Friday, June 30, 2006

A tribute to the Chennai autos?

This post is about an interesting article I read about a movie that's about to be made featuring auto drivers in Chennai as a part of the culture.

And I was like... are you sure?

I mean, have you ever tried speaking about Chennai to a non-Southie, one who doesn't know the language? The first response you get is almost always the way auto guys behave. Chennai might not be the rudest city around (when compared to the bigger brothers Delhi and Mumbai) but if there is a rudeness survey covering Chennai among global cities, I'm sure it's going to rank high up there, and auto drivers alone might contribute to half of it. People from the North might think that knowing the language alone would help, but I disagree. I pretty much get swindled every time I’ve used an auto in Chennai. Every time.

While the article acknowledges this,
Autorickshaw drivers won't win any popularity contests. Especially in Chennai. The average citizen has zillions of complaints about their attitude, tampered-with meters, fleecing and crass language. And we don't even want get into a discussion of their driving skills.
The directors apparently think otherwise…
But Pushkar and Gayatri don't think so. "The auto drivers in Chennai are very different from those in Mumbai or Delhi. They have a cool attitude. Even though they work under trying circumstances, they have a keen sense of humor."
I personally am forced to think there is no shortage of cool people around. I mean, what all activities are we going to add to the ‘cool’ list? Cigarettes are cool. Swearing is cool. Even pan chewing and spitting is cool in cities like Mumbai. And with this movie, fleecing hapless customers are also cool. Somebody do something!

I agree that Chennai is certainly very different from other Indian cities and a movie based on the city would be a good idea, but the hero being an auto-wallah because auto-wallahs are ‘cool’ and are a part of the city culture certainly doesn't appeal. Atleast to me. But ofcourse, it's might work. Simply because the other auto-wallah theme based movies like the Rajni-starrer 'Baadsha' worked wonders on the box office. But is it a proper representation of the city? It remains to be seen. I think Chennai would be far better represented through Madras Baashai, cofees, temples, lungis and maamis.


At Saturday, July 01, 2006 9:41:00 PM, Blogger God Krishna said...

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At Monday, July 03, 2006 1:08:00 AM, Blogger Vimal said...

seriously, what's wrong here? Why do people do this? and comparing it to mumbai autowallahs - preposterous!! Have they ever gone in an auto in Mumbai? Boss, they are gods!

See Iam proud of my city but it's certainly not becuase of the autowallahs.
Anyways, I do hope they(filmmakers) break even :)

At Wednesday, July 05, 2006 12:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey!! we gotta take the good with the bad! there's a lot going for chennai. My dad tells me that thirty years ago people would go boating in cooum and adyaru!! and its starting to happen again now! who would've imagined that 5 years back? :D. I wouldn't dream of going even 10 feet near the mithi river in mumbai or yamuna n delhi. In a screwed up way the autowallahs push chennai to having better public transport.:D. and our autos are rude but not as bad as the ones in b'lore or delhi, they may overcharge but they don't outright steal from you like in delhi. and they have "character" and in which other cities other than chennai and kochi can you talk to autowallahs about the latest face off between the US and Iran and the weather in japan??? :DDD

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