The things you can learn from an auto driver…
Taxi drivers anywhere in the world are a chatty bunch. Well, guess what? Auto drivers in India are no different. Below is the exchange between my wife (P) and the auto driver (AD) after the younger one had been dropped off to school. The conversation took place in Hindi but I’ve transcribed Hindi & English for AD’s dialogues and English only for P.
AD: Is school ke liye kitna donation lagta hai? (What’s the donation to get a child into this school? School in question is NPS Koramangala)
P: This school doesn’t require any donation.
AD: Kya? Donation nahin lagta? (What? No donation?!)
P: No, thats one of the good things about this school – one of the reasons why it is in demand.
AD: Fees kitna hai? (How much is the fee?)
P: Annual fee for first year is Rs. 7o,000 but, for subsequent years, the fee actually reduces.
AD: Acchha. Maine Rahul Dravid ko teen bar dekha. Uska beti yahan jaata hain nan? (I see. I saw Rahul Dravid thrice recently. His daughter goes to this school, right?)
P: No. His son goes to this school. It’s Kumble’s daughter who also attends this school.
AD: Aakpo pata hai Dravid kahan rahta hai? (Do you know where Dravid lives?)
P: (vaguely recollecting) Indiranagar?
AD: Nahin. Indiranagar mein to uska maa baap rahta hai. Dravid to Forum ke pas bada building main rahta hai. (No. It’s Dravid’s parents who live in Indiranagar. Dravid lives in Koramangala, near Forum).
P: I see. At the Prestige Acropolis?
AD: Haan. (Yes.)
AD: Kumble to Basavangudi mein rahta hai. (Kumble lives in Basavangudi)
P: (exclaiming) Wow! he comes to drop his kid from that far?
AD: (continuing) Jis building mein Kumble rehta hai, woh usi ka hai. (Kumble owns the building he lives in)
P: (now impressed) Is Dravid a Kannadiga or Tamilian?
AD: Arre! Dravid to Madhya Pradesh se hai. Bas – uske maa baap yahan aake settle ho gaye! (Dravid’s not even from this area – he’s from Madhya Pradesh – his folks came and settled down in Bangalore!)
AD: Haan! Kumble yahan ke lagte hain! Kannadiga hain. (Kumble, on the other hand, is a bonafide Kannadiga)