I don’t know why I did it, was I right in doing it?

A few days back days back Macabreday’s band, Rusty Moe was playing in the city and I was supposed to reach by 8. I was already half an hour late and auto guys were refusing to take me to Kyra despite me offering them double the usual rate at 8:30pm. Unbelievable no?

That being the case, I decided to walk rather than waste time on autorickshawbots. As I walked, I saw an auto guy buying some vegetables from an old vegetable vendor. He was selling vegetables from a push cart which was as old as him. HIs clothes were faded and wrinkled much like his face. A towel tied around his head like a turban hid his baldness and next to his stood the auto guy, wearing a smart neatly pressed shirt and well combed hair. He saw me, saw my quizzical look and popped the big question. “Saar, auto saar?” They think people fall for the repetitive ‘saar’ call, what he doesn’t realise is that people are desperate for an auto that will take them to their destination that the saar call doesn’t make a difference at all.

Pic credit: Wikipedia
Pic credit: Wikipedia

I replied with a nod and asked him if he would take me to Indiranagar flyover. Remember it’s only minimum charge from my house, but he wanted Rs25 and I was desperate. I agreed.

He told me to sit in the auto till he finished buying vegetables. As I got in, I heard him arguing with the old vendor. Turns out, the old man gave him a bill of Rs22, but he was ready to pay only 20. What a hypocrite; I thought and I would have left it at that if not for what followed.

The old man took off his towel, he said he was begging and asked him to please give him two rupees more. He was on his knees now and the auto guy still wouldn’t budge. After five minutes of pleading, he reluctantly gave away two rupees and cribbed about it as he started the auto.

Now I wanted to teach this guy a lesson, I am not the vengeful kind, but what he did back there really broke my heart. So as soon as we reached our destination, I gave him exactly two rupees short — Rs23. He looked confused then I told him that I did not have change and that, that’s all I had. I could not find the desperation of the old man in his eyes, all I could see was arrogance. He rolled up his sleeves and started telling me about our verbal agreement that I would pay him Rs25. I stuck to my line — that’s all I have.

He was starting to crack now, he still wasn’t desperate, but frustrated. He looked like the kind who would have given me a thrashing if it was an isolated place. But I was in Indiranagar, there were vehicles flying past, people staring at the commotion and he just didn’t know what to do.

Then I did what I had to do, “You want two rupee more right?” I said. “Yes”, he replied. “Then listen carefully, start respecting people, because you be mean to someone it comes back to you some point of life or the other, here’s your two rupee (drops it to the ground and it rolls under the auto). Take it if you want, but shame on you for behaving like that with such an old man who is just trying to make a living. How long will you go about cheating people like this, what do earn by doing all this? Do you think you will have a happy life? No, it will be miserable because people will curse you and curse you, and will do so, till you change you ways.”

I said this and just walked off from the spot, last I looked at him, he was staring in my direction in disbelief. I did not look again, I don’t know if he picked up that coin form the floor, I don’t know if he changed his ways, but I hope he did. The worst part, I am happy I told him whatever I did, but I am not sure if it was right thing to do.


24 responses to “I don’t know why I did it, was I right in doing it?”
  1. ranjithkavarachan Avatar
    ranjithkavarachan

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    Well Said !! Well Done !!!!

  2. chupchap Avatar

    Glad you think so… =)

  3. manuscrypts Avatar
    manuscrypts

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    Your intent was right. And you've learnt something in the process too. A little conscience prick for the lesson in your method is okay, don't you think? Perhaps you will choose to teach the lesson differently next time? 🙂

  4. chupchap Avatar

    When I said it and walked of, I felt like Suresh Gopi in Commissioner, (sic) but one minute later I was thinking of the incident coming back to me. That is in case there IS a 'circle of life'. But yes, like you said, a different method next time; in case there is a next time.

  5. SathyaBhat Avatar

    Well maybe dropping of the coins on the ground was slightly over the edge ? I do agree that the Autorickshaw driver had to be taught a lesson, but not by dropping money on the ground. Thats just me.

  6. dinu Avatar

    hmm good one … but really helpful ? I think there should be some collective action against this 'crime” .. is there any activity going on ?

  7. chupchap Avatar

    True, any suggestion what I should have done?

  8. chupchap Avatar

    Hmmm, no none that I am aware of

  9. Santosh Avatar

    Yeah, I too feel that was a litte too much. But, meh!

  10. Santosh Avatar

    Brilliant. Just brilliant. I absolutely loved what you did. That should have taught the auto driver a good lesson. Jackasses think they rule the roads.

  11. SathyaBhat Avatar

    Well here's the thing – I don't know what I would've done. Probably nothing. Guess something's better than nothing, huh ?

  12. chupchap Avatar

    That's what I thought initially.. then I had this nagging feeling in my head

  13. chupchap Avatar

    That's what I thought initially.. then I had this nagging feeling in my head

  14. chupchap Avatar

    I blame Rajni, these guys felt all macho after watching Baasha =P

  15. archonline Avatar
    archonline

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    I m wondering how that auto driver listened to you all the while you gave your speech! 😛 You could have followed Jayaram or Mohanlal while giving speech.. in that case, it would be just speech and some good deed following the speech! 😛 instead of finger up!

  16. chupchap Avatar

    Oh please, don't glorify that speech.. it wasn't a speech as such, I just spat those words out. It was over in less than a minute. There was no music playing in the background, no thunderous clapping and I certainly wasn't walking in slow motion. PS: Such dialogues come just before the interval don't they. May be I am half way through my life now!

  17. archonline Avatar

    hehe where did i glorify it! i was just approving your attitude, while requesting you to improve on the words n action 🙂

  18. chupchap Avatar

    I will, definitely! =)

  19. amit Avatar

    Well done! I don't know how many times I have given my piece of mind to the autodrivers. They are practically shameless and thick skinned.

  20. chupchap Avatar
  21. The Quirky Indian Avatar

    Well done, Balu. Very well done. I don't think you should have any doubts about what you did.Cheers,Quirky Indian

  22. chupchap Avatar

    You don't think I was extreme in anyway heh.. cool =)

  23. wakasmir Avatar
    wakasmir

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    You did the right thing 🙂

  24. xylene567 Avatar
    xylene567

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    that was nice man. Hope he learned his lesson.

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