The joys of the communication gap

auto agraThe auto rickshaw driver pulled up outside my guesthouse in Hauz Khaus. I had to be in Majnu Katilla in just over an hour to catch the bus up to Dharamsala. I was cutting it fine, getting through Delhi rush hour traffic all the way from the South to the North.

“Can you wait here five minutes?”

auto agraThe driver–a tall dignified Sidhhar-ji, his grey-blue uniform spotless and neatly pressed–turned around and lifted his chin sharply to show he hadn’t understood.
“Five minutes packing. Then come back, we go Majnu Katilla,” I said, in the broken English I’d become accustomed to using.
His eyebrows began to drift together.
“Five minutes packing,” I repeated, a little auto agraexasperated.
His eyebrows parted suddenly, and the left one sprang upwards in surprise.

“Five minutes fucking madam?”

Needless to say, I gave him a good tip.

About subincontinentia

writer and eternal optimist
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