Friday, March 13, 2009

The Difference

I'll tell you the difference between Bangalore and Mumbai.

Get into a rundown auto in Bangalore. Oh wait, the auto guy won't let you get in his rundown auto. He won't tell you why either. He'll tell you he's going in a different direction and continue to proceed in the same direction you need to go. About seven autos later, some auto guy will agree to take you. But, in the bright daylight, he insists on a one-and-a-half rate. You are bewildered. It is noon. You flag down your nth auto. This guy agrees provided you gift him another ten rupees. You are late so you agree. It does not matter how fast you need to go, the auto guy will drive at his own pace.

You might reach your destination.

Mumbai. It is 0740 hours. You are in Mahim and late for your 0845 flight. The first cab you wave at comes to a prompt halt. You hop in. 'Boss, airport. Kitna time lagega?' you ask with a look of worry.

He turns around with a swagger characteristic of a seasoned Mumbai cabbie and asks nonchalantly, 'Kitna jaldi jaana hai?'