Whether to take a U-turn without stopping in the middle of a busy junction with utter disregard for signboards, or to sneak between a over priced BMW and a grumbling Ford Ikon in the middle of a traffic stalemate, nothing comes close to the Great Indian Autorickshaw. Found in various shapes, sizes and colours, this indigenous engineering marvel’s possibility of getting past a safety test in a Mercedes Lab is remote. Especially, the special edition which I found in Chennai, in which deceleration and subsequent braking of the vehicle was achieved by extending your feet on to the front tyre.
Regardless, an autorickshaw ride is seldom uneventful, the drivers friendly, the ride relentlessly bumpy, but you dont worry about your head hitting the resin roof while admiring the art that can inspire a string of desi Andy Warhols(the noise having already inspired a band). If you are a tourist, they may take you around the Vidhan Soudha 3 times only to convince that there are 3 such buildings in Bangalore before you reach the destination. Or you start wondering if it is the ‘heat’ that made you fall victim of the Great Indian Rick Trick.
Now the humble Indian Autorickshaw has finally hit big time. Tuc Tuc Limited, a London based private company has taken them to Brighton, one of the most famous seaside resorts in England. Adorning trendy thematic designs and pollution free zero-emission modes, Tuc Tucs as they like to call it, seems to be attaining a cult status worldwide.
Meanwhile, Schumacher can test his skills at the Great Indian Autorickshaw Challenge to qualify.