaper now. When I came back from hostel late one night, I hired an auto to go home. The guy dropped me off near my house and he asked me for only ten rupees. Five years ago, I would have paid two hundred to travel the same distance. I made a mental note not to travel by bus ever again when I had these super comfortable and super cheap rickshaws. I could not have been more mistaken about the comfort part. The first time was very late in the night and there were only two other passengers in the auto. The second time however was a nightmare. There were twenty two people in the auto. The drivers change the design of the vehicle to accommodate more passengers. The auto could accommodate only ten people even after all the modifications. But the driver was determined in taking more. He started the ignition only when one of the passengers yelled at the driver in crude Tamil, “There is no space you fool. If you want one more passenger, he has to park his ass on my face. You better start the auto now, I have waited long enough.”

The next day I took the bus. Once I got in the bus, the driver starts yelling ulla po pa, ulla po pa (go inside, go inside). I am pushed into the centre of the bus to realize I am surrounded by women. A LOT of women.  I was like the guy in the AXE effect ad, with females crushing me from all side, except it was not the Victoria secret models, which made things very unpleasant for me.  It was a bunch of old ladies and small school girls. When a chick is surrounded by a group of men, men have the decency to maintain a distance of one foot radius around them (except for gropers). But what do the women do when a guy is stuck in their midst? They squeeze his life out.

So that evening, I thought I will try out the last option for transportation – asking dad to pick me up. My dad shows up late for everything. It is sort of like his personality trait. So in the afternoon I tell him to come pick me up in the evening from the Tambaram station. He asked me to get down at the previous station which is called Sanitorium. He told me it will be easier for him to pick me up from there. Since my dad is no paragon of punctuality, I tell him I reached Sanitorium even before I board the train in Nungambakam which is 30Kms away. Every ten mins I call him up and yell at him telling him, I have been waiting for so long and he has not even got here. But I am still in the train.
When I finally reached Sanitorium, I expected him to wait there fuming. But my dad is nowhere in sight. I call him up the tenth time, the first time I am calling him up after actually reaching the station:

Me: ACHA. WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU? I HAVE BEEN STANDING HERE FOR HALF AN HOUR.

Dad: I am on my way... *Phone Cut*


After 15 mins. I call again.


Me: If you can’t come, I can come to tambaram....

Dad: I am coming wait. *Phone Cut*

Me: .... and take a bus home.
   

30 mins later.

Dad: I am nearing the station now. Where are you standing?

Me: I am standing where you asked me to stand.

Dad: Where is that?

Me: Near the Sanitorium Subway.

Dad: WHAT? YOU TOLD ME YOU ARE IN TAMBARAM. I AM IN TAMBRAM STATION NOW.

Me: No I said I can come to tambaram if you can’t come.

Dad: I DONT HAVE THE TIME TO PLAY YOUR GAMES.

Me: Acha I have been calling you for the past one hour, telling you I am waiting in Sanitorium. I know you think I am gifted, but I have not been blessed with the power of teleportation to be here for one hour and then instantly appear ten kilometres away.

Dad: Wait I will come pick you up. *Phone Cut*

Me: Grrrrrrr

So I ended up waiting an extra half an hour for my dad to pick me up. Going in an over cramped share auto looked like travelling in a limousine now.

The discomfort of suffocation and lack of space is nothing compared to the torture of waiting.      



71 Comments for this post:

  1. Ha ha ha Nice post :) Explains chennai's transportation in a very funny way! Even I feel bad to travel in bus and more than that the share autosss areee too bad :P yuck.. Surrounded with full of ppl.. I even felt sometime to walk instead of going by bus or autos.. :) If I were 18, I would have got my license and had my own scooty :( Unlucku me, i am not 18 yet ! I loved reading the post! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
    'rofl' didn't seem to do justice.

    It's the other way round with me actually. Mum asks me to get ready at ten, I'll still be playing Angry Birds at 9.55. Then Mum issues the ultimatum and says she'll leave without me after which I scramble and somehow we manage to leave by 11 :P

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hahahaha...enjoyed reading this...great writing style :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Absolutely Hilarious.

    My father belongs to the other end of the spectrum. When the train is in Egmore he will start calling as to why you have not reached Tambaram yet and he has been waiting there for the past half an hour.

    I was missing the Chennai autos and their high-handedness for a while and you brought it all back and how.

    Super post Macha.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hilarious post! I miss travelling by auto, especially haggling with them about the fare :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. travelling is really painful in metros..

    nice post

    www.readitt.in (the e magazine)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ha ha ha..! as usual hilarious..!
    I would accept that share autos are cheaper in here.. but not the normal autos.. they still charge the same.. in 3 digits.. But it is really really tough to feel safe and sound in a share auto..! :) nice post!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am a punctuality freak (actually I have an OCD condition) and I would probably have had a heart attack in your place waiting to be picked up :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. "The discomfort of suffocation and lack of space is nothing compared to the torture of waiting."

    very much true :D

    ReplyDelete
  10. hahah poor you! at the receiving end of the mother of all confusions! if only your dad had let you finish! waiting & waiting & waiting - oh yes i know how that feels. i HATE it too even if it is for 10 minutes & you waited for an hour!! paaapa.

    the axe effect thing - LOL

    chennai autos are a class apart. i had written about them here http://sujathasathya.blogspot.com/2011/10/chennai-my-first-impressions.html

    your rip off incidents by the auto guys is horrifying

    ReplyDelete
  11. lol....loved the dialouge in the end:p

    ReplyDelete
  12. LMAO!

    "wait i will come pick you up"

    too funny!

    ReplyDelete
  13. ha ha ha... some revelations about a lone male in a female gathering.

    nice read!

    ReplyDelete
  14. :-) Torture of waiting especially when your father makes you wait! And your observation regarding a man surrounded by women in the bus is right .. I am a woman and still agree with you :-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I experienced the way Auto running in Chennai... Its horrible ...

    nice read..

    ReplyDelete
  16. ROFL!!!

    "Going in an over cramped share auto looked like travelling in a limousine now" lol

    that was quite an experience you had with auto guys...

    enjoyed the post!!!

    regards
    rahul

    ReplyDelete
  17. Well probably u deserved the waiting :P Happens with everyone who go abt with "adhisamathyam" as they say in malayalam :P

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh my goodness! Your father is awesome! Seriously, he can give a bride getting dressed up, a run for her money.
    And talking of autos, I remember while I was doing my internship in Chandigarh, there were these vehicles that made me try my extreme limits in gymnastics. I finally realized I could have been a gold medalist. :P

    I hope your dad never changes. We will get to hear some excellent stories in near future. :D

    ReplyDelete
  19. this was something i could vouch for, being in chennai for more than 5 years now.. you have described the whole experience as if i am reliving some of my good/bad auto travel times here.. :)

    Loved it!
    Following you now.
    Will be back for more.

    --SunSandRain

    ReplyDelete
  20. Lol..try the Mumbai locals next time...you'll get a whole new perspective!!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  21. @Lancy - There was this time where I did walk the distance that I travel now by auto and bus :D but it just takes too long and time is precious ;)

    ReplyDelete
  22. @Priyanka - You should be ashamed of yourself for giving your mom a hard time :D My mom is just like urs. But I make sure I never disappoint her. When you have people like my dad in the family, it sort of teaches you to not make people wait.

    ReplyDelete
  23. @Antarik - I wish I can say something more than thank you for your comment, but I sadly cannot think of anything else :D

    ReplyDelete
  24. @Atrocious - DUDE. Now that is something I have to be jealous about :D :D What I would do to adopt ur dad as my dad :D

    ReplyDelete
  25. @Krishna Sruthi - Oh dont worry. :D you are not missing anything wonderful. You are actually escaping a lot of rage you will feel in such places.

    ReplyDelete
  26. @readiit - Contrary to what your username says, I dont think you actually read this post ;) :D :D

    ReplyDelete
  27. @Krishnapriya - When I travel in a share auto, I think "The auto is going to topple over..... Any min now". :D

    ReplyDelete
  28. @Sudhagee - Haha my mom thinks she has OCD too :D. You can imagine the number of mini cardiac arrests she would have got... ;) Yet she is still alive. My mom is a hero :D

    ReplyDelete
  29. @The Guy in the mirror - I am glad you agree. If you did not agree, it would mean you had masochistic tendencies and I could have introduced you to some of my female friends who are sadistic. Alas, it is not meant to be ;) :P

    ReplyDelete
  30. @Sujatha - Robbery of any form is horrifying indeed. The waiting game we play in our family is actually training to improve ones patience. I suggest you ask someone to do that to you ;) :D

    ReplyDelete
  31. @Alka Narula - You are so like my mom. You could have been best friends ;)

    ReplyDelete
  32. @Shrinidhi - Thank you. What else can I say? :D

    ReplyDelete
  33. @Jayanth - Thank you. I am glad you found this post funny :) :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. @Neeraj - There are other things which I cannot reveal here my friend ;)

    ReplyDelete
  35. @aativas - LOL. I hope all feminist and men-haters see this comment. Hail aativas :D

    ReplyDelete
  36. @Rahul - You wont know what I went through, until you get what some people call the first hand experience ;) You will see the auto is actually like a limo when you went through what i did.

    ReplyDelete
  37. @Vijay - But dude it was not adhisamayam. It was evening. People were going home from office time. If you traveled in adhisamayam you will be given vip treatment by the rickshaw guys as they try to make a few more bucks :D

    ReplyDelete
  38. @Enchanta - haha now we will have another medal in the next olympics ;) Oh and about my dad changing. That is never going to happen. We have tried everything from black mail to injecting him with guilt. Nothing works.

    ReplyDelete
  39. @SunSandRain - I hope our bad travel days will be over once they finish building the metro. :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. @Shreya - We south indians are all scared about mumbai. :D If you ask a south indian he will tell you that dying of asphyxia is the least of your worries in mumbai. You should be worried of dying in more gruesome ways :D :D Of course I know the probability of me dying in a road accident is more than me dying like that.

    ReplyDelete
  41. @Mydala - Thank you :) Nice comment :D

    ReplyDelete
  42. Interesting post! Travel in public transport can be a nightmare sometimes!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Lol, i can understand, and at many points relate to it. Travelling in Chennai is no fun, after metro rail commutation seems more tougher than workplace itself. And i couldn't help smiling while reading your axe effect :P That was so true, but heyy even the vice versa is quiet true, and more iritating. after all this exp, i suggest you get your own transportation soon :P:D

    ReplyDelete
  44. A very FUNNY post. You know, I had a bad experince travelling in autos and from that day, I have this auto driver's phobia. Whenever travelling in auto I act like I am sitting on a time bomb :) And that thing about the lone guy in the midst of women, well so true :P

    ReplyDelete
  45. @Rahul - You couldnt be more correct :)

    ReplyDelete
  46. @Ms. Capricious - LOL with the level of traffic in the city, walking is a lot a faster than traveling in my own transportation :D

    ReplyDelete
  47. @Prasanna - Men should cause hue and cry when women touch them. Only then will the people of your learn :D

    ReplyDelete
  48. @Vijay - lol it is impossible to survive in this city without adhisamarthyam :D and I have little of that :D :D :D

    ReplyDelete
  49. Your blog is wonderful!! Thought I would drop by since you leave such kind comments on mine. ha ha.. :) Happy new year! hope it's a fruitful one with lots of productive writing!!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hey stumbled upon ur blog by chance..loving it!

    ReplyDelete
  51. 10 rupees for an auto ride, and that too late at night; you must be kidding me!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Lols, you made me laugh so hard :D

    But of course, public transportation and it's problems are not laughable at all.

    Happy New Year!!!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hey..i tried to leave u a msg in that 'Contact me' page, but i dono if ur website sucks r my office firewall, i wasn't able to..Anyway, I just sat and read all ur posts and I just love ur sense of humor..believe it or not, all the things that u said about not studying n gettin good marks, crapping in the placement interviews and yet landing a job in TCS n al has happened to me too..I'm a VTU topper in electrical and I still haven't understood the concept of electricity :D..I'm glad I stumbled into ur blog..Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  54. @Ana Treek - My contact me page works just fine :D I checked. I am moving to a custom domain diaryofthenarcissist.com and I am still in the process of migration. So some glitches are there :D

    Topper in electric huh? You must have a very high IQ :D :D

    ReplyDelete
  55. @Kirklops - Some nice auto rikshaw guys even give change for 2 ruppees back :D :D

    ReplyDelete
  56. @Kiran - With the govt investing in improving transportation, lets hope our grandchildren dont have to live this nightmare. :D

    ReplyDelete
  57. beautifully explained ..good one..specially the transportation..

    ReplyDelete
  58. Great embedded humor in this.Amazing writing man.Keep the juices flowing.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Thank God I've not had such experiences. I like the way you see the lighter side of everything.And as for waiting for Dad to pick you up, happens to me, All the time!

    ReplyDelete
  60. Hello Narcissist,

    Firstly my apologies, I started reading this post under the impression that you are a lady (sorry again, I usually read the post first and then check the profile later :P ) So naturally I was very surprised what a "lady" like you doing in an over crowded auto. I was developing quite an inspiration to your guts. But when I reached the part where you started describing how you were surrounded by all the ladies in a crowded bus, that's when I realized you r a guy :P (my apologies again) ...
    Coming to the point, its easy for guys to travel by any means, but being a girl, I would rather wait (and have cool drinks at bus stop!) than get into a over-crowded auto!! :)

    Lovely post. Enjoyed the funny quips between you and your dad
    Cheers,
    Neha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Had you read my latest post first, it would have dispelled all confusion abt my gender :P

      Delete