Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Tales

The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Power of the people
Yet another strike yesterday it was a section of taxiwallahs who were off the road. And still another strike tomorrow it’s going to be autorickshaws who will turn off their engines, although a last-minute intervention or change of plan could yet save us poor passengers.

In a sort-of reversal of fortunes, this throng of people at Dombivli East is so thick that the autorickshaw can barely move. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar
In a sort-of reversal of fortunes, this throng of people at Dombivli East is so thick that the autorickshaw can barely move. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar

And that’s what we are poor passengers in both senses, our pockets emptied by ever-increasing fares and at the mercy of arbitrary autowallahs who seem to have their own definition of “destination”, let alone “passenger”. There are times when it feels as if the taxis and rickshaws are doing us a favour, instead of earning money from ferrying us around.

It’s too much to expect an uprising, but perhaps people do need to put their foot down - literally as well as figuratively. Ah, if it were so easily done! If we could afford to do it, we would boycott the authoritarian autos in a flash. As it is, we can only shake our fists in vain. Well, so what if we can’t do anything... that’s what our elected representatives are for. Aren’t they?

Yellow and Black - and red
A passenger hailed a taxi and asked the driver to go to the court. When the cab reached the destination, the driver asked the passenger what case he was going for. The passenger replied, “My bankruptcy trial. In fact, you had better come along , too!”

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