Archive for May 17th, 2010


All Is Fare In Mumbai

Mid Day’s campaign to straighten errant taxi drivers was a runaway success. Mumbai’s rude cabbies have learnt a lesson thanks to Mid Day, Mumbai Traffic Police and Regional Transport Office, and now Mid Day has launched a monthlong campaign to take on autorickshaw drivers who refuse passengers for flimsy reasons. Here’s how they’ve been doing it: a Mid Day reporter flags down a cab/rickshaw, and if the driver refuses, a traffic cop magically appears and fines him.

Instead of getting angry at rickshaw drivers who refuse fare, I now get inside the vehicle and tell them where I want to go. If the dude so much as shakes his head to say ‘no’, I tell him to drive us to the nearest traffic cop. Hats off to Mid Day for empowering the common man with these campaigns!

A few weeks before my knee ligament reconstruction surgery, I was standing near Andheri Station trying to hail a rickshaw so I could get home. When over 10 of them refused despite seeing me limp around, I lost my cool and started cursing aloud.

A few days later, I had gone out with someone, and later got dropped off near my house. The rickshaw driver told my companion that I had been drunk a few days earlier and that was why he had refused to take me where I wanted to go.

Now if a rickshaw driver can pass such a judgement on me, I can only imagine what happens to those who worry about what society has to say about them. Sure I don’t care what a rickshaw driver thinks of me, but I was irritated with myself for bothering to explain what had really happened the other night, that I had been in a lot of pain and not drunk. That irritation lasted a few seconds and I made a mental note to never explain myself to anyone again no matter what and got right back to not giving a fuck.

To register your complaint call 022-24937755

This is an exclusive number given by the traffic police for Mid Day readers to register refuse-to-fare complaints.

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May 2010
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