Sep 23, 2009

Autorickshawsum-2 | A re-take

Previous post: Autorickshawsum

Let's kick the sequel off with a pic i recently clicked.

What you noticed: the vacant seat (1 ft. x 1.5 ft approx :)). What you missed: his neck. He was talking to a fellow autowallah on his right while driving. I was holding my breath as they ignored the traffic and kept cracking jokes for 45 seconds. "My previous auto's vehicle no. was 'MNS 420' ", he said & they laughed. When his friend left, he told me that he likes to talk a lot. "Do you know the word 'recession' (which he pronounced perfectly), what is the meaning?", he asked. Who doesn't, i thought. I explained him the meaning.

He didn't give me much time to wonder about his English speaking abilities. "I like South-Indians and IITans in my machine", he said, bending his neck 150 degrees back. Oh! - the English and Ah! - the recession, i thought and smiled. "They help me learn English and keep me up to date with the latest", he said. I am confident that he didn't know the word "respectively".

IITans love to create situations where they can tell people that they are IITans. Trust me, it could be as small as exchanging email IDs with someone, where they can say "". I had the time and the situation given, but i let go the desire. The guy didn't know about Swine Flu, but asked about Freida Pinto. "Latest", i smirked. I thanked myself for my desire dump.

After a while, he adjusted his overhead mirror and saw me yawning. He laughed and turned on the Bollywood music. I also laughed and told him that i like his type of autowallas. I teased him on his style of sitting. He moved to the center of the seat while pulling one of his legs up to change the sitting style; notice:


I refrained from commenting more on his style. He took the benefit of my fondness for him and kept chattering. "That shattered building in front of the Domestic Airport is Dawood's, that's why these govt. officials have not demolished it completely yet. They fear him", he said. "Even these big restaurants serve dangerous chicken. They purchase cheap raw meat from shops which sell naturally died animals' meat", he added. I know a lot of weird stuff about Mumbai because of these chatterboxes. Not sure about the reliability though.

After a 1/2 hour journey, i got down. I gave him Rs. 80 worth notes and a Rs. 5 coin. He tucked the notes in his pocket but rubbed the coin on the meter before keeping it in. I waved my eyebrow inquisitively. He winked and said "I want to turn this meter in to a magnet, so it can attract more coins. A 5 Rs. coin is a 'Vada Pav lunch' for me after all". I laughed, touched the meter and asked if this magnet theory was given to him by some IITan. "No, it's my belief", he said and asked me to remove my hand from the meter. I obeyed. "Don't touch me", it read !!!

Sep 12, 2009

yoU Pee on the Elephant

My name is Aamir. I am a daily wager. I belong to a neglected caste. I am a farmer by profession and an artist by heart. I love to carve stones. It's less profitable than farming, but it hasn't rained well this year. I got to know about a work opportunity at a nearby state's capital. So, I thought that instead of earning less money from farming, why not tap money by doing something I like.

They had given me the pictures to be carved on stone, but with strict instructions about the facial expressions. I am creative and I would have loved to carve the expressions on my own. With no choice, I planned to apply my brains over the legs, dress, hairs, hands and fingers. Just before lunch, I finished one of the hands. I carved the fingers and the thumb too. The pictures they gave me featured a politician with index finger pointing outwards, which according to them signified vision, growth and leadership. The statue however is meant to give a different overall message, my friends told me. It’s all a political gimmick, they said. I second my friends on their thoughts about the leader. I never really came to know about the achievements of this leader. Yes, I heard about the wins and laurels, but I never got to know about the benefits which were promised, the benefits which were claimed specially for my caste.

My father used to tell me that the word "Aamir" means "a leader"; i felt it was time for me to be an "Aamir". I took my frustration out, I carved out my revenge from this slave job and dictatorship. I did hammer the finger out, but with a small alteration. It was not the index finger, it was the one next to index. I know the stupid officers and the blind voters will not notice the change in the finger anyways.

The officer visited the next day. He looked a little worried and hurried. "Stop the work, you have to leave the garden before evening", he said. "6 hours" was the deadline he gave to me and my colleagues to leave the place. Some court took the decision to stop the work within 6 hours. "May be the finger pointed towards that court; some supreme ego must have got hurt", I thought and laughed vehemently.

Well, I lost both the earning options. But trust me, I am not sad. I prevented an extra Elephanta caves after all. I would rather carve my own picture back home now, with my "inked" index finger taming a powerful elephant! .. Ha! ..

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