Monday, June 4, 2012
On a Ride/ For a Ride?
9.00 PM near Gokul Dairy at Khandeshwar. The only public transport to reach Khandeshwar Railway Station from this place, is an Auto. Other than pricey Nerul East, other parts of Navi Mumbai, have a Share- Auto Facility. The Rickshaw driver, seats 3 – 4 passengers, and charges the nominal fare from each, irrespective of the distance. It is INR 8 per head, from Gokul Dairy to Khandeshwar Station.
It was late evening, and there weren’t many passengers from this locality going towards Station. I waited for 15 -20 mins, then enquired to the Rickshaw guy, if he will ply me as a single passenger (No Sharing). He agreed, saying the Charge will be INR 30. I agreed.
Not even 2 mins since he started, that an old couple with a Young Boy (10-11 Year Old) got in. I reminded the driver, he was supposed to ply me single seat. He immediately reacted, saying they are his family, and they won’t pay. He was just helping them reach the station.
We reached the station. Usually, I keep the (paying) amount ready, even before I reach the destination point. It saves my time, plus the Rickshawala’s time and fuel. (Their engine, in most cases, is on, till you pay).
On reaching Khandeshwar Station, the old man fiddled his pocket, then reached out to the auto driver and paid the nominal fee. The Rickshawala protested, on “we are family” grounds.
But insistence from the old couple prevailed. They paid -he accepted -I smiled.
Thereafter, it took me good 3 mins to argue, and finally pay the "Seat- Sharing Fare" only.