Guide to survival in Chennai- Part 1

at Posted by Kusum Rohra
The bindaas bum-baiya er that is me is stuck in Chennai to spend sometime with the love of my life. * sigh * of all places I am in Chennai on holi. However instead of being sullen I decided to make the most of the sambhar-idli-vada situation I am in. My parents always gush about how I was a very fast learner and keeping up to my bachpan ka habits I am learning very fast to survive in chennai too.

Now the most difficult thing about being in chennai is dealing with the dark, sweaty, lungi clad auto rickshaw drivers here. But ha! in just a few days I have learnt to deal with them.

Consider this dialogue today:

Me: Besant Nagar, Murugan Idli shop pagatla. (Meaning close Besang nagar close to murugan idli shop)

Auto driver: Something in Tamil which I suppose means: oh you bleedhy Hindi speaking nut I will take you to besant nagar!

Me: Ayevalo (Meaning how much)

Auto driver: Fifty rupees madam.

Me: * Giving auto driver a look that you would give to a kid who has just peed on you favourite newly vaccumed rug * Tch roomba jaasti.

Auto driver: Something in Tamil which I think means: Oh come on! You look like you are from mumbai, you pay such heavy rents there, why can't you just shut up and pay the exorbitant charges I am asking you!

Me: * Still giving him the look which says you disappoint me bugger * No, roomba jaasti. Rs.30 Only.

Auto driver: Something in Tamil which I think means : You are such a mean lady. You can spend on Channel and MAC but you would not support my drinking and I just drink the cheapest stuff available at the local liquor store!

Me: (By this time I get irritated) Poda...poda! (Which means get lost you bugger )

Auto driver: Ok ok Rs.30.

Heheheh you see? I have not become proficient in such bargaining that I have managed to save total of Rs.55 in about a week of me being here, if I stay longer I might just end up saving enuff to buy my own car. Heh! So people the step by step survival techniques can be obtained from the above mentioned conversation.

Step 1: No matter how much the auto quotes you need to give him a very stern * you disappoint me * look.

Step 2: No matter what happens you need to bring down the rate by at least 40 to 50%

Step 3: No matter what happens please do not say poda my Tamil speaking friends have been trying to explain that it is highly insulting specially if it come from women that too beautiful women.

Happy travelling.


Buls said...

Hahahaha!!! Everyone who goes to Chennai writes a survival guide... and the autowalas have become a tourist attraction/nightmare

Sri said...


Cant believe u mastered the art of bargaining with Chennai auto fellows during your short visit to Chennai..Hats off to u!!;)It has taken me almost a year!


Ronak said...

Ni yanaa volarinrekai.....

bangalore_engineer said...

Hah. Nice one. You are right though. I am Chennai-ite, living in Blore now. The only thing that still irritates me about my home town is the auto-wallahs, who still use the meter as an decorative ornament.

By the way, yes you are right. Dont use the "poda" word. It is indeed insulting - equiv of saying "Saale .. jao". You can use the slightly less insulting "Poya" though ! :-)

asit dhal said...

stuffed this in my will surely help in chennai...lolz

dolby said...


Anonymous said...

Lolz!! Chennai is really tough :-)For 4 years, the buses and the trains were my survival tools.

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