Gurgaon: rickshaw cabs

I had a mishap giving directions to a driver today and ended up in the wrong place. By the time I discovered the error, the driver was gone so I asked a security guard for assistance. He guided me to a rickshaw cab.


This is a photo of an auto rickshaw from Wikipedia. The one I rode in looked about 100 years older than this.

A rickshaw cab is little more than a motorcycle with passenger seating and a roof. I’m not certain if it’s legal to do but they are driven on major highways alongside – and squeezing between – cars and trucks. As my correct destination was several kilometers distant from the incorrect, my trip included this highway adventure.

At first I was rather afraid and held tightly to a metal railing while seeking out a (nonexistent) seatbelt. But the cab was quite stable so within moments I relaxed into it and enjoyed the mayhem surrounding me. Motorcycles, cars, trucks, other rickshaw cabs were so close at times I could have touched them. Horns honking, the choreography of lane sharing and changing was fascinating.

Gurgaon is not exceedingly cold but enough so that I was chilled through when I arrived at my destination. A flimsy curtain for protection from the elements danced alongside the cab, its ties apparently long since broken. The driver shamelessly overcharged me by handing over 1/3 of the change due but as I was already late I swiftly decided to let it go.


The view from my perch.


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