The Road Below Me

The “tuk-tuk” is an onomatopoeic term used by tourists to describe the humble three wheeler public transport all over Asia and Africa. But for us in India, it is the auto. Unfortunately, in Sri Lanka, when I would ask for an “auto” the blank looks would then prompt me to correct myself and say “tuk-tuk”.  I could not bring myself to call them that however prevalent a term it might have been.

Being the most ubiquitous mode of travel, the tuk-tuk is a vehicle where one spends considerable amount of time – whether it is from the bus stand to the hotel or contracting one for a full tour of a place. Now, the key variable here, therefore, is the tuk-tuk driver. This is where the similarity with Bombay auto rickshaw drivers and Sri Lankan tuk tuk drivers end.

I was guided to a good hotel by one; I got…

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