Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Everyday auto stories.

Reel life Stuntman.

I was on a call when I got into the auto. As soon as I got inside, It was as though I had entered a photo studio. Every inch of the auto was stuck with newspaper articles and photographs of a man with leading Kannada actors. "Naave ree adu (Thats me)", he said to me while I kept gawking at the photographs.

"Oh, neevu filmstar-a?" (Are you a filmstar)

"Hange tilkolli, naavu stuntman. Nammanna preetiaagi, Auto Ramanna, fighter Bellary anta heltaare. Sudeepu, annavru, yellar jothe li kelsa madidivi" (You can consider that. I am a stuntman. With love they call me Auto Ramanna, fighter Bellary. I have worked with Sudeep and Anna sir)

"Hangaare yenakk ee auto vodsodu" (Then why do you drive this auto?)

"Madam, hotte ge, samsara nodkobek alwa. Stunt inda asht sambla yen baralla" (Madam, for my stomach. I have to take care of my family. Doing stunts does not fetch me enough money)

Then he went on explaining to me how the stunts work, who all he works with, how many movies he's worked in. And then he said "Madam ondu dialogue heltini, keli" (Madam I will tell a dialogue, listen to me)

The Kannada dialogue was as big as a lecture! But he made no mistakes, and happily recited it off. He mentioned all the noted Kannada personalities and said he's met them all. He said "Madam Tv nallu kuda bandidini, nimm internet nallu idini, nodi" (Madam, I have come on TV, I am there on your internet also). He said he goes to the gym early morning to keep himself fit. Then he told me about his daughter who was doing very well at school. The entire auto journey seemed to get over in seconds. While getting off, he said "Nann movies nodta iri madam" (Keep seeing my movies madam).

Unfortunately, I did not find him on "my internet". Next time I board an auto, I will look out for our very own "Auto Ramanna, fighter Bellary".

Real life Stuntman.

This was the second day my vehicle was sitting at the Service center. I was late and I was not getting an auto. Finally an auto guy agreed to come. He started the meter and as soon as he switched on the ignition, a cab behind us started honking. The auto guy smiled and accelerated. I was surprised at him. Usually auto drivers are not that patient. The driver suddenly said, "Yen madodu madam, avarigu timelimits iratte. avara boss avara tale male koothkond irtaare. naanu ond kalakke call centre driver aagidde. Katte thara kelsa madastaare." (What to do madam, even they have timelimits. Their boss will be sitting on their heads. Even I was a call centre driver at one point. They make you work like donkeys)

"Oh", I said.

"Yaararu driver raja togondre, namm mele duty haakbidtaare. Double shifts madbekagatte. Extra duddu antu sigod kaane. Sambla togolodu ondu dodda golu. Manager galu namma boss ge namma salary credit madataare, but ee baddi maga namage namma duddu kodakke saytaane." (If any driver takes an off, they put the duty on us. We'll have to do double shifts. They never give us extra money. It is a pain to take our own salary from them. The managers would have credited our salaries to our bosses, but this ***** doesn't give us."

"Complain madalva?" (Don't you complain?)

"Yarag madam complain madodu? namm salary iskollakke naav namm boss ge ondu bottle henda kodbeku athva kudasak karkond hogbeku. Sareeg itkobeku ee boss galanna, illa andre yaav yaavdo route ge haak bidtaare."
(Who should we complain to Madam? To get our own salaries, we have to give them one bottle liquor or take them to a bar. We need to keep them in good terms, else they will assign us to some unknown route.)

"Oh", was all I managed again.

"Nan hendti nannanna bitt hodlu. Yeshtu anta paapa avalu kaytaale. Bellige inda sanje avala ganda manege bardene hodre, yeshtu anta kaytaale. Driver andre maryaade ne illa madam. Hudgi sigodu kashta. Yen kelsa anta keltaare, driver andre, ayyo howda sari nodona anbidtaare. Adikke naanu aa kelsa bittu, auto business shuru madide. Madam ille nillisla?" (My wife left me and went away. For how long will that poor female wait? From morning till evening if her husband doesn't come home at all, how much will she wait. There is no respect for drivers madam. It is difficult to get brides. They ask us what our job us, if we say driver, they say, oh is it, ok then lets see. That is why I left that job and started my own auto business. Shall I stop here madam?"

"Yenu?" (What?)

"Ide alwa nimm office?"
(This is your office, right?)

"Hoon, hoon, Thanks". (Yes, yes, Thanks)

"Ok madam, khushiyaag iri, bartini eega"
(Ok madam, be happy, I will go now)

He drove away and I kept standing there with a million thoughts in my head.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Attachment vs Familiarity

Attachment and Familiarity are the phases of any relationship. First you get familiar with someone and then the familiarity increases which leads to Attachment. Even for a baby, first it has to get familiar with the mother. Once it gets familiar with the mother's touch, her smell, her voice, it gets attached to her emotionally. Its how nature is.

Everyday while going to office, I take a short cut to avoid the main road. It saves me a lot of time as it lets me bypass the traffic. It was on this short cut that I first saw the old man. He was holding his crutches and standing in the balcony, looking at the vehicles passing by. He was wearing a loose pyjama and a kurta and had a newspaper in his hand. I did try to see which newspaper it was, but pardon me, I have a bit of Myopia which didn't allow me to. I wondered whether all the vehicles which passed by were causing him irritation or whether he was simply used to them. Once I got to office, I forgot all about the old man. The next day while going to office, I saw the old man again standing there in the balcony with his crutches. Since that day up until last week, I saw the old man everyday. But from a week, I had not been seeing him. The balcony remained empty. Everyday when I took the shortcut I instinctively looked up to the balcony to see if the old man would be there. I used to feel a twinge of sadness to see the lonely balcony. Yesterday while taking my usual road, I looked up the balcony out of practice. It gave me such pleasure to see the old man sitting there on the chair reading the newspaper! It brought a huge smile onto my face. I almost wanted to shout out to him and greet him in welcome.

It made me wonder whether this was Familiarity or Attachment. My emotions were attached to the presence or absence of a person whom I hadn't spoken to even once. The emotions lasted hardly for 10 minutes, but it still did bring a slight change in my mood. Strange how the mind works eh?

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I was buying some flowers when I saw this little girl sitting on the sand. She was no more than 3 years old. Her mother was inside, mixing the cement for construction work. The little girl was sitting on a huge pile of sand next to a dog. The girl had the dog’s face in her hand and she was talking to it. Although the words were quite incomprehensible, the dog had its eyes focused on the girl as though listening to her in rapt attention. Quite a double irony actually! The little girl then took some sand from the pile and started putting it on the dog’s face. The dog closed its eyes slowly and I swear I saw a trace of smile on its face! It stayed there silently while the girl put the sand on its face like a face pack. Then the girl’s mother called out to her. She quickly got up and left. The dog stayed there for 2 seconds, opened its eyes and shook itself all over. All the sand fell off and it trotted behind the girl faithfully.

A big flashy car suddenly stopped at the crossroad. I screeched to halt behind it. I’m not the kind of person who honks at cars or cows. I just cursed under my breath and took a dangerous swerve to avoid a collision. An old man was standing there, outside his house, observing my reactions. As I sped off, his eyes met mine, and he raised his hand and mouthed “Calm down, Calm down”. I instantly slowed down with a smile on my face and rode away.

My aunt had a Prepaid Mobile connection whose call rates were 1Re/min. She talks a lot on the phone. Her mobile Bills, needless to say, were quite high. Her husband was not very happy with this. When I went to visit her, she complained to me about this. I told her that she could switch the Call rates Plan to something cheaper. Being a little ignorant to the tech-world, she asked me if that would change her number. I told her that the number would remain the same, only the call rates would go down. She confirmed this with me 6 times, by asking the same question in 6 different ways. “Will the phone number change? Will my friends need to call on another new number? Will I have to give all my friends another number? … ” After about 20 minutes of Q&A, we walked down to the Mobile shop and got the plan changed. The first thing she did after we got home was make a nice big hot cup of tea for me. Then she sat next to me and peeled an orange. She said, “Thank you. I can now talk longer with my friends and my husband needn't worry”. Her husband grimaced behind her but she smiled and started peeling another orange for me.

Small instances like these make you feel so positive and happy. It needn’t always be alcohol.
After one dormant blog year, it’s a post.
Happy new year.

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