I am not the talking kind of rickshaw passenger, but if the driver initiates a conversation and I am not already busy with something I am always game for a little chit-chat. Yesterday I apparently hired a rickshaw with a very chatty driver. I have offlate become increasingly comfortable talking to strangers but nothing could have prepared me for this particular guy.
Firstly I dont travel by a rickshaw very often. This time I was in a bit of an hurry and his auto was the first one I asked. We stated out by talking about which route to take, the next few moments went in silence… Then all of a sudden he was telling me about his afternoon experience where he and his fellow rickshaw drivers had resorted to beating up a man coz the man had refused to pay a poor boy after drinking his tea. The man had uttered a few abuses and then slapped the kid. Ironically he(driver) seemed like a really sober man, I was a little intrigued by his personality.
Along the way we went past a garment factory and he told me that the workers were all smiling coz today was the 7th day of the month, which meant it was pay day for them. I didnt know that till then but just the statement revealed a different aspect about his philosophy in life. He then explained about his uncle who got robbed a few weeks ago very close to my residence. Again his habit of pulling out random conversations had me amazed. I like before spoke a little about what he mentioned but all amounting to really short conversations.
A couple of mins away from my house he tells me that he always keeps smiling. I told him that he must be blessed to be capable of that coz lot of people want to be like that but are very unsuccessful. He tells me ‘A man needs patience sir, if he has patience he can handle anything’. I just smiled, its not daily you get lessons on philosophy from strangers.
As we reached my doorstep we went past a temple crowded with people. Yesterday was Vikunta Ekadashi, he tells me if you can honestly pray from home you dont need to go to a temple.
As I paid him my fare I told him “It was nice speaking to you”, he seemed surprised and just smiled…