Just the other night I was on my way back home from a long and tired day. It was almost past midnight …I alighted from the train and headed towards the rickshaw stand and sat in the one in front.
Seated behind I noticed the driver had a little kid seated besides him and both were talking in their own native language…curious I decided to have a closer look at the duo..the driver was a middle aged man..and looked tired after a long and hard days work..he was dark his hair line receding back but amidst that darkness of the night he had a smile on his face.
Waiting for the other passengers to board we waited. The driver from the other rickshaw started a chat with our driver,”how was the day brother “….” It was good but it was very sunny..the heat is killing these days”, “yes it is..plus its quiet late..u should get home now”, ” yes am heading there only my little one is hungry,had to pick him up from his friends place, its been an hour since then ” , “oh yes you should get home , sister is law must have made food u should go and eat ” , ” oh no my wife died a few years ago, its all on me now”. The other rickshaw driver was taken a back and offered his condolences , but our driver still with a smile on his face looked at his kid and said its fine.
It was late and no other passenger was coming..we waited …but our driver was in a hurry he had to go back cool food and feed his little one..and then he started the rickshaw…
The fellow rickshaw driver asked him to wait for a while said the other train must be arriving soon there might be some passengers in it..our guy nodded but the restlessness on his face was quiet evident he accelerated a few meters and the other rickshaw driver again stopped him, he went near the station to see if any other passenger was coming but by then our driver had decided that his day was over..he looked at the other driver smiled at him thanked him and just said ,”brother the little one is hungry I’ll take your leave “.
And off we went, one passenger less. On the way the driver and his kid started talking discussing what to Cook and about the littles ones school the next day.
It has been a while since I had last travelled this late so I had no idea abt the fares during night time. Getting down at my stop I asked him abt the fare and he replied with a smile and with such a innocent face ,” just 10 rupees sir”, its one of the rare occasions u see that smile on someone’s face. I gave him the money and off went the duo chatting and smiling at each other on the way.