Monday, May 16, 2005

Lesson @%#$3: Don’t taxi around in Delhi

Even before starting to Delhi, a lot of my friends warned about auto-wallahs in Delhi. They told me to watch out for crooks. Right at that moment, I kind of knew that I’d be cheated – someway. I’ve never ever made a good bargain. I’d probably be the last person to be sent to a place if there is bargaining involved. A little secret: If you are selling me something, just make a sympathetic face, and boom, you can part away with the deal without bothering to bargain for a higher price. With such credentials, I was always looking out for cheats. But this time around, 5 of us were cheated. As a part of ‘Dilli Darshan’ we went to CP for catching with unlimited khana at Khana unlimited private limited. If you’ve survived that, read on…

Despite seeing so many malls and even getting bored with it, we decided to have a glimpse at the famed Anshul Place, for lack of a better thing to do. Five of us… simple math of two autos vs. one taxi… decided on a taxi. We never realized that taxis could be at a premium in this city autos outnumber taxis 1000:1, if you could let my exaggeration pass. The driver came in with the aura of a millionaire. A well built body with jeans, Nike sneakers, a clean, checkered shirt and a commanding voice. A friend of mine who was close pointed in the direction of his shoes and then that of the drivers. Actually, for a moment, we all didn’t believe he was a driver. We started the car, and in a matter of 20 minutes in Delhi traffic, we reached the place cool and comfortable, but for the meter that was quite determined to win the Guinness.

There were just two levels of amplification – what looked like 8 Km was shown as 20 Km in the meter and what should’ve been 120 odd Rs. for a 20 Km drive was 250 Rs. We called our Delhi friend who had told one of us a cheat-episode involving him, but he couldn’t of much help. We took pictures of the car registration plate and the meter. Actually, we were taking a shot at scaring the driver. Failure. He was unmoved, literally. His face read like “Even if it comes to a 5 vs. 1 wrestling, I’m game”. Without many options, we requested him to let us go with lesser amount. He gave in for 200 Rs. 200 Rs for an 8 Km drive in the capital. I had a feeling that a Porsche would’ve been cheaper.

That re-eye-opening apart, we spent some gala time in Dilli haat – if you define gala as having not-so-bad lemonade. Thanks to a nocturnal 5 ft odd creature in my room, we all slept at 6 in the morning. Sunday was better. We woke up at 1 in the afternoon, and made it to the Darya Ganj book market at 5 pm in the evening. There were so many books, but since I wasn’t interested in cracking any more competitive exams, I settled for Timeline - a Crichton book. We then made it to Noida for watching “Flight of the Phoenix” in Wave. I thought it was a rather pleasant action movie. Nothing to take home or watch twice, but a nice piece of action – set 100% in the Mongolian desert.

Come Monday, and Mark Twain comes to mind. “Monday morning found Tom Sawyer miserable…”


At Monday, May 16, 2005 5:31:00 PM, Anonymous Amit said...

I guess we'll be flying within Delhi when it comes to that instead of taxiing, it'd be cheaper.

And dude, it's Ansal Plaza not Anshul Place.

At Monday, May 16, 2005 9:20:00 PM, Anonymous Li said...

Hmm. That was bad . Autos are better in Delhi unlike Mumbai .

At Monday, May 16, 2005 11:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad! looks like you guys settled some previous life's dues with the taxiwala..
Hey!! Timeline is amazing.. why dont you use that technique and go back in time and take a different taxi.. :P


At Tuesday, May 17, 2005 1:20:00 AM, Blogger saurabh ohri said...

send OVC registration number location time to 6767 to lodge ur complaint

OVC for overchrging and rest all r clear

it works for auto's ,must be definitely fot taxis


At Tuesday, May 17, 2005 10:26:00 AM, Blogger Govar said...

@Lijo: Learned. THe hard way. :)

@Bhaski: Sema PJ bhasski!

@Saurabh: Someone said that'll work only with autos and prepaid taxis. And its a bore to do all that. So let it go... a learning experience. ;-)

At Tuesday, May 17, 2005 5:10:00 PM, Blogger Chez said...

Oh oh.. poor fellow.. Enjoy.. hehe..

At Tuesday, May 17, 2005 6:51:00 PM, Blogger rohit kaul said... u finally had a tete-a-tete with our city's taxi wallas.big time crooks all of em...and now u know how tht guy had managed or shall i say manipulated those shoes, shirt and jeans ;)


At Wednesday, May 18, 2005 2:12:00 PM, Blogger Jammy said...

One more testimonial to the Delhi taxi drivers. Though I haven't had the misopportunity of living in Delhi, I've had my share of badluck with a taxi driver in Bangalore who took me through lotsa gullies to reach a hotel near the railway station:(

At Wednesday, May 18, 2005 2:56:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

@Ram: hehe.. a much too oft repeated story...

At Wednesday, May 18, 2005 6:19:00 PM, Blogger Praveen said...

Whew! 200 rupees for 8 Kms?? They beat Chennai auto-wallahs hands down! :-D

At Wednesday, May 18, 2005 6:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whew! 200 rupees for 8 Kms?? They beat Chennai auto-wallahs hands down! :-D

At Friday, May 20, 2005 5:38:00 PM, Blogger Rahul said...

Have experienced this before. We wanted to go from ISBT to New Delhi railway station and the taxi guy charged us a fortune.

At Saturday, May 21, 2005 10:42:00 AM, Blogger Govar said...

@Bhaski: you bet! I wouldnt being fleeced twice the amount... but thiis much... i cant digest... could do nothing either!

@Rahul: Hehe... so we arent the only ones. :)

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