Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I want an auto

I have this habit of reaching everywhere at least half an hour before I'm expected. So I make it to work sharp at 9 am, only to find empty blue chairs greeting me with the same blank expression everyday. The time table that I am, I leave work sharp at 5.30 pm, and take an auto on days when I'm too lazy to walk to the metro station.

There's nothing amazing about an auto ride back home, except on days when the auto-wallah seems to be possessed with the spirit of an F1 racer and clocks 12 minutes for a journey that normally takes 20 minutes. Last evening when I took an auto, I almost skipped a beat on finding a 4 year old kid sitting inside already. 'Bhoot!' - the first word my sub-conscious mind could form.

'Madam, ye mera ladka hai. Aaj bola papa ke saath chalunga to main le aaya,' the auto-wallah clarified reading my expression.

'Oh! School jata hai?' I asked him slightly amused.

'Abhi naya naya shuru kiya hai!' he beamed.

The shy boy kept swinging his feet and looking out of the auto as we drove through the Noida expressway. I nudged him a little on the way. He looked up and flashed a smile that was a combination of excitement, enormous delight, and shyness. I raised my eyebrows to ask him, 'Wassup', but he looked down and shrugged, which probably meant the customary 'nothing much!'

The kid's face spelled pleasure and happiness as the wind ruffled his hair and stroked his cheeks. He looked outside at the fast cars speeding away, but I am sure the kids sitting in the AC cars weren't enjoying their ride half as much as this little one. A few minutes later his eyelids couldn't take it any more and started to droop.

'Neend aa rahi hai kya?' asked the Daddy.

He nodded.

'Acha, so ja fir.'

The little one hopped on to the luggage space and spread out. He closed his eyes and drifted away to the land of complete bliss - sleep.

Sigh! What a life. Someone had once told me that you must spend a lot of time around grandparents to get all the answers to your how's and why's and the rest of your time around kids who can barely speak to observe how to express yourself better and learn things the simpler way. The routine ride back home taught me how I was missing out on the simpler joys of life, feeling the cool breeze, watching the trees sway, and not missing the AC!

I knew I had to tell my dad about this. As soon as I got home I told him, 'I want you to buy an auto rickshaw'...
... which he conveniently dismissed as another incident of a dimaagi keeda biting me.