For past few days I am going to office by car rather than the company bus. More and more I travel by car, I have observed that the traffic jams in Pune are caused primarily by drivers driving on wrong side. On a 4 lane road, you are going at good pace as there are not many vehicles on your side and suddenly you find that one of the rash drivers from the oncoming side is driving on the wrong side without any provocation. I say "Hey! that’s my side you are driving on!" A typical Puneri answer you will get is "What’s the problem man? You have some much space further to your left! Why don’t you give us some space"
Am I responsible if there is so much traffic on your side, I say. I have every right to drive on my side of the road. I finally have started doing one thing. I just keep my side and stop in front of the errant driver’s vehicle. This causes lot of anger on their part but I keep my cool and do not abuse anyone or say anything. At least I am resisting and not letting these guys go. My wife says, why am I wasting my time on these people, but if no one resists, people will keep doing wrong things. Isn’t it?
This reminded me of something that we used to do when I was in school. Remember in our geometry box we have something called as divider? A small tool with two pointed needles? It was not just a tool for geography. We had wooden benches in those days. So this divider was used to divide our desktop in two halves and the bench partners would fight for their share of the desktop. I was not allowed to move my book on the other half of the desktop and I did not allow my partner to do that as well. You know… fighting for our own area was in our blood. I am sure this trend is still there in school children. Why not use that same spirit on the roads? Will this not better the situation? One of the foremost thing that needs to be implemented in Pune traffic is lane discipline. I am using my childhood learning to do my bit.
Well… it was my second day in Rickshaw to office. This time I was returning. On the way we got stuck in traffic and it made both of us talk. This guy was one of the very decent guys and his experiences were really good.
1. He told me that during his business hours, unlike his other professional colleagues, he never says no to any customer and that pays huge dividends to him. On one occasion, a couple asked him to drop then to Pune railway station. Being a rush hour, quite a few had said no to them. He was on his way to station and this couple asked him to drop them to a good hotel near the station. He dropped them to one on the way. The security guy asked him to wait for sometime and the hotel management paid him 200 bucks for bringing them a customer. Which was almost 5 times the rent he got from the couple.
2. Quite a few such incidents were of similar nature. He once dropped a passenger from University to Bhosale nagar, which is about 2-3 km. Again few others had refused to come. The passenger asked him, if he can wait for another 30 minutes, he was going to the airport. He waited and earned 250 bucks.
3. With another passenger who asked him to drop to the airport, he told me the most shocking story. At the airport there is a long queue of autowalas and standing in that queue is sheer waste of time. So many of them return empty handed. But this time when he dropped a passenger, another autowalah came and asked, if he was willing to go anywhere. He said yes. The other guy said, his number had come but he did not want to go and was willing to send the passenger to him. He soon brought the passenger. The fare to his destination was fixed at 160. The other autowalah asked him 50 buck out of that and he got 110. Being curious, this fellow turned on his meter and found that the actual fare to the destination would have been 80. So he was still in surplus. He told me that this is a regular business of some guys at the airport. They wait in the queue and earn commission, without going anywhere. Since the pre-paid fares take care of 50% return charges, it was always affordable.
However, keeping the airport story apart, moral of his experiences was, if you are willing to take any opportunity in business, you are likely to come across bigger opportunities. Those who are very choosy, typically losers and cribbers. Be ready for hard work and fortune will follow you.
Well it’s not just the computer processors like core duo from Intel are doing multi-tasking. We human beings also do that. But the most powerful computer up there has been doing that since beginning of the world, if there was any. It is not just limited to a single human P(ie)C(e) but works on multiple and today I got a proof of that.
Today morning was a rainy one and I was completely against driving in Pune’s traffic. So I decided to catch an auto-rickshaw (a three seater cab – speciality of India). As usual the Puneri autowalah was very choosy and two of then refused to go the way I wanted to. Finally the third one accepted to take me to my office, which is just behind Pune railway station.
As soon as we started, this guy told me that he also wanted to go to station, cos he wanted to visit a relative in hospital nearby. He was worried that he will not get a passenger in that direction and will have to travel without a fare. So he was very happy when I asked him to take me there.
Typically, I get an auto in quick time. Many times my father calls me to help him get one due to my reputation. 🙂 But today I got this proof that God not only helps me, but also the auto-rickshaw drivers in one single stroke. Two tasks done at same real time and not like the single core processors who fake multi-tasking.
Thank you God for reminding me that You are there with me and also with all other people to help.
Last week my Puneri friend Mahesh, who is now in Delhi, visited the city. Someone in Delhi commented about the Puneri public breaking traffic signals.
Mahesh’s reply to that was in his classic style. He said, “You guys don’t understand. Democracy is in the roots of Puneri public. When the traffic signal is Red, a whole lot of people decide that it is not Red and other people accept it. You can’t find a better example of democracy in blood of people anywhere in the world.”
Well I never looked at it this way. Going forward, I am enjoying this democracy everyday now. What a stress-buster!