Daily Archives: May 20, 2008

Turn the autos, tuk-tuks into designer carriages

WAS CHATTING to two of the young guys at the office here in Indiranagar and musing about the possibilities the auto-rickshaw might offer.

That was spurred earlier on this morning by the sight of an auto, or tuk-tuks as they call them in other parts of Asia, which had its music turned up way too high, destroying the early morning call of the screaming Hoopooh, or whatever it is.

We speculated on how we might create a designer auto, complete with all mod cons, and even toyed with the idea of a stretch auto-rickshaw. One of the guys came out with the idea of special big wheels for the autos, which would raise them way above the rest of the traffic, and with special alloy hub caps.

The sight of 500 taxi autos at the traffic lights here in Ole Bengaluru is certainly enough to cause awe, fear and shock as they all shoot off together in totally different directions, yet apparently never managing to bump into each other, a bit like the ideal dodgem drivers in the days of old fashioned fairgrounds.

One of my colleagues wanted to know why when you caught an auto, you always paid one rupee less than the meter said, yet in cabs you always paid three rupees more than the meter said. I hadn’t realised that meters worked in autos nor in cabs. The auto meters are never turned on for me, and the taxi meters are discreetly covered in a cloth, as if to say ‘don’t mention the price’.

We’re all a bit scandalised by cycle rickshaws and there still are human powered rickshaws apparently in some parts of India. Not in Bangalore, although we’ve seen pony traps and chariots being driven along the highways and byways.

Monsoons start in Ole Bengaluru

IT NEVER RAINS but it pours in Ole Bengaluru – but it certainly is pouring right now. The mausam started yesterday and will continue off and on for three months or so.

And Bloody HAL! Ole HAL Bangalore airport shuts down on the 23rd, so our return fright to London will be from the new airport.

We talked to our hotel manager – you remember we are at the Centre of Laundry Excellence – and our flight is at 6:45 on Sunday from the new one. He says this is the schedule. I leave from Indiranagar at half past midnight to get to the airport about 3:30AM to make my fright.

It will cost quite a bit more than the Rs250 I paid from HAL to get there. I suppose I can sleep in the car. The traffic might be less heavy at that time in the morning. Let’s look on the bright side.

No wonder most Bangalore businessmen are choosing to drive to Chennai rather than drive three hours to the airport to get there two hours early to take an hour to fly and another hour or two to get to their destination.

I hear you ask – how about the proposed Bengaluru Metro? There is no completion date for that. Must check out the hotels near the new airport so I can make a staggered journey next time round. ♣