Thanks to my recent accident my means of transport to wander around the city has been mainly the city bus and auto . While I have had my share of not so good experiences with buses and autos . Here is one special incident I would like to share.
I was dropped by my friend Dixit somewhere in Nallakunta. I had a choice to take a bus from there or to hop in an auto. I chose the latter and went to an auto guy . He looked old and I thought he is also a smoker . Smoking and tobacco chewing auto walas are last on my priority list ( to be boarded only if no other auto in sight and/or in extreme emergency!! ). I asked him if he can take me to my place. He told NO . I pacified myself thinking this guy has no punya for me to board his auto 😀 , I looked at him and was turning towards the road to look for the other autos when he said ” Theek hai aayie , Aapka Dil mai nahi todoonga “( Ok come , I don’t want to break your heart ) and he gave me a big smile. Wonder struck at what he had just said, I got into his auto . While we were travelling he told me that he was a muslim and he was all praise for the traditions and practices of sikkhism ( the religion that I followed ) , he spoke which such humility and tenderness , he told that he often visits a gurudwara , the best part was he was always smiling while talking . Then he asked me about my education , I told him I have passed engineeering . He told me in in his nawabi islamic style ” Mubarak ho apko , bohot bohot mubarak ho , Allah ka lakh lakh shukar hai ki aap pass ho gaye” ( Congratulations , many many congratulations , my gratitude to Allah that you passed it ), the way he congratulated me , he really really meant it , I was moved ( till now it was only me thanking God that I passed engineering , this uncle was the first one to thank God for my passing 😀 ). Then with immense pride and a twinkle in the eyes he told me ” Sahab , mai bhi 10th pass hoon ” ( Sir , I have also passed 10th class ) . Then he told that after that he stopped studying to serve his grandfather , he told that his grandfather had taught him a lot about human values , he told me that his grandfather used to tell him only one thing and that was that we should never break anyone’s heart . He told after his grandfather passed away he came to city to look for a job and now is driving an auto since 15 years. I was silently listening . He told his son is in 12th standard and studies quite well. Showing all his 32 teeth in the rear view mirror he told me ” Sahab , my son has told me not to worry and that he will pass for sure and be a good human being in life” . This time I said ” Mubarak ho apko , bohot bohot mubarak ho ” . He told “Shukriya shukriya “.
Then we both were silent for the rest of the journey. I could not help but wonder about this angelic auto uncle, every word he spoke was from the heart, he was always smiling , he was so forthcoming , he was grateful to God for what he had and also he thanked God for what I achieved . I began to ask myself … Is money the thing we need in life ? Is poverty just about one’s financial status or just a state of mind ? I would say that in no regard I saw this uncle as a poor person, according to me he was more rich than many rich people I know.
My thoughts were interrupted when my house came. The fare was around 30 rs , I promptly took out a 50rs note and gave it to him , thanked him for the ride and walked away, he looked at the meter , then at the 50rs note and shouted a loud ” Thank you Sahab ” from his auto. I waved him goodbye and walked into my apartment with a smile 🙂 Then I realised that I Should have at least asked his name. Mentally I decided that I will write about this stranger who refused to break my heart , and here it is now for you to read 🙂
Lots of love