Sunday, April 24, 2011

Follow Rules or Common sense?

It was an interesting trip early morning from Gurgaon on Meru cab. The expressway is meant to be fast and driving below 60 - 70 kmph specially in the morning when there is no vehicle rush is quite foolish. In this case, the cab's driver too, promptly accelerated. Soon, a computer aunty started telling us loudly that the vehicle was over the speed limit and the driver should slow down. Common sense said that we should not slow down - the road was wide and open, the traffic was sparse with some trucks to give us company at that time. So the driver, with his left hand covered the speaker and continued driving with the muted but still loud voice of the computer telling us to go slow.
So now the driver was driving at quite a high speed with only one hand on the steering.
A system designed to increase safety of the passengers not only failed but in turn increased the risk.
What would you do if you were Meru? Give a switch so that the driver, on his discretion can turn the warning off or avoid driving at high speed on roads where it is an insult to the excellent infrastructure by driving slow?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Auto wallahs and the Bias

Amit and I were looking for an auto. I saw one standing empty on a corner.
"Vo raha", I announced.
"Nahi yaar. Sardar hai. Lootega", Amit replied.

Unfortunately I couldn't agree with him more. A north Indian going to Chennai or Bangalore is always warned about the scrupulous auto wallahs there who always over charge you. I had never imagined it would happen but the same notoriety is now applicable to the Sikh Auto wallahs of Delhi.

I have had many encounters with them and not a single one has been on the positive end of the expectation spectrum. Take for example one instance where early in the morning while coming to office, I went to one who was standing on the side of the road. He agreed, I sat and he put the meter on. For the next few minutes he kept on sitting there and I wondering what the hell he was up to. After some time he called a passerby, asked him where he was going and asked him to sit in the auto as well. It was the final nail in the proverbial coffin I guess.

Now, it has come to a point that the bias has taken deep roots and it is better not to ask than a rise in the frustration level when he quotes an absurd price or does something to the same effect.
So people coming to Delhi and hiring a taxi/auto. Beware!