- Marina Beach
- Elliot Beach
- Spencer’s Mall
- Citi Centre (Mall + INOX Theatre)
- Sathyam Cinema
During this brief interval of interaction I got chance to experience something, which I guess is every boy’s dream. (I know it for a fact as I along with a lot my friends back home have cribbed over our bad luck, as it never happened to us.) But when it happened here in Chennai, believe me guys, it did not resemble even remotely to what we had imagined in our daydreams.
Before I start the story I would like to tell you that it involves a “Shared-Auto” which by the way is a great way to travel for a NOT (Non-Tamilian) in Chennai.
For those of you who might not know this concept of shared-auto it is like this: the not-so-notorious autowala charges a fixed amount of money per person (5/10 Rs) for a fixed destination. There are around 9 people in the auto, 7 of whom sit in a specially made two-level platform (where you usually find the back-seat) and 2 sit with the driver. So, you just have to speak your destination, the autowala signals to you if he is going there. Once your destination comes you pay the fixed amount and simply walk away. No need to speak much, signal, try to understand or beat your head over lack of bargaining power (which comes naturally if you are a NOTS (Non Tamil Speaker).
So, on that day too I was waiting for a shared auto to reach office. One autowala stopped near me, I said “Tidel Park”. He nodded and signaled me to sit. “I love the way in which the whole process works”, I said to myself feeling like Neil Armstrong entering Apollo 11 before take-off. I saw there was only one seat left on the lower level, so I sat there and the auto picked up speed. On the next stop a guy, who was sitting next to me, and a girl, who was sitting behind me on the upper level, got off and another girl entered the auto. Now, as there was an empty space on the upper level the autowala signaled me to move there so that the girl could sit at my place. The moment I shifted I realized that I was in deep trouble.
Now there were a total 3 male and 5 female passengers in the auto. Two out of the three males were sitting with the driver. And I was surrounded by girls (3 in front and one each on either side).
Now think if it would have happened to you in any other place what would have been your reaction? You surrounded by girls…WOW!!!! But here…..
The moment I realized the situation I was in I remembered my “Take everything in positive” pledge, otherwise I would have fainted. So after keeping my calm for the longest 5 seconds of my life I felt like I was on a ship that had wrecked while shipping coconut oil and there is a massive oil spill all around me. Then, I started feeling seasick and my only hope of survival was the small window at the back of the auto rickshaw. (Not to jump but to breathe and supply some fresh air to my lungs.)
I tilted my head back to get some fresh air when the autowala announced arrival of my office building. I literally jumped out of the auto and had a quick breather. I did not even mind whatever autowala said to me because I was busy breathing and had not paid him money yet. I gave him the money and walked towards the office enjoying the sun and thanking that there are no coconut trees on the way.