Background: This was posted in February 2000 and things haven’t changed much. The days they go on strike are the best days for driving in Mumbai.
10. Keep the taxi in a rickety condition, so that the ride is as bumpy and jerky as possible. The passengers will get a free body massage.
9. Brake hard, suddenly, every 3-5 minutes. This will help passengers exercise various body parts in an attempt to prevent them from being flung around.
8. Push the front seat as far back as possible. This will cramp most passengers in the back seat, thus keeping them awake and alert.
7. Blow your horn as loudly and frequently as possible. This will prevent most passengers from falling asleep, thus allowing them to use their precious time for more fruitful activities.
6. Always swear at other drivers who either drive too slow or too fast or cut you or don't allow you to cut them. This will expand the passengers' vocabulary.
5. Exchange the standard four-cylinder engine for an imported, junked, three-cylinder one. This will prevent the taxi from going above 40km/hour, thus making it safer for passengers.
4. Always drive in the middle of a two-lane road so that no other vehicle can pass you by. This will prevent noxious fumes from other vehicles entering your taxi, thus keeping the air inside clean and breathable.
3. Break signals and drive through one-way streets from the opposite direction whenever possible. The passengers will reach their destinations faster, thus saving time and money.
2. Never carry small change. This will teach passengers the new concept of rounding off to the nearest five rupees.
1. Always refuse short-distance rides. This will make people healthier by forcing them to walk.
Addendum: This piece was plagiarized and posted on chalomumbai.com, an online site started by Mid-Day in July 2000 - this site no longer exists. I wrote about this at the time and received an amazing online response (8.1).
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