Archive for March 31st, 2008

Protesting in India

It seems that every few weeks some organization is going on strike. The auto rickshaw drivers went on strike so that they could raise their prices. The truck drivers (and then they got support from taxi drivers too) went on strike to protest the details (mostly who pays for them) of having speed governors installed in their vehicles. Supposedly any truck or taxi drivers caught driving when they should have been striking were being stopped by protestors and having their tires slashed. So much for the teachings of Gandhi. Imagine what this did for traffic. The airport workers threatened to strike once and then supposedly did strike (I wasn’t flying, didn’t pay attention) because they’re closing down the existing airport in favor of a new airport that is ~25KM away (1.5hr drive). Yes, you understood that correctly, this group of employees is striking because they’re mad that they’re losing their jobs (or are unwilling to relocate, I’m not sure which)

Today some organization near my house is striking. I have no idea who they are or what they care about or even where exactly they are. But I called Pizza Hut (the same crappy Pizza Hut from the US, though here it’s the best pizza around) this evening for my semi-monthly pizza delivery and when I answered the unusual question of “where do you stay” (instead of what’s your phone number) I was told that they could not deliver pizza to my location tonight.

Being a stubborn American living in India being told I can’t have something delivered to me does not compute. “Why?” I asked. “Sir, there is a group striking in whitefield, it is not safe for our drivers to come to your location.” So I ask “why” many more times getting basically the same answer. When any normal customer would have hung up the phone by now I politely asked to speak the manager. The manager gets on the phone having audibly been briefed on my situation by the guy that answered the phone: “Sir, we cannot deliver to your residence because there are riots in the area, it is not safe for our drivers to come to your place because they may stop our drivers or set the vehicle on fire.”

On fire. On fire? On fire?! The funny thing is that I believe him. I bet these goons did light something on fire this evening.

There are two ways to get to my house from pizza hut. One is shorter than the other and definitely the preferred route to take for the pizza hut delivery boys. This is apparently where the strike/riots are.

“I just came home on airport road and I didn’t see any strike.”

“Yes sir, but from ITPL we come the other way and there it is not safe.”

“Well why don’t you go the other way, down near Brookefield and then up airport road.”

mumble grumble, grumble mumble.

“You know I order pizza from you guys once a week, you’re interrupting my pizza schedule.”

“Ok, sir. Let me call you back in 2 minutes. I sent some of my guys over there to check things out about an hour ago but they haven’t called back yet. Let me contact them and I’ll call you back in 2 minutes.”

laughingly “ok.”

5 minutes later, ring ring. “Sir, this is Ravi from Pizza Hut I’m calling to let you know we can take your order now.”


1 comment March 31st, 2008


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