If you live in Chennai and haven’t taken a share auto ride, you haven’t lived in Chennai. They’re one of the most convenient and cheap modes of transport although sometimes you’ll have half your butt in the air. But it’s better than taking a bus in the city during peak hours, unless you like being stuffed up somebody’s armpit.
On my latest share auto ride, I traveled with two mums and their sons. Bless ’em. They didn’t know each other but their sons were the same age, I’m guessing about 14. So they instantly connected in a “No way! My son is definitely smellier than yours” way. Not that I’m nosy or anything, but when aunties talk, even music blasting through your headphones isn’t going to shut them out.
They talked about CBSE’s maths syllabus, manga rasam and traffic cops & their big bellies, while one son sat there staring at the floor like a zombie, and the other noisily drank crushers from his KFC glass. Oh, and I know how much each of their husbands earn, how many square feet their bathrooms are and what cars they have.
Completely absorbed in gossip, one mum took out a candy from her bag, refused to give it to her son, and simply tossed the wrapper out the window! I swear I didn’t react, but I don’t think my poker face worked because the son looked at me like I was crazy for staring at his mum. Just let it go, not your place, I thought.
And then the other kid finished his ultra fatty drink and went- “Finished ma”.
Mum: “Here honey, just toss it out.”
God knows which ones we need: mothers who teach their children the importance of civic sense and being good citizens, or mothers who plan out FIT-JEE training sessions and best methods to answer CAT papers when their kids are 4!
Credit must be given to the second kid, he looked at me completely embarrassed as I shook my head at him in disapproval.
“Don’t do that again, Ma. It’s not nice.”
Image courtesy – Flickr