Let me begin with a Travel Tip. If you are in Agra and you don't want to haggle with taxi, tuktuk, cycle rickshaw guys, book an OLA cab. Ola is same like Uber. You can download the Ola app and book a taxi and pay the taxi fare by cash. This is probably not the cheapest option available, but it saves a lot of energy by not needing to haggle.
If you are wondering why corruption is good and I like it, here you have some of the stories from the road, that made me realize it! The main reason, I started to think about is because of an Ola cab guy.
This story takes place in Agra.
I was taking an Ola ride to move around in Agra. I booked a cab through Ola app, the nearest cab driver accepted my request and he promptly came. After our small talks and all that, he asked me if I had seen Agra and places in and around it. I said I had already visited Agra almost a year ago and I had seen some of it. Then he gave me an offer for 1500 INR to show me Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and so on.
Then I asked him about Ola Rentals. Ola app has introduced a new segment called 'Rentals' under which one can book the cab for hourly rates or even for a full day. This comes in handy if one needs the cab for the whole day or at least more than an hour. In fact most of the tourist cabs works in this same way. They have a fixed price for 8 hours or 100kms and you can use the cab service as much as you want within that distance or time range. For the extra kilometer or hour, you pay extra. When I calculated, the prices would be similar. So I asked my driver if Ola rental was also offering the same thing as he was offering me.
Then he said "Sir, Ola rental is also the same. But at the end, it will cost you more money. You have to pay for the tolls and parking. Only waiting time is included. If you are doing it with me, I will take you everywhere within 1500. In Ola you also need to pay their commission. But with me you don't have to pay all that. Its good for you and good for me too. It is a win for you as well as for me. "
I could see the win-win situation there. I could save up at least a few hundred rupees. He had convinced me quite well.
All I had to do to avail this cheaper offer was to bypass the very system that brought me in contact with the guy and deal directly with him. By doing so I could save some bucks. Pretty sweet deal.
This story takes place in Kerala.
On a sunny day I was driving towards Fort Kochi. A friend of mine who was travelling in Kerala at that time, called me on my phone.
Most of the time, I drive using only one hand. I can talk to my co passengers while I am driving. Since it was a less busy road, I decided to club these two aspects. I decided to answer the call and picked up the phone. I just wanted to quickly check if my friend wanted anything urgently.
Probably there were two 'secret service agents' following me that day! They came on a motorbike from behind me and asked me to pull over my jeep. When I saw the wireless handset on their hand, I understood I was in trouble. Those two policemen were in civilian dress and not in their uniforms. Otherwise I would have probably spotted them a second earlier than they had spotted me and avoided the trouble! Yes, I am not the best person on the road to follow!
The pillion who told me to pull over with his wireless set approached me and got inside the jeep and told me to take it to the police station. He didn't even want to look at my license or the vehicle's documents. So we started driving towards the police station. Half an hour later, a case was registered, my license was kept in their custody and I had to pay a fine at the court to get it back. To make a long story short, I had to run after this thing for 3 weeks to get my license back. It was a big hassle.
If I had an option of bypassing the very system that gave power to the guy who was sitting next to me and directly deal with him, what do you think that I would have done? When big sharks swallows the entire fishing boat and escape, why can't a small fish escape biting off a few threads on the net?
As I am writing this not exactly on Day#4 , I am able to tell you about another corruption that I think I have witnessed during this journey.
This story takes place in Bihar.
I was walking under the 40 degree heat under the mid noon sun. I took a shelter in a nearby bus stop to recharge myself. There was a guy in his early twenties sitting on the other corner. Later another guy in his early forties joined him.
The older guy took out a few sheets of papers from his file folder and handed it over to the young guy. The younger one started to examine it. From the look of it, those papers were some certificates. After a few minutes of conversation, they both left in their own ways. But before leaving, the older guy signed those certificates in front of the other guy and the young guy gave him a few new pink colored 2000 rupees notes. (Probably the chip installed might track the money and bring out the truth later some day 😉 )
A lottery ticket comes with hopes. You pay a certain amount of money and if you are lucky you get at least 10 times more in return. Why wouldn't you want to buy it then?
If someone offers you certain certificates that offers you a job that can pay you well later in life, why wouldn't want to pay a price for it and grab that opportunity?
If someone accepts less than half the money that is needed to go in rightful way and saves rest of your time and efforts and the hassles, why wouldn't you want to go for it?
If someone helps you to save some money and offer a better deal, why wouldn't you don't want to go grab it?
Most of us including myself love shortcuts and fast results. And most of the time we are willing to pay a price for getting that results. One can call it anything they like, such as - grabbing the opportunity, taking that shortcut, keeping a blind eye, bribing the cop, getting around the system - depending on their perception.
We also know that there are no shortcuts in life. In the long run the results obtained through the shortcuts can bring you more troubles. But then the rightful path is too hard to take just like Al Paccino says in 'Scent of a woman'. "Now I have come to the cross roads in my life. I always knew what the right path was. Without exception I knew. But I never took it. You know why... It was too damn hard. "
Everyone advertises "Say No To Corruption". And these very people make the whole process of walking in the lawful, rightful path damn too hard and indirectly opens up the doors to corruption.
What would you do choose when you have an easy path of corruption and a damn too hard path of lawful living? I will give some freebies if you share your views and share it with your friends 😉
PS: I ended up not taking up the cab driver's plan. I pretty much walked around Agra and used locally available rickshaws.
PS: I ran around for 3 weeks to get my license back in the legal way.