The Story of an Auto Wala

It was a chilly Saturday evening and I hired an auto, don’t think that I am heading to watch a movie or to booze with my friends to enjoy the weekend. Those days are gone; I am back to my college days, not exactly, but only on weekends and I go to office on weekdays, kind of split personality. But nevertheless I am still enjoying my days and I am really looking forward for more such days to come.

Now enough of PJ’s let’s come back to where I was at an auto stand. Those who often hire autos or taxis around the country are kind of used to the phenomena where the auto or taxi walas try to keep their margins high while negotiating with passengers.

If they feel it is not going well then throw a grenade of family drama at the passengers. Some curse the price hike and some curse their family conditions but they fail to understand the passenger who is asking for hire is poorer than them (in my case atleast).

This time it was different.

Me: Bhaiya Chalna Hai (Are you free for hire)

Auto Wala: Kaha jaana hai? (where would you like to go)

Me: Saket

Auto Wala: 60 Rupees de de na (it would cost Rs 60)

Me (in excited tone): chalo chalo! (let’s go, let’s go)

The reason I accepted with excitement was because 60 rupees was exactly what the meter would show till my place and it is an exercise for me every weekend to negotiate fare from Rs 80 to get it down to Rs 65 or sometime settle for Rs 70.

He did notice my excitement and explained the reason due to which he charged the correct fare. We travelled a distance and were waiting on a signal to become green.

Auto Wala: Bhaisaab (Sir) what was the result of the today’s match.

Me: I didn’t track the match but my friend told me it was draw.

Auto Wala: Impossible, when I saw the match India only needs 13 runs to win.

Me: May be I am wrong let me check. (I opened my phone browser and started checking).

Auto Wala: Can we check the score on phone.

Me: Yes indeed and the match was a draw.

Then it kept going on, first we were talking about today’s match (India Vs. West Indies third test match), then we talked about the god of cricket (Sachin Tendulkar), then we went to Mr. Dhoni and we all know when Dhoni comes, the topic of his luck also joins the discussion. He explained me how his luck favored him to win crucial matches and he alsohad logical explanations to back his points which I also felt they were correct.

Few moments later he started narrating me a story about a lower middle class family. The story goes like this…

There is a very poor family living in a village, seeing the hardships faced by his father, the elder son takes charge of his responsibilities well before time. He helped his father manage the expenses and in the process sacrificed his college days (which I can’t think of missing). He not only helped his father but also helped settle his other two brothers.

Now using his hard earned money, he bought himself a land under his own name. The dilemma in this was that the elders wanted this land to be combined as well so that the property can be evenly distributed among the siblings. Since, this land was hard earned by his own cash, he protested and didn’t allow recombining.

The angered elders warned him of not giving him his share from the property if he fails to do it. But he stood by it as he was a firm believer in God and whatever He(God) guides him to do would be his actions.

The single land piece which he owned split the family into parts, everyone started living seperately and stopped talking to the elder brother. He was now tensed, upset that just because of him, the whole family was suffering and was seperated but at the same time was aware that he was morally right and there was no point in doing what his family wants. He was confused but wanted his family to be reunited.

The elder son was none other than the auto wala.

Now I got the point why he quoted me the right price at the first instance.

In between my thinking a voice comes “Don’t think that you have done a favor or help or have done too much to your family or anyone in this whole world. Always think that I should also grow along with others but not at the cost of others. The day he (god) thinks that your character has done for what he has sent you on earth would be your last day”.

After listening to him, I felt nice, not because I have done something good. Somewhere or the other, the points which he mentioned would actually work like pebbles on the road called my life.

We don’t know from where we can get learnings in our life. Also I was not able to help him whether he is correct or how to tackle the situation.

What do you think about this and if you have learnings please do share it with us.