Definition 1 of 1
Autowallahs across India have their own shtyles of conducting the business of ferrying people to and fro. They all have certain habits in common, though each city's auto tabbar is distinct.
Common Traits/Features :
(i) If they think you're new in town, rest assured you will end up kangaal because they will take you all over town before depositing you at the destination, which was just three km away from where you started. But see, you are getting nice tour of the place, na?
(ii) You mess with them and you just might be the main component of tomorrow's lunch curry. (Think I'm simsimply making joke aa? Try it if you want to be simply going snake taking and putting in pockit) Make no mistake about it, they're one fierce lot.
(iii) Don't expect to be given back the change once you have paid for the ride.
(v) Every time it rains, double meter will happen off.
Individual traits are as follows :
(1) Delhi autowallahs :
In one word - frightening. The seedy guy will turn around in his seat every single time he stops at a red light (to letch openly at you, in keeping with the capital's great tradition of making women feel horribly unsafe). They will put kai for anything female that moves. Forget the government based system of charging customers by the meter, at the end of the journey you will be unceremoniously presented with a 'rate sheet', which bumps up the price by almost twice the amount shown on the meter. Who came up with that? Presumably the auto union of the city. If you know whats good for you you'll pay up without making any khupp. Speaking in English or a South Indian language will earn you a frosty-nosed stare, so stick to Hindi.
(2) Chennai Autowallahs
Tempermental chaps, they love to fleece one and all with their exorbitant pre-set rates (meters are wonly for decoration sarr, pliss to be giving three handred rupiss for two km distance). Even though most of them know Hindi, if they figure out you are one Naarth Indian they will just ignore you, or start hurling abuses in Tamil at you. They also seem to dislike Kannada-speaking folk (even though both are eating idli-vada-masala dosa only), owing to the decades long dispute over Cauvery water between their respective states(Tamil Nadu and Karnataka). Best to learn a few words of Tamil and throw in some English or have a local guide about when dealing with these chaps.
(3) Mumbai autowallahs
Arguably the best of the lot. Fairly decent compared to the other big cities, some of them even believe in returning 50 paise to customers if they owe the change (Ushoo!) They are smarter as well, they can size you up and tell you which place you're from within a few minutes of conversing with you. Since autos are banned from certain areas of the city and they face stiff competition from running taxis, they tend to treat customers with some respect. Hindi works just fine with these chaps. Of course, if you know some Marathi, that doesn't hurt either.
(4) Bangalore autowallahs
Established dutty, haaaarrible goondas in life they are. Known for their rigged meters and terrible manners, they love to trouble one and all because of the monopoly they have in the city. Since Bangalore has no running taxis, these guys have gone unchallenged for years, and at best are difficult to deal with. For example, if you nicely ask the autowallah to please not make his auto zoom over the big potholes (because your body is taking a hammering while you bounce all over the back seat), he will gruffly say "Why you are taking auto then aa? You go buy car!", before lapsing into a string of curses. Anything less than ten rupiss in change owed to you is just as good as gone - you'll never see it again. Also, they have a habit of charging insane amounts for very short distances. Kannada works best when conversing, and Hindi is understood by most. You may even run across some who are fluent in English.