Some time back, I had read a hilarious piece by Shashank, a friend of mine from the days at BITS, Pilani. The auto-podal-tow phenomena that he describes has to be seen to be believed: an autorickshaw towing another with one of the drivers using his leg as a connection! A good soul captured the moment and licensed it under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic.
It would have been unfortunate to have left a phenomenon as recurrent as the auto-podal-tow without a name. Shashank did his part, and I’ll do mine by documenting two other phenomena that deserve to be “named and conquered”. People who haven’t been on Indian roads will have to get their imaginations working (since I couldn’t find images for them).
First there is, what we’ll call, the autorickshaw-big-v-formation: In a 2-lane road, a bunch of auto-rickshaws (usually three to five in number) do a V-formation that’s impossible for anything but a motor-bike/scooter to breach. While the V-formation is the most commonly sighted one, other tactical formations are also deployed to advantage.
Second, there’s a phenomenon known as differential-velocity-autorickshaw-overtake-maneuver. To a casual observer it would appear that two or three autorickshaws are engaging in a line-abreast formation; but in all probability, something more subtle is under way. What’s really happening is that one of the autorickshaws is running just a little bit faster than the one alongside it (any non-zero , no matter how small, would be sufficient for our purpose); and the -faster autorickshaw is doing the only reasonable thing to under such circumstances — overtake the slower one. The phenomenon usually lasts for a good one-two minutes before the “formation” is broken.