Auto saar! Auto saar!

This has always been a true story, I swear on the heat of chennai.

Believe me, when Ayn rand wrote this,
“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me”
She would have never even thought of penning this philosophy for Chennai ‘Autokarans’.
I had a converation with an Autokaran while going home once:
I: Saligramam poganum
Autokaran: Evalo kudupeenga?? (it means he doesnt have the slightest idea of where saligramam is)
I: It’s 7 Kms. 50 rupees!
Autokaran: Enna Saar solreenga?? 90 rupees aagum (Now he showcases he really knows where saligramam is)
I: 60 rupees
Autokaran: 80 rupees
I: No, 70 is final…
Autokaran: Pathuruva paakadheenga saar!!!
I: No, rate has to be fixed for fair. 70 is final
Autokaran: Enna saar??? Paakradhukku shoka irukeenga. Pathuruva paakadheenga, erunga. (Now he has flattered me using his poverty level. So I get in for 80 rs. First round, he won)
I: 80 rs, for 7 kms…traffic illa…why do u charge so much?? (He takes out Nokia6600 – now, speaking of poverty!)
Autokaran: Saar! Suthi suthi ponum saar! road mosama irukku….pertrol selavaagum (He has created petrol-price awareness to me now)
I: Meter podradhu illa, apparam edhukku indha dabba??
Autokaran: Ha ha ha ho ho ho hee, enna saar?? are you in 1980’s??? (He is amazed as if its a crime to put meter)
I: Appo, 1980’s la auto drivers ellam ozhukamanavunganu othukiriya???
Autokaran: Saar, ongalakku, kaalam theriyila?? (An excuse to align with the trend which only these guys created for their convenience. Second round, he won)
I: Why do you take this worse shortcut-road?? My back is paining.
Autokaran: Saar! Suthi pona, pathuruva extra aagum. Neenga saligramamnu solli engengeyo poga solreenga!! (Now he’s talking)
I: See, naan comfortabla ponum…go in a proper road…80 rs is final.
Autokaran: Onga souriyathukkulam auto varaadhu saar. Enga souriyathukudhan ottuvom (Their philosophy at its peak, third round he won)
I: Indhanga 100 rs..balance??
Autokaran: Chillra illaya saar?? (setting another trap)
I: No. andha kadayila poi maathitu kudunga.
Autokaran: anga illa saar, indha sandhulalam chillra kedaikadhu, main road dhan ponum. (I still cant understand)
I: Ok, ponga. Naan autokulladhane irukken??
Autokaran: Main road piotu thirumbeelam vara maaten saar, neenga nadandhu dhan varanum..else extra 10 rupees aagum.
I: aha, wait..(I went to that maligai kadai and bought one krackjack buiscuit packet for change)
Autokaran won the final round as well. I spent 90 rupees which was exactly the same amount he asked for.

To counter these autokarans, there is a technique. I will quote another tiny incident that happened in OMR. I took an auto to go to Madhya Kailash. He charged me 100 rupees. Another IT guy got a lift from CTS. I didnt accept but the autokaran let him in. After the IT guy got down at Tidel Park (after seeing his girlfriend in CTS), he gave that beautiful 5 rupee coin to our Autokaran (thniking it’s a Share Auto). Autokaran signaled 50 rupees. That guy started shouting in urdu or something like Bahamese – “oklahama siniko pathe chaliro omaga seeya tho paanch rupya hena??”

Autokaran showed him a big salute!!! Aana namma kitta —-“Noooorrruva aagum saar!!!”

In chennai, there are always two problems
1. Heat
2. Autokaran
Which takes the first place — you can always decide!!!


  1. seshadri | 4th Dec 06

    The chennai auto guys sucks a big deal… other southern metros are much better than chennai. Even chennai is low in its cost of living, Chennai auto guys take undue advantage over passengers. If there is a slight shower then u should be ready to clean ur purse if u plan to travel by auto. Once they asked me 60 rs to come from kasi theater to Olympia tech park(which is straight line of sight from kasi theater) just because of its raining…

  2. Praveen | 4th Dec 06


    He asked u, i am sure you might have given it…now thats the plight of true chennaiite…

  3. Vignesh Kumar | 5th Dec 06

    Here in Hyd.. The Story s completely diff.. 😉
    Normally it comes < = 20 from our house=>company.. And now-a-days as these makkal hav started tamperin the meters.. it comes to 23, 24 and we used to tell them.. Meter sariga ledhu And will give juz 20..

    And most of the autowalas accept that without saying anything…

    I don’t like Blore auto-walas too..
    But Hyd auto-walas a.. Kovil katti kumbudanum.. 😀

  4. Kittu | 7th Dec 06

    chennai auto
    ushaara kannaa ushaaru
    ivanunga ellam Gentleman la vara maari 3 theru daanu solli rousu vidanum

  5. Praveen | 7th Dec 06


    appadi pannalum prechanadhan..
    3 theruvukke ivanunga 40 ruva vaangranunga!!!

  6. Vijay Krishna | 8th Dec 06

    “oklahama siniko pathe chaliro omaga seeya tho paanch rupya hena??” — rotfl!

  7. Dan | 10th Dec 06

    i never take autos on those rare occasions i took there was not a single time w/o problems.

    autos are always a probs whehter u take them or not.

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