While you might hate the everyday autorickshaw struggle — from landing a ride in the first place to drivers who shamelessly over-charge — it’s hard to escape the indulgent comfort of an easy ride home. While the news of prospective hike in auto fares might have put off Delhiites, there is nothing that can mar the popularity of the rickshaw among city dwellers and backpacking tourist alike.
The auto has now caught the fancy of dilli wallahs in a unique way, and has become a funky fashion trend. People in the city can be often seen sporting bags, T-shirts and different accessories with quirky autorickshaws on them. “It is cool to sport an autorickshaw. We have a T-shirt with an image of an auto on it, which sells like hot cakes, and is bought not only by Delhiites but also by foreign tourists. The auto represents different kinds of feelings that one gets while exploring the city. On one hand, one gets to see the city in various ways while travelling on it, and on the other, the hassles of dealing with an auto guy. It represents quintessential Delhi,” says Himanshu Dogra, founder of Play Clan.
“When you think of an auto, what comes to your mind is India. Initially, when we started, there weren’t many products with autos on them. But, then we made an autorickshaw fridge magnet and it became an instant hit among our customers. We called it Auto Raja, and it has now become iconic,” says Shubhra Chadda, co-founder of Chumbak.
Not only the auto, but there are other aspects of the city as well that youngsters are sporting on their sleeves. Idiosyncrasies of the city people, typical ‘Delhi talk’ and other city quirks have also find their place on T-shirts, mugs and accessories. “We have T-shirts in a series called, ‘Have you done Delhi yet?’ — which has 10 things which every Delhiite has done. There are also some typical things that you will hear every Delhi walla say, such as, ‘Tumhay nahin pata main kaun hoon? (Don’t you know who I am?)’,” says Rahul Anand of Happily Unmarried.