I take a rickshaw on my way to home; it’s not that the city buses are not available. In fact, my home is at a walking distance. I do walk often. But, you see, there’s a certain rustic charm about the rickshaw and their paddlers. Their dreamy unhurriedness bestows me a rare peace of mind so reminiscent of my quaint old village or of strolling by the sea shore. Travelling by rickshaw reminds me of the pause we need today in the hustle-bustle called Life. The bi-cycle rickshaws
The Rickshaw-wala, a dark skinned youth in tattered Lungi, gives me his most radiant smile. He knows that I am his regular customer, two days a week. I do not want him to lose his customer, nor do I want to lose the gratitude I feel towards him for offering me the pleasant ride, one of life’s small pleasures that are hard to come by these days. Once can easily find bicycle-rickshaws in the city. However, to get a taste of the vintage old, classic, hand-pulled rickshaws, you simply have to visit the urban-pastoral barra-bazar of Kolkata. It fills me with awe and reverence when a muscular man, even in ripe old age, heaves up the rickshaw’s hull and trots ahead with surefootedness, shouldering the burden of the passenger with elegance. In today’s world, where no one agrees to carry the burden of others, these mighty men are worthy of admiration.
And so we banter on. The young man chats away happily as he paddles on, delighted at having his and his family’s name on the NRC list. He talks about the weather, the traffic, the government, his children…and, in no time, he stops by my home. I pay him his hard-earned money, and he goes away with another smile…
Well, showy motor vehicles may come and go; bullet trains may arrive soon. But, believe me, there’s nothing like human-powered Rickshaws to enjoy the ride! What about you?!!