Story 7: Ola in Bengaluru

madmans journey, manas patil, changi airport jewel

There’s good news and bad news. The good news is Ola doesn’t pay me. Hence feel free to consider this as an honest user guide… And the bad news? Well, Ola isn’t paying. Uber isn’t either. The other bad news is that that image above isn’t Bengaluru, so yeah.

Cab Transport Apps… apparently including Ola

Two of the fastest-growing companies here are namely Ola and Uber. For the past couple of years, these have turned out to be the most popular and widely used ways for getting around to places. Recently there’s this other thing Vogo coming up but that’ll be another story. However, I just stick with Ola for two no-brainer reasons.

  1. When you shout ‘Ola!’, it can sound exciting. For people like me who hardly speak, Uber is comparatively harder to pronounce… and it has an extra letter.
  2. ¬†Anyway, on a serious note, Ola is entirely Indian make, thus it currently runs only in India. I believe that we all should grow. So if I had a choice to either help a developed nation or a developing nation grow, I would go for the developing nation… Didn’t get it? Don’t worry if you didn’t, you will.

Let’s get going

I promised you a story and I’m gonna give you one. I landed in Bengaluru on 6th August- about two weeks ago. Usually, some of my family’s contacts would be there to pick us at the airport or at the least- a pre-booked cab. This time, I and my dad decided to be lazier and be completely dependent on one of these online cab-booking services. Ola… tada.

Maybe Ola in your area might be as sweet as the app, but it was a little different here. Typically by method, here’s how it goes:

1– Book a ride

2– Driver accepts it and comes to your spot

3– Allow yourself to be transported

4– Pay the bill and get out.

Simple, isn’t it? What could go wrong? Don’t even bother thinking. Just go for a couple of rides and you’ll figure it out.

So this is how our first ride went.

1. We got a sedan for a micro cab (nice)

2. The driver was just doing his job (nice)

3. My dad decided it would be great to start up a little conversation (…okay)

4. … The driver proceeded to speak his life out about his ancestors and the nation’s history and whatever else he could make out of the damn words he’d learned for the rest of the journey.

You see, I like socializing with a limit, but if the other person loves talking unconditionally? Well, the burden’s on me and there’s usually nothing I can do about it. So yes- I just went on listening to whatever the man had to say.

A Mild Road Rage

cat, angry cat

I get it. Talkative drivers can be obnoxious. But some others get into road rages. For instance, the day after, my Ola driver was impatient to get to our destination. It so happened that a car ahead of us was riding too slow on a single lane.

After a couple of billion honks, my driver managed to move past the car. Oh NO- He wasn’t satisfied yet. He lowered the side window (by me) and started swearing to the slow car driver. The other driver wasn’t any better either. He started swearing back.

I tried to stealthily raise my window which failed of course. My beloved driver had held the ‘down’ button to keep the window still.

Somehow, after 28 hesitations, I made a choice to tell him, “I’m running out of time. I should be there.”

For a moment, he looked at me perplexed… then he shifted his gear and sped up- back to his original job. That was understandable. Ola drivers also tend to make sure their customers get great service as it could really affect their earnings. I found the way Ola worked fascinating. It’s carefree. It’s efficient… extremely. So why not?

Anyway, that’s the worst I’ve faced so far. If you’ve faced worse, be free to comment down below.

himalayan bike, royal enfield
I saw this under an apartment in Bangalore. I know there are hundreds of others, but let’s just say this is another story for now, shall we?