Saturday, 5 June 2010

For forty years…

Struggling to make it to a 9.45 AM Visa interview, I was standing at the side of a busy Bombay road, looking for a three wheeled wonder called a tuktuk. If you start counting, you will soon lose count of the number of these yellow and black vehicles, buzzing past you. Whether they are ‘For Hire’ or not is a different story however. After standing for 5 minutes in the blazing sun that this part of the world is blessed with, I finally saw an empty rickshaw approaching me. I waved frantically like you’d wave at a long lost relative at the airport, coming out with a stream of people.

As I was about to sit, I noticed the driver and I wondered if I should take this ride or not. The driver was about 70 years old. His face pale and wrinkled… A turban on the head, which I thought was to save him from the heat rather than being an indication of his religious preferences.

His hands were trembling yet firm on the handle. The face had a sense of calm and serenity about it.

A few seconds passed processing these inputs and I jumped in. Earphones in my ears jammed the heavy traffic buzz and I reached in time and got off the rickshaw. The meter read an exact hundred. He returned me a rupee, as the custom/rule is, here in Bombay.

As I was about to turn, he said: “Beta, I have been driving on these roads for forty years and not once has anybody gotten late with me. I can drive on these roads in my sleep”. The confidence in his eyes was striking. “I drive not because I have to but because I love to”. At a loss of words, I could only smile. He smiled back and looking back at the Visa application center in the background, he gave me a thumbs up and zoomed ahead into the swarm of cars.


Neha Jaiswal said...

thats pretty true!well written! Hats off to Mumbai TukTuk drivers.. No match to their loyalty and zeal to their profession!

Jini said...

This is what I like best about bloggers and blogging...any lil incident or thought which touches our life even for a few precious moments...somehow or the other finds a way into our blogs :-) Wonderful post which turns a simple interaction with a fellow human being into a memorable experience!
p.s. just noted a funny coincidence. visited this blog after ages and am commenting for the first time on an entry that was posted on my birthday :-)