There was this girl I really liked, back in college. We had made plans to meet for lunch. Her roommate dropped her off at the restaurantwe were supposed to meet. We had lunch and had a delightful conversation about worldly things. When it was time to leave, I told her that I could drop her back to her hostel on my motorbike. She was… is, a very joyful and charming lady, but had one flaw – she was very
practical about things. You see, the restaurant was at the center with her hostel and mine being on opposite sides. So in her words, “It
doesn’t make any sense for you to go that way and double back to your hostel” Like all men my age, who fought tooth and nail with their fathers to get the bike that they wanted, I didn’t mind driving a few extra miles even in the absence of a gorgeous pillion as
she. With her – I could go 500 miles, and I could go 500 more…
For once though (may be just for kicks) luck was on my side. A strike was declared that day
for all public transportation, which we knew nothing about. She tried hailing a couple ofautos (for the uninitiated, autos are just like
cabs, but on three wheels, with built in vibrators under each seat, and have a licence to thrill on Indian roads). None of the auto drivers were willing to drive,
owing to the strike. A single one who did agree to drive, was charging 4x the usual fare. I told
her, “It doesn’t make sense to spend so much money… You’ll just be encouraging them to exploit others”.
She pointed at one auto that stood a little ahead on the road, and said “Tell you what? If That guy agrees to drive for 2x the fare or below, I’ll take it. Otherwise, you can drive me to the hostel.”
We walked up to the auto and she asked him, “How much would you charge for driving up to XYZ hostel?”
He said, “Rs. 80”.
The actual fare was around Rs 35 to Rs 40. He was cutting it close on the 2x criteria. While she was debating whether to take the
auto or not, I panicked. I took out a 100 rupee note, and told the auto driver, “I’ll give you 100 bucks not to drive her.”
The auto driver was quite sharp. He didn’t waste time in asking stupid questions, like “Why?”. He just snatched the note out of my
hand, and drove away. She turned to me and said, “Why the hell did
you do that for?”
I gave a sheepish grin, “I just felt like driving you back.”
By this time she had started punching me, “You’re insane! And stupid! And insane! You could have just said so! What about all that
talk of not encouraging them to exploit others?
You could have donated that money to a good cause!”
I took the fact that she was walking towards my bike and not walking away from me as a good sign, and replied “I did donate it for a good cause.” She caught my grin, and returned a goofy laugh, “You’re insane!”