Monday, May 23, 2011

Scary Auto Experience

I left office; it was 6.30 in the evening. I had to take an auto to head back home. I usually do not take an auto in front of the office for the extra monetary demands.
So I walked unto a signal and stopped an empty auto and asked,
Me: ‘X’ place (devoid of the verbs)
He just nodded.

<image: From Google>
I got into the auto and just said ‘right’ or ‘left’ whenever needed. He must have thought that I am not a localite. As we stopped in a signal junction, he called someone; the conversation from the other side was pretty loud and hence audible. And I heard this. (AD = Auto Driver. )
AD: Yellidya? (Where are you?)
3rd Person: BTM. (Place in Bangalore)
AD: Naanu same jaga same place bartini. Inna 10 nimisha. (I’ll come to the same place, in 10 minutes. )
3rd Person: Yeshtide? (How many?)
AD: Ondu (One)

I smelt something shady in the tête-à-tête. I immediately searched for the driver information which will be put up in every auto. Strangely, he did not have. I searched for my phone. I did not have charge in my phone!!  By that time, we had already crossed the junction, we were almost in BTM.

He called that person again. And the conversation was,
AD: Inna 2 nimisha kano. ( In 2 minutes)
3rd Person: Siddha. (I am ready)

My heart was thumping inside. He had to take a right turn now! 
I shouted “Right”. 
He said “ Madam, Oil.. Oil..” (tried telling me that he has to buy oil for his auto)
I knew very well that there weren’t any shops in the route he was taking. Now, I knew for sure that I was in a grave danger. I had thousand thoughts in my mind criss-crossing. I saw the rear view mirror, there were some vehicles coming behind. He bent down to get a deodorant kind of bottle. I moved to my extreme left and just SHOT out of the moving auto! He had moved his hand vigorously to hit my head with that bottle, his hand just managed to pull off my ear-ring!

I gained control and started shouting ‘Kalla.. Kalla..’ (Robber, Robber) 
THANKFULLY!! Few cars and few two-wheelers stopped by and this auto fellow sped off into the dark. I was in a state of shock. People were asking so many questions. I was wobbly; so many things happened in a few seconds. I stood still. I was as cold as an ice. I remember uttering ‘I need to reach ‘X’ place’

Some family dropped me home. I was still not able to talk. I realized I had not noted down the number of the auto. No one else did probably.

Had I not understood the language, had I not been gallant enough, I would have probably been the newspaper headline the next day.


I learnt certain things the hard way. Please take care.
1) I did not do this, but you can pretend to talk on phone. Talk out loudly as to where you are. 

2) Note down the auto number and the name of the driver whenever you get into an auto. You never know when the information will be handy.
3) Carry a pepper spray! And keep that in an accessible location.
4) Learn local language friends. Please! I was damn lucky that day.. Not everyone is!


42 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Sheetal, True.. I was extremely lucky! I have tried my best to keep people informed.

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  3. Good God, this happened in Bangalore..?

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  4. @Harish: Yes it did happen in Bangalore. BTM Layout.

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  5. Oh My God.. First of all congrats to your courage and quick reflex. First thing to do when you travel in an auto alone, is to pick up your phone and talk to someone. Even if its switched off due to low battery, u can act as if u r talking to someone and make sure that the auto guy hear that u mention the auto name or number. Be safe than worry. God Bless!

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  6. @Sarath: Thanks a lot for the precious comment. I shall surely follow your tip!

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  7. OMG that sure was a terrifying experience! Sarath Menon's suggestion seems invaluable!

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  8. Sad that it happened with you and good that you were lucky enough to escape safe. Thanks for sharing, it definitely has rang the bell in many minds.

    Be alert, stay safe..

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  9. Oh my god! first was Prashanth blog and now this both Eye openners, Please stay safe ladies and for that matter everyone...

    Good you have written about it. Friends pls try and circulate this pls

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  10. this was scary indeed...am glad you could act on time. Take care.

    Binitha
    yourstastefully.blogspot.com

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  11. Oh no! seems like a movie scene. But lucky to have escaped it. Please take care..

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  12. @magiceye: True. It is really precious.

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  13. @Prashanth: Yes, I was lucky enough. It is my duty to share it to the people in Bangalore.

    @Ramya: When it is our safety. There is no limit. We should have senses all over. Not just eyes. :)

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  14. @Binitha: Thanks a lot for your concern. :) Welcome to my space. You have a wonderful blog.

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  15. @Ashwini: Movie? Atleast we know that it is on the screen. When it is live and happening, the feeling is different.
    Yes! I was really lucky.

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  16. Hey! This is very shocking. Thanks for sharing, I think we should pass this info to as many as possible!

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  17. I have shared this through twitter and FB. Guess at least some would be alerted..

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  18. Thanks a lot Nishana. That will help creating awareness. Thank you.

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  19. abba!I expected the end to be a dream !but no!!!Really that was so scary !I could imagine ur plight !your really took a quick move .Did u inform police?

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  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  21. I just reported this incident Raji. I did not give a written compaint.
    1) I did not note down the auto registration number
    2) I really get scared of yellow journalism by channels like TV9 etc. They virtually make my life hell.

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  22. My god so scary! I m shocked something like this happened to u. but also so relieved u r
    ok. Just to know that u mindlessly SHOT out of the speeding auto shows how scared & also how brave u were at the moment.
    Really .....thank God!

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  23. I had to save myself Sujatha. I was lucky enough to escape. He missed me by a whisker when he tried using the bottle as a weapon to smash my head. The moment I saw him bending to pick up the bottle, I certainly knew he would make me unconcious or whatever.
    God! Now also chill runs down my spine when I think of that moment.

    DEVRE!!

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  24. @Sujatha: Even otherwise I am quite brave Sujatha :P I catch cockroaches alive. ('_')

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  25. Oh my goodness! What a horrible, scary moment. These stories give me the chills.

    Good for you understanding the lingo and having the smarts to go with your gut feeling when you sensed all was not what it appeared to be.

    These types of scoundrels like to prey on women travelling by themselves and also tourists who are unfamiliar with the area/don't speak the language.

    Thankfully you were not hurt & lived to tell the tale. There are some who are not so fortunate and whose bodies are never found.

    Excellent story!

    Thanks for sharing.

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  26. Thanks a ton for posting something like this! Even though I have a poor opinion of auto guys in Bangalore because of the way they respond when you want to go to a particular place, and you end up asking atleast 5 of them before finding one, never ever expected something as bad as this.
    Even scarier considering I live in BTM, though thankfully close to the main road.
    Hope you have recovered from the experience and are feeling better now!

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  27. @Andy:
    Many auto drivers have criminal background. As a part of reforming movements, they will be given a chance by renting an auto. "How can the criminal instincts die?"

    I did read about a rape in the same week. Similar story line. I was lucky and she was not.
    SAD.

    Thanks for dropping by.

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  28. Aparna, It was a scary experience indeed. We should be in our safety. I have given my experience to the local newspaper. I just hope they publish them.
    I want people to be more aware and armed against such rogues.

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  29. It must have been so scary! U have been quite brave.....and yes, one must know the local language well....and also the city routes to an extent.....Good that u posted this.....Keep writing :)

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  30. That's really scary... Really admire your courage and presence of mind. I am sharing this link on facebook with my friends.. hope you don't mind.

    Thanks for posting.

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  31. I landed here via a link posted by srini on his Facebook wall. Thanks for this post.
    I admire your presence of mind. You are really brave.
    I would also say that better file a FIR and stay alert. That pr**k would still know your approximate address (where you wanted him to take you).

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  32. @Sri: Please do share. Let people be aware of such rogues. Thanks a lot for commenting.

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  33. @Adi: He does know where I wanted to go there. But luckily, I do not stay there.

    It is really scary to approach police regarding such incidents. They have contacts with journalists who can make my life hell in a day. I am scared of yellow journalism. Media who want to make money out of people's sorrow. I have given an anonymous article for a local newspaper. I do not know the status though.

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  34. AS rightly said,it is very necessary to learn
    the local language. Eegina kaladhalli naavu yeshtu
    usharagiddaru saaladu. It is gud that you shared
    the incident. I appreciate the guts.
    @krish

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  35. What a horrible experience! God is Great that He
    saved you unhurt.As rightly said by Sarath Menon
    one should pretend as if he/she is talking to
    some one when such things are sensed even if the mobile is not working. Please keep writing.

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  36. @krish : Nija. Namma yechharadalli naavu irabeku.. Hey! Thanks for dropping into my blog and letting me know your opinion.

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  37. @Kannan: Yes! GOD is really really great! You are right.. We should follow his advice. It will at least create a sense of fear in such rogues!

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  38. Hi Sahana!
    Read this and felt like sharing with others.
    Hence, have mentioned it on my blog @ http://wp.me/pinhe-jp

    Hav a suggestion,
    I feel you can append your post with a few precautions that have been mentioned in the comments. I feel that would help the reader more. (Not everyone might read all the comments)

    genobz (from indiblogger)

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  39. @Pr J Hey that was a valid comment. I shall soon incorporate them in the post. :)

    Thanks a lot for sharing. :)

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  40. OMG! That was so scary! You've got guts lady! And presence of mind too!

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  41. OMG! what a scary experience! Thank god of the guts and presence of mind you showed..
    am still shivering from reading this...

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  42. I've always had kind of bad opinion about autowallahs of B'lore. But, this is taking to the limits! Lucky U ! presence of mind :-)

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