How to get Delhi autowallahs to say ‘Yes’!?

That Delhi autowallahs are incorrigible is too well known to be elaborated here (meter not working, choosy about destinations and the like). Here is my suggestion (read trick) on how to get them to say yes over small distances. delhi-autos

In JNU campus when you ask them to go to Munirka (more than 2 kms away) they’ll either say ‘No’ or ask 30 Rupees (even the charge by meter is about 16 Rupees)! 🙁

So, you tell them that you have to go some place distant (such as Janpath) and when you reach Munirka you get yourself a fake call on your phone and tell him that you will have to cut short your journey because your friend is calling! He will agree for 20 Rupees easily (or even less if the meter was on) under this circumstance. I did it successfully but only once. You can tell him that you have changed your mind without pretending to receive any call but that will be slightly rude. So you sugarcoat it for him to make him feel less unfortunate. 🙂

Also you can complain on helpline 011-42 400 400; I have complained twice but did not follow it, it works though. I often threaten autowallahs with this no. (most of them are unfazed). Once I even shot a photo of the offending driver but he was still unmoved!

JNUites can share an auto when waiting for bus in Munirka. I once suggested  a JNU girl (unknown to me)  on Munirka bus stop to share an auto to JNU (50:50) because the route no. 615 bus was making us wait like anything. She did not agree to it!

If you note the autorickshaw’s registration no. in a notebook, it may carry more weight (because the Indian psyche may not fear gadgets like a digital camera but it still fears paper/paperwork). Try all this. Good luck.

What’s the catch? The trick suggested above may be useful but it is unethical and tantamount to lying. Ask your conscience before employing it.

P.S.: I have made my post (My new year vows) private. A friend was reading it yesterday (and laughing simultaneously) and I did not feel good about it. I will post less of personal info now (though the diary entry will continue).

10 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Mark T. Market says:

    Don’t hold your breath, but lying could be a sign of an evolved brain so no worries.

    Fun post! Cheers.

  2. Vikas Gupta says:

    @ Mark T. Market

    Thanks. I am glad you liked it. To some extent lying is a sign of an evolved brain! I visited your blog and liked it: I’ll spend more time there later.


  3. Alak says:

    I like that trick 🙂
    But haggling with the autowallah’s is also a habit now.
    But the taking-down-the-number formula works for sure. It worked for me twice.
    good post. do write more abt delhi.

  4. Vikas Gupta says:

    @ Alak,

    Yes indeed it is so common for Delhites to haggle with these autowallahs! It is something we cannot escape.

    Yes, taking down the no. works but not the digital camera!

    You will find more on Delhi (a poem and a love letter) in the ‘travelogue/places’ category in the blog.

    Keep visiting!


  5. Julie A Ray says:

    Ha ha!! That was a good one Vikas. But in Delhi, if I were the girl that you asked to share a ride with, I would have taken your photo and gone to the Delhi police (!) —who with THEIR own reputation to hide, would have leered at me with some Jat profanities! Delhi! Only Mohammad Tughlak could have survived there!
    Same here–I will follow your blogs. You are an interesting writer.

  6. Julie A Ray says:

    Vikas, the photo on the blogger is one where I am singing in an Indian function! You can hear some of my amateur singing on my website:

    Question: I realise wordpress works differently than google. Could you tell me if your reply here comes automatically to my email or is it separately written?

  7. Poonam says:

    Helpline number is bullshit. I mean, I know the number, sue it, nothing happens. Auto driver, unfazed, walks away. 🙁

    Also, these autos are rented and then sold off, in transport dept’s excel sheet (yeah, they only have this excel sheet), owner’s name is never updated. So real culprit manages to escape. Anyway, number is of no use if you need instant auto.

  8. Vikas Gupta says:



    About one year ago I had read in a newspaper report that about 1000 autos were challaned during a certain period (can’t recall whether it was months/year). This report had inspired what I wrote.

    I have complained thrice on phone but did not follow it! As for auto driver feeling threatened by the number, you are absolutely right. They don’t fear it.

    When you note their no. it works or better put, works sometimes.

    I promise you that I will file an elaborate RTI on this. I will post the reply here and will send you email too.

  9. smitha kumaran says:

    this is going to be a useful guide for me! … 🙂