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After 5 years

September 6, 2009

“Yeah, tell me… Oh… I am going in an auto… that’s why its noisy. Yeah… One minute… I ll pay him and be back”

How much?
Sir, 90 Rupees.
What? It shows only 70 rupees in the meter.
Sir, we take 20 rupees extra for leaving people outside city limits.
Who told you this is outside city limits? Are you trying to cheat me?
Sir, It is.
Who decides that? You follow your own map is it?
Sir, everyone pays.
Is there a rule like that? You cannot over charge like this. I will complain to police.
Sir, Let us go to police station if you want.
You people are hopeless. Here have it. And know one thing, cheated money doesn’t remain with you for long.

“Yeah. No, he was over charging, that’s why I was arguing with him… It’s not about the 20 rupees, but he should not cheat… Yeah…”

After 5 years:

Yeah, tell me… Oh… I am going in an auto, that’s why its noisy. What? We lost the catering contract? That is our existing customer… But, how can they just decide on price… They didn’t even give us a second chance… The price we quoted first time could have been higher, but… The competition under cut our prices?… But generally the competition quotes in that range only no?… What, they got inside information about the price we had quoted?… Our own employee tipped them off??… How did you find out?… That was one of our profitable customers… Is there any other chance?… My God!”

How much?
Sir, 90 Rupees.
What? It shows only 70 rupees in the meter.
Sir, we take 20 rupees extra for leaving people outside city limits.
That 20 Rupees will make you happy? Here take 100 rupees, and keep the change.

“Yeah. No, he was over charging… Yeah, I gave him ten rupees more than what he wanted… Why? At least, let him be happy”

Destination Infinity

You can visit the ‘Short Stories (Fiction)’ section of this blog for similar stories.

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17 comments

  1. Hmmm does having lots of money make us indifferent to unfair means and cheats?

    There is a particular message I am trying to convey through this story. Let’s see if someone finds out. The answer to your question is: No, we should not be indifferent to unfair means and cheats.


  2. πŸ™‚

    I hope people don’t think that this is a true incident. Because it is not. Of course, fiction takes its inspiration from real life. πŸ™‚


  3. I am not going to over pay Auto drivers…oh! I pay 60-70 bucks for 5-6 kms….and in Chennai its there standard rate, no meters….

    This post is fiction, and there is a message behind it, but it is certainly not asking people to overpay auto drivers!! I know about Chennai… the Autos are hopeless there πŸ™‚


  4. once we start living a sophisticated life(in monetary terms)… our saving ability and importance to a 10 or 20 rupees dries up…
    a nice one DI πŸ™‚

    Good Kanagu, a valid point, but still that was not the message I wanted to convey through this post


  5. πŸ™‚

    DI, you might like this post by Shail http://shailsnest.com/wp/poetry/everything-and-nothing/

    Yeah, I saw that, it was interesting thanks for the link…


  6. While your gesture is noble in intent, don’t you think it fosters a certain expectation by the receiver over a period of time, thus leading to a benchmark?

    Well that gesture was actually not meant for others to follow… it just happens in a certain situation in a fiction plot… People, come out of that 20 rupees being lost and look at the article in a more broader sense… Since you asked: Yes, it fosters certain expectation by the receiver and you have a whole city which is totally obsessed by such expectations – Chennai. In such situations, there are more factors going against the auto drivers than the change (or whatever) they make per trip. For one, the demand goes down… For example, whenever I go to Chennai, I use Bus, Call Taxi, bike, Share Auto and every other possible means of travelling except Auto, unless it is extremely urgent. But in Bangalore, even though I have a bike, I still sometimes take an Auto to go to a restaurant etc. So, people tend to use auto’s lesser and lesser if the intention of the auto drivers is to cheat (majority) and hence the auto drivers get lesser trips… But this post is not about that part at all


  7. Uff 😦 I hv come to this stage too! Instead of arguing so much with him n losing my time n energy, I sometimes end up paying him πŸ˜› Only thing is I ask him before itself what its gonna b?

    In Bangalore it is much better, haven’t you taken an auto in Chennai :P?


  8. N in the case here, there ws something more imp to pay attention to! Better to give him the money n continue the imp talk than get distracted n hang up!

    This comment is the closest to what I wanted to convey, but still not there…


  9. */It’s not about the 20 rupees, but he should not cheat…/*

    */they got inside information about the price we had quoted?… Our own employee tipped them off??… /*

    */At least, let him be happy/*

    the guy is basically against cheating.. the auto driver is overcharging but is doing it on his face.. not behind the back.. getting ripped off by a stranger is better than being ripped off by a confederate.

    on a lighter note.. the mobile services are much better.. he could talk much longer this time even being in a moving auto.. πŸ™‚

    That is a totally different perspective, when compared to what I had in my mind… But it is a very valid point… I have wondered about the mobile services as well, it is a wonder that it works even in remote areas when we go in a train! And I am an electronics and communications graduate!! πŸ˜›


  10. hmm.. now i won’t be able to sleep till i know what it was.. and it better be a good message.. πŸ™‚

    some of the possible reasons… *really scratching my head*

    a)his perspective towards life and people changed with years and experiences..

    b)now he has grown out of petty arguments..

    c)he has lost trust in police and justice.

    d)he has bigger fish to fry.

    e)he has become more considerate towards other’s needs.

    f)he has become more mature with age.

    g)time is more valuable for him than money.

    h)understands that the auto driver too is doing it to feed the family and the he is still charging the same 20 Rs extra he did 5 years ago which has totally lost its value by now..

    and if it is not one of these please mail it to me.. or please put the answer soon.. πŸ˜€

    Points a, e, f and first half of h are correct. But why did all that happen? What was the reason? That is what I was trying to convey…


  11. a) 5 years ago maybe he was unemployed..

    now he is running his buisness but naturally is not in a very good position in life… otherwise he would not have been travelling in an auto.

    so he was generous knowing that he can be of use to someone. whom he is better off than.. and that gave him some kind of satisfaction. πŸ™‚

    i am not leaving this till either i get it fully right or u put in the full explanation.. πŸ˜€

    I know it is unfair of me to expect that people would write down exactly what I have in my mind… But I never expected so many relevant interpretations! I will put the explanation tomorrow


  12. LOL, is it the same auto driver ??? πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Yes and No. In fiction, we can even have the same auto driver after 10 years also… πŸ˜€


  13. It is natural that as one gets more affluent one tends to haggle less about small amounts. However I personally do not like to be cheated. At the same time if a person is very poor and he is trying to cheat me, I might ignore it if I have the money. However I do not sympathise with rick drivers!

    This post was not much about sympathising with rick drivers or not, but your point about the affluence and sympathising is right…


  14. Here’s my guess..
    “5 years earlier the guy detested the people who cheat but his business soon taught him that he has to cheat too if he has to make money and survive. By quoting a bigger amount to his regular customer he thought he would get away with it but he didn’t. This was obviously cheating. After 5 years when the auto driver asked him the same 20 Rs extra he didn’t mind because it was more of a cheater-cheater bhai bhai connection. He knew that the rick driver is doing it for his survival.

    Well its different, but that’s not the message I wanted to convey


  15. DI – Many thanks for your wishes! Truly appreciate! Btw, the poem ‘Night Journey’ that you had mentioned……. do check it out here http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/night-journey/

    Yeah, I saw that, thanks for the link. I think it came as a poem lesson in our 6th Standard… somehow that poem made a huge impact on me. There was one more poem which I studied in 11th Standard – Paradise Lost. But this one, I remember for its utter hopelessness!! πŸ™‚


  16. You Bengalurigas are complaining about such auto-drivers? 😐 If one has been in Chennai, you would know that Chennai’s autorickshaw drivers are the worst cheats among them all 😑 They don’t even use the meter here – blatant overcharging is the norm for these crooks. Usually, it’s cheaper (and safer and more comfortable) to take a call taxi to your destination and call taxis use untampered meters. But they have to be booked in advance and are not common on the streets, that’s the problem. Share autos are okay, much better than regular autos. Even the MTC runs pretty good buses like those with deluxe seats, air-suspension and even air-conditioned buses on some routes. MTC buses are a good option during non-peak hours when you can actually get a seat but can be too crowded during peak hours (except the higher priced A/C and luxury buses). One can also hire a bicycle from a cycle repair shop for relatively short distances.

    Chennai’s autorickshaw drivers were like the ones you mentioned in this post several years ago, overcharging on the fare shown on the meter. Believe me, Bengaluru’s autorickshaw drivers will become like those in Chennai a few years down the line.

    By the way, what is the message you wanted to convey? I cannot think of anything other than the ones that have already been mentioned before by others.

    About Chennai Auto’s being the most overcharging – have you taken an Auto in Madurai?? At least in Chennai, they travel a long distance and over charge. In Madurai, they go from one street to the next street and …. take you for a ride!! In Bangalore also they cheat, but it is better – at least right now. Yeah, no one knows what will happen in a few years! Of course, this post was not about Auto drivers cheating – I will put up the message I wanted to convey today night or tomorrow morning


  17. […] Infinity Abstract writing, implied judgement, parallel relativism « After 5 years The Message of ‘After 5 Years’ September 10, 2009 If you have not read the […]



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