This is originally carried on my other blog PUNE BLOGGING ;the blog that is Pune , India
Our three wheeler freind , the black and yellow Rickshaw (actually comes in an assortment of colours).
This transport of millions is not exactly what I call the breakfast of champions.Yet,the auto-rickshaw is India's most used urban transport.
When I came to Pune a year ago, I found few transport options to get from point A to point B .. Let's face it , Pune like many other growing Indian cities has a public transport problem.
Yes there is the Pune City Bus system (PMT) ,but there is one major problem with it all the busses go either to Swargate or to Corporation. Therefore if you get from to your destintion you have to via either Swargate or Corporation , which can be a tad irritating when your destination is in the other direction.
Therefore my choice of Public Transport The Rickety Rickhaw.
Actually most of the world's auto-rickshaws are made in Pune , by a company called Bajaj Auto.
A rickshaw ride constitutes first finding one .You will most likely find one at most Pune Nakas.There you'll probably find the 150cc 4stroke beast in the colours of the tiger.The anatomy of the rickshaw both exterior and interior greatly varies from city to city in India. For example ricks in bombay are fitted with extensive 1000watt sub-woofers hi-fi systems with makes them moving bose speakers, punching the latest the Hindi hits one after the other. Who needs FM RADIO,thus bombay rick embodies the city and the pune rick embodies pune , a more quieter and sleepier city.
What do you mean by quieter and sleepier ? The classic example to the fact is that all shops (except the bussiness like marwadis) close form 2:30 pm to 4pm for their "Afternoon Siesta" , now you know why I said sleepier.
Thus the Pune Ricks are simpler looking with plain more elgent interior.Our freind the rickshaw walla , bhau (brother) to you and me sits in the rickshaw cab , reading yesterday's edition of Sakal (Pune's most read daily).
After supplying Bhau with your destination and on him agreeing to it where off with the ring of the tarrif meter.The streets of Pune like many another Indian city can be chaotic and sometimes hellisly gushing with traffic (cycles,lunas,scooters,motor-bikes,PMT busses,cars,trucks,rickshaws,the occassional cow or stray dog and of course pedestrians.)The rides starts as the he power ups his 150 cc 4 stroke engine zips out with sound that yout grandfathers vespa may have made.
Piercing to traffic , ricks are perfect modes of urban transport in heavily populated cities which have sometimes bad road conditions in diverse weather .
Once you are finished you have calculate the tarrif , from the metre ..which most of the time is governed by a complexed mathematical quation.
In Pune it is X*6 - (absX - 2)
,where X is meter reading.
There for if you metre reading is let's say 3.20
You multiply by six and minus it from the differrence of two
Thus the fare is 18 rs (20 paise) but we round it off to 18 rs..
I hope you've enjoyed my ride in the rikety rickshaw.
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