Few months back (when I changed job) I was pretty amazed at the idea of making new friends, working on multitude of database systems & interesing technical challenges and above all changing my mode of transport from Bus to Car :) And for couple of weeks that followed - going to office in car with wonderful company (we do Car Pools), nice 'n' fresh music (Thanks to my room-mates) and refreshing hot coffee was definately lot of fun ! I welcomed the new freedom, made several trips to the scenic places nearby, took lots of snaps and ofcourse enjoyed the hoopla around the dancing Gas prices. Now, I feel like getting / trying a new mode of transport - just for a change sake!!
Anyways, today at breakfast one of my fellow peers (He just returned from India) voiced his euphoria about the omnipresent Tempos & Rickshaws in India and asked me if I can share my thoughts on this seemingly strange yet terrific means of Transport. I felt a need to give him an elaborative snapsot of rickshaws (Honestly I was a little surprised at his mention of Autorickshaws as "Cute" and thus felt the urge to clarify;)). Here's what I emailed him a couple of minutes after returning to my desk:
- Auto Rickshaws (Public Tempo / TukTuks in popular parlance) has truly been one of the most useful inventions for India & other South Asian Countries.
- Apart from buses & trains they prove to be very convenient and popular means of transport.
- Most of the Tuktuks run on CNG Gas and thus they are quite eco friendly.
- Since these three wheelers occupy very less space compared to other automobiles - they seem to attend the problems of Traffick Congestion pretty well.
- Their max speed is around 32mph which works out to be sufficient for point-to-point commuting specially in busy Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
- Their special triangular form makes maneuvering a cakewalk. At times you really get amazed by the way the rickshaw drivers will navigate through a busy route specially the crossings (Chaurahas)
- Travelling in Shared Autos is even more amazing. Besides fun of deciding how much each one owes to the Autowallah - discussions about the latest movies / stock market / vegetable prices are an everyday occurence. According to me they instantly connect people.
- The fare is computed on a pro-rated basis by the certified meter installed in every Auto. Apart from an initial charge, one has to pay according to the distance travelled. So ideally speaking one would never have a difference of opinion over how much to pay to Tuktuk driver. (Okay Delhi is an exception I agree :))
Hey now that sure makes me feel nostalgic for a while. I can keepwriting on and on but then don't they tell you that a Picture is worth several thousand words ! Here's a quick sketch of an Auto I sent with the above text to my peer Tony. . He emailed me back with a Smiley today asking me to plan a trip back home soon - he wishes to go for a Tuktuk ride again :-D. Now moments like these make you day indeed. Now on I'll call our autos the "Messengers of Love" - afterall they instantly reminded me about the wonderful time I spent in India ! Here's a quick sketch of an Auto I attempted few minutes back ! I just can't wait anymore to visit the nation of diversities & true treasures.
Work you do out there better gotta be challenging & amazingly entertaining !"