Osi Ride Uncle

15 Mar

The kids call him “Osi” Uncle.

Thats because, every evening when he wants to go somewhere, he walks to the main road and stands there thumbing a ride. Some people pass him by some stop but he invariably gets a ride.

Few days ago I stopped him and asked him about his habit. He looked at me with a pleasant smile and said “Sir when so many people own a vehicle, why do I need one?”. When I queried him about his strategy to get from place A to place B, he told me that when he asks for a ride, people who arent going in his direction drop him off at some point and from there he picks up another ride.

By the time I asked him my next question which was about how far he travels, he got a ride and sped away.

A lesson to be learnt here?


23 Responses to “Osi Ride Uncle”

  1. some body March 15, 2007 at 2:51 pm #

    it proves india > usa, maybe? 🙂

    just the other day, this thought struck me. in the usa, you are marooned without your car. let’s say you go somewhere. if you walk away from the car – even 100 m. or so – you have got to come back to the car before you can go anywhere far.

    compare that to any decent sized city in india, and there will be some form of public transportation available. if not bus, then auto, or taxi or something. in other words, when in india, if you walk down a public street, within five minutes or so, you are sure to find something that can fit you in and take you someplace. here in the usa, unless you are on the bus line, you are on your own. i concede that – armed with a cell phone – you could summon a taxi, but would you want to do so daily? no way. got to go back to the car.

    reminds me of a hindi poem i learnd in school – “like a bird on a ship in a vast ocean which has only that ship as its refuge, …”

    to mitigate the usa situaion, i can only add that distances are really more here as compared to, say, india where the (typical) population density is much more and so, you might probably even be able to walk the entire distance to where you want to go, if push came to shove (ok, i am not saying here that, given the circumstances, mumbai commuters would walk from titvala to cuffe parade!). how does this situation compare in other countries (european countries/japan/singapore/…)? can you, say, go to a friend’s house and come back without having to walk a zillion steps to get to the bus/tram/train lines in either place?

    – s.b.

  2. greatunknown March 15, 2007 at 3:36 pm #

    Good thoughts, somebody!
    I was thinking along the same lines. Y’know travelling the way Osi Uncle does is actually encouraged in many societies across the globe; for reasons varying from saving on fuel to protecting the environment from vehicular pollution.
    When I visited New delhi a couple of years ago I was in for a shock. When our host said: “C’mon, let’s go to a nearby restaurant for a meal”, I assumed we’d get there in no time. Only to discover that Delhi is a vast city/state… nearby turned out to be a one-and-a-half hour drive!

  3. Veena March 15, 2007 at 4:31 pm #

    Ha Ha … wonder whether this is a kannada word (“Osi”).. May be from the word ‘Vasi’ like Vasi kodi, Vasi adjust maaDi, must have come as ‘Osi’, ivannobba Osi party!!!

    This is a good strategy, it has two advantages, lowers the traffic & saves fuel…
    In US, he would get a ‘Car pooling lane’ if can get another 🙂

    The last line was very catchy, that guy was only interested in the drop & not talking with a desi babu with a honda city car alva 🙂

    Long ago, I was adviced not to pick up some aira gyra for a drop, my college friends said this story. They carry a needle & prick you .. which might get an HIV infection.. Gosh! what a logic(sadism?).. Also I had received a forwarded email saying while sitting in a dark cinema hall , check if there is a pin with such virus on it…! Baap Re!!

    ps – Vijay you seem to talk to such interesting people around your area and blog your experience… thats a wonderful thought. The fume out of the ear seemed to have cooled now. 😉

  4. praneshachar March 15, 2007 at 11:32 pm #

    firstly I must congratulate you for your keen observations on very small things
    like the boy who reads in front of temple, the guy in front of Nursing Home or Osi uncle
    you not only observe you take time off to capture picx and talk to them
    and finally post is for consumption of all of us. It is really great.
    This OSI business is very much live for lifts now a days. I had commented on this when we were talking on helmets in RWB.
    Though it is nice gesture to offer lift but there are some ill effects of it.
    some one asking may take you for a ride if it is lonely place and if his intention are
    to rob or to steal etc., you can not make. some women who are in trade take lift and make the men in car to cough off by threatening to shout for help etc., this type of
    people too ask for lift. beware such nasty people if you are caught with one of this
    you are in
    now a days school children asking for lift is too common. I have seen a person who
    can afford to get a bus pass at nominal price encourages his child to go by lift and on one such ride the child got hurt in a small accident and I was amazed at the way this
    parent was shouting at the person who offered lift in the hospital as if he has done a
    crime. thank god the accident was not major one and boy was having only some bruises. see the attitude of the people. one who wanted to help a boy with a big bag
    on his back getting into problem and other one a educated parent who wanted to save
    some small buck without getting a pass for child shouting at the person who genuinely helped. this is a real life incident which I saw and incidentally I was knowing both the
    guys. Here for good luck of the person who offered lift people came to his rescue and
    took the parent into task then he has to coolly leave to save his skin
    after this incident definitley he will never venture to offer any lift to anybody
    So beware before offering lift

  5. Vijay March 16, 2007 at 12:11 am #

    @Pranesh these are very good points on the negatives.
    @Veena. . What does this have to do with a Honda car?

  6. praneshachar March 16, 2007 at 3:05 am #

    veena avaru kayta irtate yavaga nimma hondacity yetbeku antha ashte!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Murali Partha March 16, 2007 at 3:45 am #

    Good one Vijay. I thought it was O.C as in “Other’s Cost”?

  8. Vijay March 16, 2007 at 4:02 am #

    @Murali: Thats as good an explanation as any… Osi = OC=Others Cost.. excellent!!

  9. Murali Partha March 16, 2007 at 4:08 am #

    Vijay, Just did some googling – apparently the origin is OCS – On company Service, which was the designation given to parcels on Indian Railways that were allowed to be transported free of cost.

  10. gmohanprakash March 16, 2007 at 4:18 am #

    I had a great experience which somebody has experieneced here.

    The positives for this OC business is we gunienly help somebody who is in need of help, save fuel, cut down pollution , some money too.

    The negetives for this is the pillion rider in the sad case of an accident can sue you for damages, HIV needle priciking is a story which one need not be afraid of since the virus would be long since dead. But there has been some odd cases where they held a pocket knife and looted the driver off everything.

    In Goa, you can rent the bike with driver so it doesnt fit the OC stuff 🙂

    Vijay keep rolling.

  11. Veena March 16, 2007 at 4:31 am #

    Vijay, Honda City nalli OC ride sigatta antha ashTe 🙂 parvaagilla bidi aagalla andre okay!

    Murali, sakkat reserach maadideera neevu .. google ge such chaloqueal(spell check pls) language ella artha aagatta… The derivative ultimately has some part of the original one anyway.

  12. Mohan March 16, 2007 at 4:54 am #

    Murali, Company there being East India Company. Later it became ONGS – On National Government Service. Government employees have translated it as “Olage Nungida Gulige Sidda”.

  13. rk March 16, 2007 at 5:31 am #

    wrt the origin of OSI, maybe it is a shortened form of OC – meaning at OTHER’S COST!

  14. rk March 16, 2007 at 7:58 am #

    well, just read the comments now…and what a coincidence that mine and murali’s definition of OC matches!

  15. praneshachar March 16, 2007 at 8:41 am #

    I don’t how many of you have heard Matka it is popularly
    known as OC this was betting on no. predictions at 8pm
    everyday open no. will com even 25 -30 years back no will
    come right at 8pm at mid night closing no. will come
    betting/gambling is purely on small chits and prompt payment
    assured if you predict one one no. stakes were 1:8 if you predict both together
    and get it right stakes 1:80. people must have last huge sums playing this
    It was told the no. use to come thro wireless (P) and it use to reach the
    nook and corner by writing no. in dust on the back of rural buses
    people were mad after this in North karnataka
    OC is knows
    open barotanaka oota illa
    close barotanka nidde illa
    mataka was run by bombay kingpin one mr.ratanlalkhatri
    i was told it was a parallel economy so much money was flowing

  16. Vijay March 16, 2007 at 8:49 am #

    Pranesh: That is very interesting..I have heard of matka but didnt know these facts..

  17. Ramesh NR March 17, 2007 at 6:37 am #


    During my 2-wheeler days, I used to some times drop Police Constables having finished their duty for the day. What do you call them – OC-PC?

    By the way, you must talk about the poor police constable (Kanishhta Bille) in your blog…..



  18. Veena March 17, 2007 at 5:38 pm #

    enri vijay, ivattu namma india first match.. ondu post haakbaarda… nodi avarige bejaar aagi kadime score maadidaare! nimma setmax Tiger ge kelsa kadime 😦
    Hopefully they will do good in the second half atleast….

  19. praneshachar March 18, 2007 at 11:06 pm #

    wish you a very happr prosperous ugadi


  20. Vijay March 19, 2007 at 4:58 am #

    @Ramesh: I sure will.. I wonder if I have to write about the constable in Bandipur .. ha ha ha

  21. Ramesh NR March 21, 2007 at 4:53 am #

    Oh! No!! It is covered under the Official Secrets Act of RVCE….

  22. praneshachar March 21, 2007 at 8:08 am #

    Ramesh NR
    RTI (Right To Information) act saha ide navu retrospective
    RVCEge saha cover madtivi avaga yen madtira sir
    parva illa bidi kanishta bille bagge bardere saku

  23. Vijay March 21, 2007 at 9:02 am #

    Pranesh avare: Ramesh nanna RVCE classmate… lot of things are under the Official Secrets Act 🙂

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