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Old 29th June 2006, 19:27   #1
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Default Some bad experiences in Mumbai

I had just stopped my car opposite the Sahkari Bandar supermarket near King's Circle Garden in Matunga, Mumbai. As soon as I stopped, I realized that I was too close to an intersection and so *just* started to reverse my Santro to put it in a more legitimate parking zone. I was looking back through the rear windscreen and all seemed clear. Then I hear a fellow shouting from behind the left rear wheel-- he was in my blind spot and I just did not see him when I had started to reverse. I don't know how the hell he got behind my car *so soon* after stopping my vehicle either -- my car must have hardly moved one foot in reverse. So I immediately braked and got out to see this character with his right leg behind my wheel, and his trouser sleeve stuck under the wheel! The fellow was moaning too. So I feared the worst, and took my car slightly forward to release his trouser sleeve. Nothing happened to the guy, but he sat down and started rubbing his foot. I asked him why the hell was he doing that, the car just went over his trouser sleeve. And I asked him how the hell did he maneuver his trouser sleeve to get it under my wheel -- I just couldn't imagine how that can happen accidentally. But in the meanwhile, another character appeared and started rubbing this fellow's leg. I realized the potential danger here, gave him Rs 100 and said "Sorry, my mistake, get yourself to a hospital" and quickly took my car away.

Has anybody else in this forum had this kind of experience? Mumbai seems to be a really dangerous place, full of cut-throats on the streets. On another occasion I lost my mobile near the Dadar railway station -- lifted from my belt holder. Once I left my car parked on a narrow road -- only to find a big dent in the right door and the wheel hub cap damaged; obviously some vehicle hit my car while negotiating the narrow road. So far I have not had the experience of having my car towed away-- but only just. On a one occasion, the tow-truck guys hooked my car right under my nose when I was waiting in a no-parking zone with my blinkers flashing -- I had made the fatal error of wandering slightly away from my car. I caught them in time and made them unhook, but had to pay Rs. 100 to the inspector. This kind of stuff doesn't seem to happen to me in Pune, a much more peaceful city.
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Old 29th June 2006, 19:37   #2
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Yup bombay is known for such buggers....people have had their cells, keys and other stuff stolen from cars with the while they were stopped at a traffic light. These people come up with ingenious ways to relieve you of some of your money. Best way to avoid most of it.

Only piece of advice i have is...
Dont stop for anyone who looks shady...and always drive with your windows up and doors locked.

Has worked for me.

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Old 30th June 2006, 11:47   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drifter
Yup bombay is known for such buggers....people have had their cells, keys and other stuff stolen from cars with the while they were stopped at a traffic light. These people come up with ingenious ways to relieve you of some of your money. Best way to avoid most of it.

Only piece of advice i have is...
Dont stop for anyone who looks shady...and always drive with your windows up and doors locked.

Has worked for me.
Thanks for the advice. My biggest worry at the moment is the possibility of a break-down of my vehicle in the stretch from say, Vashi to Panvel or even some desolate parts of the Expressway. I am told that people have been followed from Mumbai to these remote locations at night and then waylaid and robbed. I carry my laptop and mobile on my weekly Mumbai-Pune runs and do Pune-Mumbai at night (usually from 7 PM to 9-30 PM). So I have to hope that my Santro will continue to perform reliably and not let me down.
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Old 30th June 2006, 12:52   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rks

Has anybody else in this forum had this kind of experience? Mumbai seems to be a really dangerous place, full of cut-throats on the streets. .
These are quite common in Mumbai.. i have not faced the same issues in Delhi or Calcutta.

once i was driving down from Nerul alone, after dinner returning to town when one decently dressed guy signalled for a ride... coming from Delhi recently i tried to help him by giving him a ride to the next taxi/ bus stand... when I reached the place he wanted to get off at the next point... till we crossed the toll bridge and he strongly requested for money when I stopped to drop him.. thankfully I had presence of mind- (went for dinner with family and bone dry)- i reached across, opened the door- thankfully he did not wear the seat belt-- and just pushed him over and drove away while the door banged close-- it was over before he realized.. my friends/ family here told me i was lucky.. I think the guy was lucky that i did not drag him out and bit the **** out of him!

however it is not always to just drive away- once in Marine Lines at 9.30am on a weekday a guy came in front of my car, got barely grazed and created a ruckus.. as if by cue people joined in. I gave the guy some 50 odd bucks after garnering some support from the crowd.

The best thing to do is GET OUT... if thats not happening.. GET SUPPORT.. there are plenty of sane people who understand whats really hapenning and would take your side.

Last edited by Samrat Banerjee : 30th June 2006 at 12:56.
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Old 30th June 2006, 13:02   #5
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Hey rks, Mumbai's not that bad, but yeah there's always people who will do this in any part of the world.

One thing which may have worked against you is your car's registration. Smart crooks will pick up on the fact that you're not from Bombay, so you will be easy to pick on and give in easier to their threats etc.
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Old 30th June 2006, 14:28   #6
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Originally Posted by Samrat Banerjee
These are quite common in Mumbai.. i have not faced the same issues in Delhi or Calcutta.

once i was driving down from Nerul alone, after dinner returning to town when one decently dressed guy signalled for a ride... coming from Delhi recently i tried to help him by giving him a ride to the next taxi/ bus stand... [...]
Giving a lift to anybody is a big risk these days. Glad you emerged safe from your experience. On each of my weekly Mumbai-Pune trips, several people try to thumb lifts and I refuse each time. Recently, a couple of the toll gate people, now fairly familiar with my car, have started pestering me ("Please give lifts to these *official* Expessway staff to Panvel/Katraj") and I have again flatly refused. How do I know who these characters are? They may be in uniform, but could be thugs for all I know.
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Old 30th June 2006, 14:37   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boom Shiva
Hey rks, Mumbai's not that bad, but yeah there's always people who will do this in any part of the world.

One thing which may have worked against you is your car's registration. Smart crooks will pick up on the fact that you're not from Bombay, so you will be easy to pick on and give in easier to their threats etc.
Yes, my car has MH12 reg. which may be recognizable as Pune. And my Hindi accent is poor, don't know Marathi -- these are also dead give-aways as to my origin.
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Old 30th June 2006, 16:19   #8
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RKS...Dude-
You almost drove over a guys foot and almost had your car towed away from a no parking zone ( the shock and horror) ......
And this makes Mumbai dangerous and cut-throat????
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Old 30th June 2006, 16:29   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvhead
RKS...Dude-
You almost drove over a guys foot and almost had your car towed away from a no parking zone ( the shock and horror) ......
And this makes Mumbai dangerous and cut-throat????
I don't really believe that I almost drove over the guy's foot. Most likely he hid behind my car (rear left) and parked his trouser sleeve under the wheel. Otherwise you explain to me how the car can go over his trouser sleeve without going over his foot first. And as I had mentioned, the guy was moaning and rubbing his foot when the car clearly did not go over his foot. Why this fakery? If it were a genuine incident of nearly going over his foot, he would have acknowledged the fact that nothing happened and most likely would have been very annoyed with me.

Regarding the no-parking zone -- it was just in front of King Circle Garden, and I was about 10 yards ahead of a bus stop. The cop's case was that it was *too* close to the bus stop. But there were plenty of other vehicles parked on that road (always are) with drivers sitting inside. My blinkers were flashing to indicate that I was waiting temporarily (just had a minute's work) but these guys came and hooked my car. Not very pleasant. Then took a bribe, of course. Fact is that in that entire, over-crowded stretch, including Matunga, an enormous number of vehicles are illegally parked -- there is just no parking space anywhere in that stretch. Maybe time to legalize some of these no-parking zones which make no sense in the context of the heavy rush in that area -- or else provide new parking space.

No offense meant to Mumbaikars -- but I personally have never been at peace while on the road there.

Last edited by rks : 30th June 2006 at 16:36.
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Old 30th June 2006, 18:31   #10
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And it is mainly because of this reversing incident that I plan to fit the left rear-view mirror to my Santro. The fact is that my old ZipDrive model affords a very poor view immediately behind the left rear wheel -- the narrow windscreen and the head-rest on the left rear seat are killers. So if someone deliberately manipulates himself into precisely that spot while I am starting to reverse, I cannot see him. With the left RVM, it would be a diiferent story. And I have removed the reverse horn from my vehicle because I often return from my office late at night to my apartment and the residents were complaining about the huge racket while parking.

Last edited by rks : 30th June 2006 at 18:33.
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Old 30th June 2006, 18:43   #11
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I feel sorry to say that some people make their living by committing these nuisance acts!
You are lucky that you closed it by paying just Rs 100 - usually they demand Rs 500+

All these are organised. I can confirm that it happens in Calcutta also.... sometimes cyclists (usually 2 on the cycle) come from small alleys and suddenly falls in front of the cars. Usually it happens in port area or where lots of slums are there.

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Old 30th June 2006, 18:45   #12
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rks - I don’t live in Mumbai anymore but the incidents you've mentioned are not new... thugs come up with ingenious ways of hustling the masses.

As the saying goes in Mumbai... "Nazar hati durgatna ghati" so my friend be ever vigilant and you cant trust anyone, Mumbai is a tuff city to live in, there is no doubt, but still I would not live anywhere other then Mumbai if I was in India

Last edited by DaPilot : 30th June 2006 at 18:47.
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Old 30th June 2006, 19:37   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvhead
RKS...Dude-
You almost drove over a guys foot and almost had your car towed away from a no parking zone ( the shock and horror) ......
And this makes Mumbai dangerous and cut-throat????
Glad someone else sees what I see! I do not buy that anyone would hide behind a car in the blind spot, only to make Rs100. If he threw his chicken beneath the car I would buy that, but who would throw their body at a car backing up? You do not have a left side mirror, no reverse horn. Do you still think he was hiding?

I have had enough trouble with cars parked in "no parking" zone with emergency lights on. You were not even sitting in the car, you had wandered away.

There are crooks in every city, you just picked the wrong istances to proove the point.

Last edited by prasadee : 30th June 2006 at 19:39.
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Old 30th June 2006, 23:40   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prasadee
Glad someone else sees what I see! I do not buy that anyone would hide behind a car in the blind spot, only to make Rs100. If he threw his chicken beneath the car I would buy that, but who would throw their body at a car backing up? You do not have a left side mirror, no reverse horn. Do you still think he was hiding?
The Santro ZipDrive came with neither left RVM or reverse horn as a standard fitting. Why do you think that is the case? Virtually all of these older models still drive without left RVM or reverse horn. The reverse horn that I fitted was part of Autocop, but subsequently was removed for reasons mentioned. Anyway, like I said, he didn't throw *himself* behind a fast-moving car. He parked his trouser sleeve (not his foot) behind a car that had barely moved one foot in reverse at dead slow pace. If you think that cannot be done deliberately, the onus is on you to explain why you think so; then explain how the car managed to find his trouser but not his foot. Sure, it can happen, but seems like a one in a million type of chance to me. And it was a blind spot for *me*, not him -- and he very well knew that.

Quote:
I have had enough trouble with cars parked in "no parking" zone with emergency lights on. You were not even sitting in the car, you had wandered away.
Fact is that there were half a dozen other parked cars there with drivers inside (one right at the bus stop). What difference does that make? It is still illegal parking if you go by the law book. Why didn't the tow truck guys pick on them? Would you say that these should be towed away too (or at least ticketed), since they would give you the *same* trouble as my car would have, going by what you said above? In fact my case was much more marginal, to the extent that I even thought that my parking may have been legal -- only the fear of the tow truck made me keep my blinkers flashing, in the first place. And if the tow truck guys venture into Matunga, they can feast upon illegally parked vehicles -- to the extent that we would need to manufacture more tow trucks than cars if all of these have to be towed away all the time. I am not saying that illegal parking is desirable -- just pointing out the problem to you.

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There are crooks in every city, you just picked the wrong istances to proove the point.
You are entitled to your opinion.
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Old 1st July 2006, 00:59   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaPilot
rks - I donít live in Mumbai anymore but the incidents you've mentioned are not new... thugs come up with ingenious ways of hustling the masses.

As the saying goes in Mumbai... "Nazar hati durgatna ghati" so my friend be ever vigilant and you cant trust anyone, Mumbai is a tuff city to live in, there is no doubt, but still I would not live anywhere other then Mumbai if I was in India
Mumbai has its charms too, I won't deny that. And its roads are much wider than Pune roads, so except for peak hours, traffic moves faster most of the time -- which I prefer anyday. It is just that the tougher life here makes people that much more desperate to make a quick buck. And some parts of Mumbai have become impossibly congested with people and traffic. I don't know if this problem can ever be solved.
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