The Little Joys of Life

June 25, 2008

I’ve often wondered at the pace at which we go about our chores, right from the moment we wake up to the moment we sleep. It is always about ME, ME & ME. Hell, even while sleeping it’s ME, ME & ME. I want a **, I want it this way, why am I the one who is left unsatisfied, I’m not in the mood today… Well, you get the drift.

But sometimes, it’s good to stop and listen to others, pay attention to the needs of people who maybe are lesser in stature than us, but nevertheless are fellow humans. Like today, I was coming to office and decided to take an auto rickshaw rather than the usual BEST bus service. (For those who do not know, auto rickshaws are a type of vehicle with 3 wheels and the BEST bus service is Bombay’s local transportation service.) And as usual I was glued on to my iPod, hardly paying attention to what’s going on outside.

The driver made small talk regarding the rains, how they had now come and made everything cooler, a respite from the heat that prevailed in the past week. I just nodded and monosyllabically responded with “Yeah”s and “Yes”s. But he persisted, never minding that every time he spoke, I had to remove one of my ear-phones and ask him to repeat what he said all over again. And then I felt, this sudden calling, this urge, this sense of enlightenment, the same kind when I get when I have to rush to take a leak – I switched off my iPod and struck up a conversation with him.

We talked a lot, about how the snarling Powai traffic can be reduced, how the BEST bus-drivers are such bastards, and on and on, you get me… I narrated to him how I and my friend once had a close shave when once a BEST driver had gotten into his head to squeeze us and our bike and throw us off the road. He regaled me with his exploits of a previous day when he made a BEST driver pay for the same crime by not giving him any way and frustrating him to death. The talk veered on to how he used to drive trucks and trailers and how he learnt driving from a Sardarji, whom he respectfully addressed as Guru or Ustad. (For the ones who do not know, the males of the Sikh community are called Sardars/Sardarjis affectionately. Literally it means “leader”).

He then showed me how he actually drove his vehicle without putting much of an effort. How excessive usage of the clutch will wear out the clutch plate, how one should maintain a steady speed and never be scared while driving, but be bold and confident. He had this to say,

“Gaadi koi bhi ho sahab, Rickshaw ya Maruti, chalana seekhna aasaan hai. Sambhalna mushkil”


“Sir, no matter what you drive, a rickshaw or a Maruti car, learning to drive is easy. Its handling the vehicle that’s difficult.”

In case you were wondering, it was time I reached office. I payed him his fare, thanked him for his company and went in through my office gates, to begin my day. But I felt good. Why? Maybe I made that fellow’s day by having a nice chat with him. More importantly, he made my day by refreshing my mood!!! And ya, I forgot to ask the fellow’s name, as is common from all my interactions with any new person. What’s in a name, anyways???

And ya, it’s late in the night, I’m lonely and I want a ** 😦 Aaah, for the little joys of life…


One Response to “The Little Joys of Life”

  1. Tushar Chavan Says:

    ivan….with all my past experiences i am damn sure when u switched off ur ipod to have a chat with him u must have hijacked his sessions of stories with yours(Potli wale baba)

    and did u passed on the link to him ???


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