The Non Co-operation Movement

Last week marked my first on-road fight. Usually, I'm a staunch follower of ahimsa on the roads - I always give way to the motorists and...

Last week marked my first on-road fight. Usually, I'm a staunch follower of ahimsa on the roads - I always give way to the motorists and other odd vehicles that cross my path, I don't honk for no apparent reason, I wait for the signal to turn green (which qualifies me to be somewhat of a rare breed on the roads of this city) and hell, I even smile at the auto guys who curse me. Come to think of it now, it's only resulted in more cuss words thrown at my direction. Which is pretty dumb, I mean, hello, auto anna, ever heard of chivalry?

I digress - point being, I've never really allowed myself to get into a fight on the roads of Chennai the one and a half years I've been behind the wheel.

Anyway, last week, I was taking my car out of the street but I was stopped halfway because of a Metro Water Tanker Lorry that was supplying water to one of the houses at the beginning of the street. Like most sane people, I waited, after which I honked.
No response.
Not even for my extremely annoying don't-take-your-hands-off-the-horn-for-10-full-seconds-honk. Clearly, this guy wasn't going to to budge and I was getting late for work. By this time, there was a buildup of traffic on both sides.
One auto guy stepped out of his vehicle and tapped at my window - "Maydum, reverse pannunga. If you move, atleast us smaller vehicles can go through"

I don't know about how you guys would have reacted, but I was extremely ticked off. More than the request, it was his tone - the man was acting as though he was running late to present his acquisition proposal to Mukesh Ambani. DEI. Besides, I wasn't holding up the traffic, the lorry was!

"Mudiyadhu sir. Are you the only one who has work? I am also running late, I also have a million things to do. Ask the lorry fellow to move, we can all leave together". The auto guy was a little taken aback (In all honesty, so was I. I had never raised my voice on the road to anyone before), but he continued his monologue about my reversing and him getting his way so that he could meet Bill Gates by which time I was in total mortal kombat mode.

"I understood the first time, sir. But why should I move? He's the one blocking all of us! Make him leave this place and we can all go."

"He will take an hour! Reverse now!"

The auto guy had upped his decibel levels some 10 times now and ofcourse, a mini congretation of other auto drivers similarly stuck in the road had assembled around him.

"Don't shout, sir. I should give you way and wait for an hour? How's that fair? Either you ask the lorry driver to move and we all go or you wait for one hour with me. I am not moving, I am not giving any of you way." I finished.

Severe Bhagat Singh Feel.

By this time, my driver,had also traipsed to the spot. Clearly, he had been seeking some early morning entertainment but the moment he noticed that I was the reason for the auto kaaran's blood pressure, he jumped to open my door - "Amma, vella vaanga ma" he said to me before he turned to the Autokaaran General Assembly.
"Venda anna, don't mind her. Periya edathu ponnu*"

Periya edathu ponnu it seems. If there was one thing my driver was better at than driving, it was giving buildup. Initially, I didn't want to give way to my driver either, because of the burning desire to continue fighting for my noble cause, but something told me that if I didn't budge, I might be subject to some extreme autokaaran abuse.

I got out and let him do the reversing, trying my best to maintain my Damn-I'm-late-for-my-breakfast-meeting-with-Karunanidhi look as I waited. Eventually, the traffic cleared, and I even smiled at the at the auto guy who cussed as he crossed my way. I'm nice like that.

Finally I landed up in office and told my colleague T about the morning's events (with a hint of pride, may I add).
"Wait." she said as I finished narrating my heroics. "You invited the wrath of around a dozen psycho autokaarans for what purpose, exactly?"

"To clear the traffic?"

"And do what?"

"Come to office on time?"

"And do what?"






I don't like these experiences with morals.


* Periya Edathu Ponnu - crudely translated to "big place girl", if you know what I mean.

You Might Also Like

36 comments

  1. Lol. Not Bhagat Singh, orrey JJ feel.
    "Nalai Namadhe, Naarpadum Namadhe." :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice post.. But I dint understand the logic behind it..Imagine U in that auto and how u wud ve felt when there is a possibility to go ahead.. Very funny post to say the least though!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lorry driver - Chetan bhagat
    Auto driver - illathalapathy vijay
    am i right ? :P

    ReplyDelete
  4. First part made me think that you were driving the car yourself (Behind the wheel) etc. Then I find that you have a driver. Suddenly, you seem less of a Bhagat Singh, and more of a Periya Edathu Ponnu.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @anon
    i do drive my own car - my driver had just come to see what the commotion at the beginning of the street was all about.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dude , drop the Periya edathu ponnu dialogue. Such a turn off.

    ReplyDelete
  7. usually I enjoy ur posts...but this one whatever the reason was a turn off for me...maybe a better explanation on the tone of the auto driver telling u to reverse might have justified it...still not sure

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Yamsivam : Nice try autowalla!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh well, seriously you ought to consider the future when you are non-cooperating. If you have a buff boyfriend fine, otherwise you have to deal with things like 'Area pakkam va paathukaren' and shit from Auto dudes. Thevaya? ;-)But Maydum, why didn't you reverse and let the other poor chaps through! You are like lorry driver 2 I say!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Quite interesting to read, though this is a daily occurence.

    'Periya Edathu Ponnu'... Possible title for the next film.

    ReplyDelete
  11. chennai auto fellows = mumbai underworld dons. whole nation is afraid of them.no rules,
    no meter,no patience , plain day time robbery. BARBARIANS *@#&...........

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love Chennai AutoKarans. One time my 4 ft 10 was literally bullied out of an auto because I told him to take a different route. One request. Would you provide translations to the Tamil words. I got most of them except for "Edathu". As for the Water Tankers,they know they own the road for the time they are doing the favor. Your sense of punctuality and traffic ethics is appreciable.

    ReplyDelete
  13. yekka periya edathu ponnaamdoi! commentu sollura payapullaiga konjam gavanama irunga ba!

    ReplyDelete
  14. well i dont know why most of them complaining on you ....i get your point of autoguy not fighting with lorry driver instead of you. I most probably would have done the same thing,i guess

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wat a start of a morning !! :P

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am still confused. You have been driving yourself for 1.5 years. Why do you still have a driver? Why haven´t you fired him yet?

    ReplyDelete
  17. he's not 'my' driver. He drives the other cars in the household - for my parents.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Aha.. Kickass coconut chutney :) Btw how are these 'thanni' lorry folks on the road.. while the vehicle is moving, I mean? :D

    ReplyDelete
  19. You should have reversed and hit the auto

    ReplyDelete
  20. Drives other cars in the household? How many cars are there? Periya edathu ponnu dhaanungo!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Nice post, very funny. Just a request - can you give translations along with the vernacular - for your readers who dont understand?

    ReplyDelete
  22. indha periya edathu ponnungale ipdi thaan!! yaar pechayum kekkurathu illa!

    ReplyDelete
  23. You're facing a lot of unnecessary flak for something your driver said. I'm actually glad you're not responding :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. hai periya edathu ponnu.

    ReplyDelete
  25. idhu vera bhagat feel.c-bag.and yous should have scolded in periya edathu iyengar ponnu style like shaniyane.free

    ReplyDelete
  26. @ Nandini : I believe she has responded by agreeing to it. Modesty vs charismatic. ;) Sweet.

    Blesssed~

    ReplyDelete
  27. And this incident is not limited to Chennai... A high percent of all of us think in this way. If I am on a bike, I will want the Honda City fella to gimme pass so that at least I reach on time... Pretty sad!

    You have kinda hit the nail on the head over here. If only a lot of us Indians drove like you... *sigh*

    ReplyDelete
  28. Chutney cas-u. Loved this post diiiiiiiiiiiiii

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wow! T is kalakkal ! Yenna thattuvam !

    ReplyDelete
  30. See.. that's the disadvantage of being a periya edathu ponnu... if u were a chinn edathu ponnu.. u could have fought with the nakka mukka voice style! :P

    ReplyDelete
  31. Why is everybody harping on the 'periya edathu ponnu' bit when the point of the post had nothing to do with it! Loosungu pa elarum.

    Either way, I'm a pain on the road i think.I honk, i abuse erroneous drivers (to myself) and i shout at auto drivers. One mini wannabe-anniyan only :-/ Never achieved anything though, except for my BP shooting up :-/ Maybe i should follow ahimsa too?

    But, I'm VERY particular about traffic rules though, stopping at signals et al (in my defense)

    ReplyDelete
  32. "Periya Edathu Ponnu" - Hahaha! :D

    Oh Brilliant Lavanya! Very nicely written! Stupid water lorries. Aanna namma romba scene pota, roadle pogamodu yethirvange :(.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Nalla vela - Autokaaran la sendhu kaleeja kaana pinna nu mokkaiya thittalaye...illana nee naal poora kadavule kadavule dhaan..

    ReplyDelete
  34. Dont know if this even figured in your head when you wrote this.. but this post is perfect fodder for the Women are the Worst Drivers in the World activists

    ReplyDelete

Cancel Reply

Disclaimer

Please note: The views expressed in this blog are the author's own. However, she is not responsible for the comments that have been left on the page and the same need not necessarily reflect her viewpoint on the same and are entirely the commenters' own. Ok, now read the rest of the blog already.


Follow me on Instagram