Exact Narration by an auto-rickshaw passenger
By Suvendu Roy of Titan Industries, who shares his inspirational encounter with a rickshaw driver in Mumbai: Last Sunday, my wife, kid, and I had to travel to Andheri from Bandra.
When I waved at a passing auto rickshaw, little did I expect that thisride would be any different...
As we set off, my eyes fell on a fewmagazines(kept in an aircraft style pouch) behind the driver's backrest.
This was enough for me to realise that I was in a special vehicle.
Then I looked round again, and discovered more - there was a radio, fireextinguisher, wall clock, calendar, and pictures and symbols of allfaiths
- from Islam and Christianity to Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism.
There were also pictures of the heroes of 26/11- Kamte, Salaskar, Karkareand Unnikrishnan.
I realised that not only my vehicle, but also mydriver was special.I started chatting with him and the initial sense of ridicule anddisbelief gradually diminished.
I gathered that he had been driving anauto rickshaw for the past 8-9 years; he had lost his job when hisemployer's plastic company was shut down.
He had two school-goingchildren, and he drove from 8 in the morning till 10 at night.
No break unless he was unwell. "Sahab, ghar mein baith ke T.V dekh kar kya faida? Do paisa income karega toh future mein kaam aayega." We realised that we had come across a man who represents Mumbai –the spirit of work, the spirit of travel and the spirit of excelling inlife.
I asked him whether he does anything else as I figured that he did nothave too much spare time.
He said that he goes to an old age home forwomen in Andheri once a week or whenever he has some extra income, wherehe donates tooth brushes, toothpastes, soap, hair oil, and other itemsof daily use.
He pointed out to a painted message below the meter thatread: "25 per cent discount on metered fare for the handicapped.
Free rides for blind passengers up to Rs. 50. My wife and I were struck with awe. The man was a HERO! A hero who deserves all our respect!!! Our journey came to an end; 45 minutes of a lesson in humility, selflessness, and of a hero-worshipping Mumbai, mytemporary home. We disembarked, and all I could do was
to pay him a tip that would hardly cover a
free ride for a blind man. I hope, one day, you too have a chance to meet Mr Sandeep Bachhein his auto rickshaw: MH-02-Z-8508.
This is probably the best forwarded email I've ever gotten, and it's from my Mom :D