Archive for April, 2012

It was a hot Sunday afternoon in the city of Mumbai. I was sitting in an auto rickshaw on the way to a friend’s place at Andheri, waiting for the infamous Mumbai traffic to clear. I was gazing longingly at the cool, delicious icecream in the hand of the kid in the next rickshaw, when a loud “Aye” interrupted my thoughts. I turned back around just in time to see a fat, beefy man pull the driver of my rickshaw out onto the jammed road and start beating him up.  They caught each other by their collars and started a fist fight, disrupting the efforts of an elderly gentleman who, in the absence of a traffic policeman, was trying to direct the traffic. It didn’t take long to find the culprit. It was a big red smear on the fat man’s white Mercedes: my rickshaw wallah seemed to have spit paan on it. Luckily, after twenty minutes or so, the collar grabbing, scuffling and the choicest of Hindi abuses ceased. All of us emerged unscathed except the paan-spewing rickshaw-wallah(who stopped for another paan down the road) and the elderly gentleman who had his glasses broken. This was just thirty minutes into the life of a Mumbaikar.

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