The streets in Pune are cluttered with autorickshaws but I can assure you not all rickshaws are created equal.
Last week, I was riding on possibly the slowest rickshaw on the road in Pune. The driver was an old man whose face definitely showed the signs of time. His richshaw was an equally rickety-patched-roof piece of machine. There we were, puttering along North Main Road, while absolutely every car/motorcycle/bicycle/cow/pedestrian on the road sped ahead of us. It gave a whole new meaning to "the scenic route".
Today, I had the luck to ride on a totally pimped out autorickshaw. It had fancy peach-colour cushioned seats. The driver's seat was lined with long-haired fur (how can he bear to sit on that for hours in the hot Indian weather?!). Even the roof was lined with matching colour cushions. I was half-expecting to see a pair of fuzzy dice hanging from the rear-view mirror but of course, that would not be too creative, wouldn't it? Instead, a stuffed monkey in peach was holding on for its dear life at every bumps and turns that we made.
Even if the driver does not want to go all out, personal touches for a cheaper price are always available. I saw one autorickshaw that was draped with garland after garland of flowers. Getting ready for a wedding, perhaps? Of course, we can't possibly miss the ubiquitous stickers on the windshield. I wonder if these stickers contain cheeky messages such as the bumper stickers we see so often in North America? Now that's a good reason for me to learn Hindi.