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US woman sings Hindi songs to subdue Indian auto driver

india Updated: Jul 04, 2015 09:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times


An American woman travelling across India has found a striking way to force auto drivers to go by the meter -- sing Hindi songs out aloud.

C Christine Fair, a research scholar from the University of Chicago, has posted a video on YouTube where she demonstrates how she tried it out on an unsuspecting auto driver in Hyderabad.

After he refused to take her to the city landmark Charminar, she plonked herself in the back seat and started singing a Bollywood number -- 'Mujhe neend na aaye' from the 1990's film Dil.

A visibly shocked auto driver hastily downed his meter and agreed to go where she wanted to.

Fair told the Hindustan Times Friday she has carried this off successfully in Delhi, Mumbai and other Indian cities.

"I just plop myself in the back seat and explain that I will just sing until he goes. Again, polite. Always 'aap.' But I'm willing to sing my little 'dil' out. They concede," she said.

The American professor has a good 'playlist' of Bollywood songs and speaks fluent, though accented, Hindi. And here's why: she did her PhD in 'South Asian Languages and Civilizations' and has studied Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi formally.

She is presently working on a book titled 'Lashkar-e-Taiba In Their Own Words' as well as on empirical studies about support for terrorism in Pakistan.

"People look at me like I'm a nut. But seriously, I am a serious scholar... I write on political military affairs of South Asia," she said.

The biggest achievement in her 'singing career' came when she sang to get on to a flight out of Herat to Kabul in Afghanistan back in 2009.

"That was brutal. I had to go through every song I possibly knew or ever knew or almost knew... The Kam Air wallahs are still likely suffering aural post trauma stress disorder," she said.

Now, that is something auto and taxi drivers across India should take very seriously.

Watch: American woman sings bollywood songs till auto driver agrees to use meter