Delhiwale: Life in Delhi, heart in Mumbai

The driver, who refused to give his name, spent six years in Mumbai’s Goregaon before coming to Delhi barely a month ago.

delhi Updated: Jan 19, 2018 11:03 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
Delhiwale,Dilliwale,Auto driver
The drive, whom we met on way to Khan Market, is from Bihar. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

We’ve got an urgent appointment in Khan Market but can’t find an autorickshaw willing to haul us there.

“Sorry, I’m going to the other side,” a driver says.

“Absolutely not!” responds another.

Then another auto pulls over, and, miracle upon miracles, the driver will not only take us to our destination but also charge us by the meter.

There is only one small difficulty. The young driver has never heard of the super-famous Khan Market.

Of course, we know how to get there, and along the way the driver talks to us, but says, “I’m not giving you my name.”

He explains he’s been in Delhi for less than a month. He was earlier in Mumbai.

But then he slams Delhi. “People are thieves here,” the driver declares. He had a recent passenger who jumped out of his auto during a traffic jam and disappeared without paying. The tirade continues. He informs us that in Mumbai people are polite, “but here everybody hurls gaalis!”

Talking of the six years he spent in Mumbai, the driver gets sentimental about driving in Goregaon, a western suburb in that city.

It was while on holiday back home in Bihar that a friend convinced him to move to Delhi. And he’s now sharing accommodation with the guy in a slum near the railway station.

As we approach Khan Market, the driver turns sombre. His heart hasn’t warmed to Delhi. “I made a bad decision, and I’ll go back to Mumbai. But don’t know when I can afford to do that.”

First Published: Jan 19, 2018 11:03 IST