Today I met that very rare species the meter using auto man. I was off to a place scarely four kilometers away from my place. The first empty auto shrugged shoulder and simply refused to go there. The second guy asked for 40 Rs, I tried to bargain reluctantly when I spied another empty auto approaching ( yes I am a pro at auto catching), I let the 40Rs guy go and asked the new guy-"Deshbandhu college chaloge?"
"Baithiye." He said without a fuss and proceeded to lower a new meter. Staring at the guy's back a few minutes later, I thought, this guy will never know how glad I am to meet him- a regular meter using automan, how no fuss and convenient .Delhi would be a much better place if there are more like him. My eyes filled up with gratitude for him.I looked out of the side of the auto into the world outside. Smartly dressed people off to do their daily business. Everyone down to the lowly sweeper of the streets dressed to kill and now adays everyone sporting headphones listening to their favourite FM channel on their nokia phones. I loved the sight, Delhi looks good, as long as people keep mouth shut, I could not hear anybody speaking now, so the rosy picture continued. The meter read 22 Rs 68p upto my destination and I gave 25Rs where the other guy was asking for 40!Auto guys are truely villainous in this city. Before the meter rates were hiked the chaps used to say "mehengai kitni hai, dal ka bhav kita badh gaya!" and we clicked our tongues in sympathy and gave 5-6Rs extra. Slowly, emboldened by this success they began to ask for prepostrous sums for even very short distances. Then I lauched a counter attack by saying "hamare liye mehengai nahin badhi hai kya?" which is quite true, I am an unemployed mother of two positively way below the poverty line if there was no family support!
Well back to the city of Delhi. I generally live for the four months of winter and somehow survive the six months of summer here and the pleasant month of October is also greatly anticipated however I am sad in the month of Maech although the weather is pleasant for summer is lurking right round the corner. It is mid September now and yet there is no respite from the heat. The mornings have become a little pleasant but the day stretches long and hot and sultry. But I know the next month will bring the smell of winter in the air and I have already started sniffing in anticipation!