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Thank you, Anna

In Chennai, autos had almost always meant double of the meter. The meter was rarely involved, though. There were reasons for this, of course. It just was. No judgements.

Four friends stood on the side of a sandy road in Kodambakkam. It was too late to take a bus, too early to be as hot as it was and too much to hope to go by meter in an auto.

It had happened all of once and had cost around ₹40. The other times, it had always been ₹70 and up, mostly closer to 90. That said, 4 or 5 in an auto was always possible. As stated above, reasons.

One auto — full. Another auto — uninterested driver. No auto. Empty road. A 17D rumbled by in the meanwhile coating us in sand.

One auto approaching slowly. Hands extend out in a choreography. The auto veers left toward us and stops.

“Anna Statue?”
A nod.
“Evdu?”
“₹40.”

We almost began bargaining until the old man’s words sunk in. We looked at each other and dived in.

“Thank you, Anna.”

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Published by appamprawns

soni writes about children and people in controlled spaces, in his quest for appam stew. homi writes in the hope of being able to buy prawns to make patiyo.

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