” Apne liye toh sabhi karte hai, lekin kabhi dusro ke liye kuch karke dekho, bahot khushi milti hai”, Everyone does things for themselves but try doing something for someone else, it will make you really feel happy.
Rajesh Khanna, the first superstar of Bollywood mouthed these dialogues in his ever green movie “Bawarchi“
You might be wondering why all of a sudden I remembered these lines and started this post with it, isn’t it?
It was just yesterday when I was sitting on the couch with Mom & Dad watching this movie & I remembered an incident when Rajesh Khannaji uttered this line.
I was tired due to a long day’s work, cursing my boss I got down from the bus, we were asked to work on the evening before Diwali.
The only good thing about working that day was we had received a few Diwali gifts which included an expensive collared T-shirt & a variety of sweets. It was a lot of work just getting down from the overcrowded bus as I was carrying my Laptop bag, my lunch box & the gifts.
After a lot of Nudging & pushing I managed to get and as soon as saw an empty auto rickshaw shouted at the top my lungs “Auto”!
The Auto rickshaw driver just gave me a look, shook his head & sped off in the opposite direction, I muttered a few curses under my breath & began the long walk with my baggage to the rickshaw stand which looked empty without any auto’s waiting.
I wasn’t surprised that the auto stand did not have any auto’s as you ask this to any Mumbaikar and he will tell you that it will be far easier to find God than finding an auto during peak hours in Mumbai.
I started the long walk towards the traffic signal along with the items I was carrying hoping I will at least find a rickshaw there as it is a junction of 8 streets, upon reaching there I saw vehicles moving alongside each other and the streets was packed with traffic,I gave a small sigh & stood on one side of the road flagging down all the rickshaws which were approaching towards me but to no avail.
A silent prayer escaped my lips asking for a rickshaw as I was very tired, and then, a slightly old & rickety rickshaw came to screeching halt near me, a man in his mid fifties peeped out of the rickshaw & gave me an inquisitive look as if asking “Where to?”
“Uncle, will you go to Adarsh Nagar?”, I asked hoping he would say a yes
He looked at me for a second & nodded.
I heaved a sigh of relief & after struggling with my baggage managed to seat myself comfortably in the passenger seat of the rickshaw,
My phone started buzzing & I had barely taken out my phone to check my messages when the rickshaw came to a sudden stand still, I looked up to see that the signal light had just turned Red.
“These people do not have anything to do even on holidays”, the rickshaw driver suddenly started speaking
” What?”, I asked not able to hear it clearly the first time.
” There’s so much traffic even today, no place to move, we don’t have a job that’s why we have to ferry passengers even on a holiday but these guys with big cars & everything have a job, yet they work on holidays”, he continued
I realised he was irritated, I glanced at his attire and found his khakee coloured rickshaw drivers uniform tattered at multiple places & felt bad at what he just said.
” You should be at home today, its a festive occasion”, I said.
” If I will stay at home, what will my family eat Sahab?, We are like daily wage labourers, the more you work, the more you earn, we do not have a fixed salary from a company”, he replied
I couldn’t find anything to say after hearing these things, I just sat quietly deeply immersed in my own thoughts while he kept on driving. I couldn’t digest the fact that there still are so many people in the world who can’t even afford to enjoy a festive occasion just because of lack of money. I started imagining myself as a driver who transports people carrying gifts, sweets etc for their families during these festive times, it made me feel even worse for the driver and his family.
Suddenly, the vehicle came to a halt & I was shaken out of my thoughts, it was time to pay the driver and leave, I looked at the meter taking out my wallet at the same time, as I began to count the money a sudden thought came to my mind.
I took out the T-shirt & a box of chocolates from my package & gave it to the driver along with the fare. The driver looked up at me with a puzzled expression, I just smiled & pushed the package in his hands.
“Happy Diwali, Uncle”, I wished him & walked away.
He still looked confused about what had just happened, I am sure I must have seen tears fill his eyes, I began to walk away from the rickshaw when I sensed a pair of eyes following me, I stopped & glanced back at the driver, he was looking at me with a smile on his face & a sense of gratitude, hands together with a Namaste!
I just smiled & walked away feeling a sense of happiness like I had never felt before.