Thursday, December 08, 2005

Hyderabad's roads to heaven

This post is dedicated to the traffic-savvy junta of Hyderabad.

My first impression about Hyderabad? Excellent airport.. landed straight from Chennai almost 5 years back and I was impressed by the cleanliness of the city. But then things were not so rosy as they seemed to be.

First day on the roads of Hyderabad, I was shocked when I first saw a school auto with lots of heads sprouting out of the autos. The water bottles and school bags were jutting out from the sides of the auto. It was cramped with school children, some standing some sitting. Ever heard of foot boarding on an auto. *shudders* 10 children were fit in an auto, (It was the height of flexibility, I must say) which was running at the break-neck speed of a bullock-cart. And believe me, these children when given the right kind of coaching can become Nadia Comanecis, represent India in the gymnastics and bring laurels to the country. Moving on lets take a look at some of the famous modes of transport in Hyd.

Autos or the 3-wheelers:

I'm sure all the auto-wallahs are relatives of Bond.. James Bond. They can become the finest stunt men in the Indian film industry, if not Hollywood. I myself have experienced some real close shaves. They tread on the fine line between life and death. One ride in any of these autos and suddenly the phrase “Living on the EDGE!!” will start making sense to you.

And their motto is: Licensed to irritate!! Most of them have this kick-ass sound system and with bass volume at the highest, they keep all kinds of item numbers. Songs like Aashiq banaya aapne are played over and over and over until you get tired listening to them and ask him to switch it off.
Then he asks, “Kya boss.. tumhare ko gaane pasand nahi hai kya??” which when translated comes to “Boss, don’t you like songs?”
Me replies *raised eyebrow* “Hau..” means yes in Hyderabadi lingo.

And they can take you for rides.*pun intended* So take this another situation. The meter shows the fare as 26. AA here is auto anna.
AA: Anna, 26 ko round karke 30 de do. (Since the fare is 26, round it to 30 rupees.) *Now that’s some Math I forgot to learn in my school.*
Me: *shocked beyond wits* kya?? 26 ko round karke 30?? Kis khushi mein? (Why?)
AA: Kya anna.. Khairatabad mein rehte ho.. kaiku itna kanjoosgiri karte.. tum jaise pade likhen logaan bhi aise kare toh duniya barbaad ho jayengaa (You live in Khairatbad. Why are you such a miser? If well-educated people like you behave like this, then the end of the world is not far) *He thinks he’s Nostradamus*
Me: Mere pass chabbis rupey ka change hai.. rakhlo.. phukat mein bheja kaiku pakathe?? (I have exact 26 rupees. So take it and keep moving.)*walks away from the scene*
AA: 5 rupey dene ke liye itna bhaav khata hai.. (Roughly translated to: He cant even give a 5 rupee tip)
Me: *pissed off, @$!#%!$^#%@&$&^ but continues walking*

Lets move on, shall we?

Seven Seaters:

Did I mention about the walking death traps.. I mean the running. Yes I’m talking about the very special seven-seaters. It is believed that "Indian Coffins Ltd." a leading coffin manufacturer, tried to save its dipping business by signing a contract with the “concerned authorities” to start the seven-seater services, promising a 10% turnover as commission. And now its a thriving multi-million dollar industry. *This information should be treated strictly confidential*

Excellent maneuvers by these skilled drivers even makes Schumacher turn green with envy, although at the end of each ride, you are left with a dizzy sensation and an urge to puke on your co-passengers. The AP tourism authorities are planning on marketing the seven seaters, and one of the captions that will be used is

“Forget the roller-coaster rides, come ride our seven-seaters and experience the real thrill of life (and maybe death)”


And finally the buses are the nucleus of the Hyderabad Transport. And the drivers are of the I-dont-give-a-damn type. They drive these buses as if they are parading their newly bought pulsars, driving at top speeds and blowing horns for no reason whatsoever. They wont slow down even near a speed breaker, and what we finally get is a nice bumpy ride. I pity the guys who do footboarding. And some of the bus conductors are such cunning creatures, that it may take me hours together to narrate their exploits. Some things are better left unsaid. ahem.


I had always maintained that the Hyderabadis had a better traffic sense than the Chennaities or the Mumbaities (The Delhites do not deserve a mention here. Believe me!) But when I sat down to write this post, words just flowed like Captain Cook Namak... free flowing namak. Remember the ad?? So what is the final mandate? Think Hyderabad is still not as bad as I have described here. These are just isolated incidents, I have not generalized anything here.. err, in fact I have.. but then Dil pe mat le yaar.. so to all fellow hyderabadis.. keep your Hyderabadi paws off me.. :D Well as far as the roads are concerned, will keep that topic for some other day ;) And the quote of the day is:

An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a
very narrow field.

--Niels Bohr

P.S: Reason for my absence from the blogging circuit?? Ran out of ideas.. was fed up of blogging bout day-to-day events.. which in one word is B-O-R-I-N-G. Thanks Affy for the idea. He asked me to write about Hyderabad. Any new ideas from you guys are also welcome.. :)



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted to spam your blog was waiting for a good post..guess this post is the CHOSEN one :P

Kaun hai Hyderabadi????

1. Your address reads as 23-404-32/67A-43 (New MCH number 56-678/4A/B-
22), while you actually live in the
second house beside ZamZam cafe in lane behind Anand Theatre on SP

2. Your street has at least one Roadside Mobile Hotel that serves
Chinese delicacies such as : "Vegetable
soft needles", "NavRotten Kurma", "Chicken Manchurea"

3. Your answer is 'Seeedha Chale Jao' when somebody asks you for
directions, whether it is to Malakpet,
Masab Tank, Malkajgiri or Moosapet.

4. You can speak Hindirdu, hyderabadi hinglish, except Telugu,

5. You ask the waiter to get you some 'Chatney Lao'even if you are
at a lavish continental banquet dinner with exotic Chinese,
Mexican, Italian and Lebanese cuisines.

6. You order for a 'CHAI" just after having had a Caramel custard.

7. You have at least one cousin, friend, colleague or acquaintance in
the US in software.

8. Everytime somebody gives you a piece of good news, the first thing
you ask them is "Party kab hain?"

9. Refer to any past as 'PARSO', be it yesterday or long before three
hundred years.

10. You call 11 AM as 'SUBAH SUBAH'

11. You label your boss as "DIMAKH KHARAB"

12. You are 15 minutes late and you feel you are on time.

13. You look at the fixed price stand and still ask 'DENE KA BOLO'

14. You refer people as "Chichha" , "Mama", "Baap" or "Saale"
depeding on the situation whether they are ur buddies or strangers.
And u also comment a Beautiful girl as "Patakha" or "Raphchik Maal"
or "Masti Potti"

15. You are reading this
and secretly admitting that you are, after
all, a true blue Hyderabadi. you know one thing..... Once a
Hyderabadi, always a Hyderabadi....and you will forward this email to
Hyderabadis only... since only they can relate to it.

5:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry forgot to edit the last lines..

5:31 AM  
Blogger The optimist from utopia said...

LOL!! Yes I am a true Hyderabadi.. Yes I can speak Hindirdu and hyderabadi hinglish.. And I answered in affirmative to almost a dozen of these questions :D
And would you be kind enough to discard this anonymity and reveal your name.. Anyways welcome to my blog.

6:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i call you gottam ;)

6:34 AM  
Blogger Sameera said...

absoultely hilarious!!!!
i love my city and would never hear anythng bad about it..but what u wrote is true and a lil exaggerated for the humor part so ur forgiven :p

but seriously had nice fun readin this..keep bloggin and affy keep givin him ideas..soon he will overtake u and then u will wonder why u eva gave him ideas..

now thats a new fight for u people...made from my side..


7:00 AM  
Blogger The optimist from utopia said...

Well.. well.. well...
The sun has risen from the west, is it? Anyways, nice mail da.. I mean comment. You could hav forwarded the damn thing naa.. who knows.. might hav added a thing or two from it :P But looks gud in the comments section :D
And welcome to my blog.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Jaya said...

Good fun da.. Auto drivers are priceless anyway, both literally and otherwise..high Bloggability Index(a term i read someplace)..

lol at the school kids..sam was one of em..but not with 10 those days, the population was a lot smaller..

Keep em cominj..ask affy for ideas..maybe u can watch kalyug and bloj...tada

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The post was really good....and the comment ( err... a post in itself ) by @nonymous was superb. :)

8:05 AM  
Blogger Gulam Hasan said...

nice post da...hehe..“Living on the EDGE!!” i agree...wud ve jiven u more ideas but since sam said u ll overtake me(if u havent already) tht was da first n da last idea tht i ve given u :P

9:50 AM  
Blogger The optimist from utopia said...

You are forgiven for being so bad. I think u shud join politics, since u seem to have developed a liking to spreading confusion and arousing jealousy among fellow bloggers..

12:56 PM  
Blogger Aran said...

You have not done justice to the true menace of the buses. Ask me. I drive in Hyderabad. (Yes, you can pity me.) So, about the buses, you haven't mentioned that they're all driven by children who play at overtaking. Ever been inside a Maruti 800 and have a bus overtake you and cut you off? Like college boys cutting off a girl's scooty. Like a mild firtation plus show off session. Except that the bus isn't flirting. Excuse me, but a humongous ton of metal cannot flirt. It can only make you have death visions. And they stop in the middle of the road to let off and pick up passengers without warning, making the vehicle behind them brake to avoid crashing into them. And God help those who manage to overtake them. They come down on the poor mortal like a fly-swatter after a fly. I could go on and on about my woes but let me just stop here. This is, after all, your blog.

PS: The word verification was 'kzxaukj' which somehow made me think of kamikaze. Quite apt.

1:20 PM  
Blogger The optimist from utopia said...

Ya.. they are priceless.. And you must have read the term on muse's blog. He went to the extent of copyrighting it.
Sam was one of em?? rofl.. Cant imagine it.. pity the other kids though.. May their souls rest in peace ;) And no kalyug for me.. I wud rather go on a no-blogging strike :D

1:42 PM  
Blogger The optimist from utopia said...

Not again!! Hi welcome to my blog. ya.. the comment is good and entertaining :) But why cant u guys refrain from anonymity.. Just keep some funny names like the hooded stranger or sthn.. looks more exciting :D

1:45 PM  
Blogger The optimist from utopia said...

Sams evil.. do not listen to her. Thought I had hypnotised you some time back.
And me overtaking you? How will I do that sensei? Will give ya 20% commission on comments for all the ideas that you can think of. Deal?? :D

1:50 PM  
Blogger The optimist from utopia said...

She remembered!! That she was just posting a comment. I am happy that my one post could bring out soo much frustration from anyone.. :P Thanku for the comment..
P.S: kamikaze?? You are weird :P And now that you've got all that frustration outta your system, I think you'll sleep well :)

1:57 PM  
Blogger Keshi said...

**“Forget the roller-coaster rides, come ride our seven-seaters and experience the real thrill of life (and maybe death)”

ROFL!! u r sooo funny :) I now know for sure that u have a terrific sense of humor! Very funny post.

Thanks for dropping by matey :)


4:03 PM  
Blogger The optimist from utopia said...

Hi.. welcome to my blog..
Thanku for your generous compliments.. A few more comments like these and I might really start believing that I have a terrific sense of humor ;)

Thanks for dropping by :)

8:04 PM  
Blogger Keshi said...

**A few more comments like these and I might really start believing that I have a terrific sense of humor

LOL there u go again :)


9:25 PM  
Blogger Gangadhar said...

Wow..wonderful blog here..
I liked your humorous writing...
btw thanx for dropping by at my blog..elated to see your compliments...
And you got keshi's compliments! dat's wonderful...
'll blogroll you soon..

10:36 PM  
Blogger The optimist from utopia said...

Well.. If you say so..
*blushes again*


11:49 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

hey........that was a nice post and i guess it is true as i live there and there are very few ways one can really stay put to save one's lives .....

hey u forgot the MMTS though the local trains once and then post something so that hyderabad traffic picture is complete.......

first time here....nice post b/w and will come back for more

cya have a great weekend.

3:17 AM  
Blogger Lord of all Things said...

hehe!! gud post..!
mast pakayey tumaa!!

8:47 AM  
Blogger The optimist from utopia said...

Hi.. Welcome to ma blog..
You a Hyderabadi? hmm.. well the MMTS is not a hot, raging topic.. will try though.. Public doesnt dig MMTS much, so hardly hav anything to write..Thanx anyways and hav a gr8 weekend :)

11:47 AM  
Blogger The optimist from utopia said...

Oh memsab.. Thanku.. :D
commentaan kya likhte ki kya ki..

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Shashank said...

ella auto kaarangallum romba mosam..
Hindi kallakarey!! oru mannum puriyale.. seri.. paakalaam..

10:41 PM  
Blogger The optimist from utopia said...

dei.. translate pannenoliyo!! school le Hindi seriya padichirundaa purinjirukkum.. aama.. auto kaaranga ellarume mosam.. aana madras auto madiri illai daa.. evvalavo thevayllai..

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The school auto-thing is soo true. I personally have gone through all this trauma.. Maybe I shud hav learnt ballad, coz I never had enough space to keep my feet in the auto.. I might have become a great ballad dancer.. who knows!!

3:13 AM  
Blogger The optimist from utopia said...

lol.. well I can deem you lucky, unless you have size 10 feet like me :(

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talking about the city of nawabs is like talking about the city of gawabs. The city is one big piss hole with bottle necks everywhere to make your life pleasent and nasty.

The wallahs are the most notorious . i am talking about rick and auto wallah who charge as if there is no tommorow and talk as if they is no cake to eat. Seven seaters monoploise the roads as if they are undisputed kings caring a damn for lives and wives. but they do care for strifes always getting into brawls and jagdas with all and sundry.

The only worthy saving grace on our mighty roads are the good old buffoloes who act as hi-tech speed breakers. They can be used at traffic signals to tame the brash on the move mobile wheelers.

Cops can be used to only blow the whistle and look upwards. Less said about their duty is better, most of the time, they chit-chat or have a paan only to send lightning red fumes into the crowd on the move. Otherwise they can be found challaning ignorant drivers (who are aware of only driving at break neck speed without caring to put its brakes). Cops are swift to throw their weight around and hand over hefty fines.

Cycle wallah breed is still alive and thriving. They merge with the hi-tech vehicles on the road with grace and speed as if there is no tommorow. They pedal with such alacrity to show that they are still around and better than modern techno wonders.

Welcome to the city of nawabs. When in HYD, be like a nawab and think( or drive) like a nawab

12:01 AM  
Blogger pilot-pooja said...

"Hyderabad is still not as bad as I have described here."

I completely agree to it as Hyd is much better than Delhi..

But yes, Hydbadi auto-wallahs are surely an exception.
Beieve in rounding off (ofcourse to the upper EDGE) to a great xtnt..
I have ben recently charged 18o bugs for a 20 minute drive..

3:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, Your Are SOOO Funny, Thanx, Cuz you kept me laughing for one 30minutes..LOOOOLLL and the co-commenters rock too.

Im a really very true hyderabadi and a proud member of footbording commitee of hyderabad. Atleast one close shave per day, from the traffic and the conductors. For me, travelling in an RTC bus feels like eating red chill, with mint on it, it both burns and cools.

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brim over I acquiesce in but I think the list inform should secure more info then it has.

7:26 AM  

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