We Dilliwallas are famous for being rash and rowdy. Ask a Dilliwalla to stand in a queue and you are sure to invite an unpleasant conversation. I recall many instances of women calling each other names in Delhi metro just because one woman asked another to be in a line and the other asked her to mind her business.
Though I am yet to experience the peak hours in Mumbai local trains, a recent instance made me familiar to the advantages of being patient in a queue.
Yesterday I was trying to board an auto near one of the local train stations. First things first, in Delhi we have rickshaw and autos. But in Mumbai, there are only autos, which Mumbaikars call Rickshaws. And if someone asks you if you came by Rick, don’t be surprised, for rick or rickshaw or auto are all the same! Now Mumbai autowallas are much different from the ones in Delhi (and unless I dedicate a separate post to them, I won’t be doing justice). As I tried to stop autos, none even bothered to slow down and even listen to where I wanted to go. Ignored and dejected, as I wondered and worried, my eyes fell on a long queue at the roadside. Some 15-20 people were standing in a queue like disciplined school kids waiting for school bus. Hullow, we weren’t even that disciplined as school kids and the moment bus used to come, we used to get into junglee mode!
Confused and curious, I thought of asking one of them, ‘’aakhir maajra kya hai’’ then my eyes fell on the umpteen autowallas that stopped near that line. So what did they have that autowallas stopped for them and not the others?
Eureka! In Mumbai, they have a line for boarding autos!!!
I looked at the auto and the last person in the queue who I had to join in case I wanted to be considered for auto. Being a rainy day, the size of the queue got me thinking. I have broken queues at several places in Dilli…my training ground being my school canteen and then the queue for college U Special. The rule is simple, survival of the fittest. But here, there wasn’t any scope of breaking queue. Unlike local trains, people maintained utter discipline and I didn’t want to come in the limelight as being an eager rule breaker!
So I went & stood in the long queue. The old uncle in front of me was a super friendly person and could make out from my looks that I was a newbie in the city. The tensed me was assured the line would move fast as most people going the same side share autos. He was right, for the line moved really fast, and soon I was in the front. As an auto came, the uncle smiled and said “Ricksha thaamba!”
I soon realized the advantage of these auto queues. The autos that stopped here didn’t refuse to commute on your desired destination. Discipline pays at times.