• Anthea Isaac

A Tale of a Share Autorickshaw

“Change is the only permanent thing in the world,” says many but it takes time and exposure to truly understand what changes as made of. Yes, change takes place in people, mood, any situation, economy, and even in perceptions. From believing that studying science is all about being successful in knowing how the world actually works, from cursing everyday homework to realizing school as the best memory of life. Every now and then we are perceived to endure the changes. One such change happened to me not so long ago in my life.

The moment was more of an eye-opener and all it took was 10 minutes to change the perspective I had for almost more than a decade.

I am not sure if all of you would agree with me but from a very young age, I detested traveling in share-autos. The very sight of the crowded autos would suffocate me and I would never think twice to swiftly move my head from left to right every time a share-auto driver approached me for a ride. Thankfully I never had to travel in one of those transports to go to my school or college.

My family basically sails the same boat as me, traveling in a share-auto was never an option. The very body of the vehicle will get on my dad’s nerves whenever he takes his wheels. The driving strategy or the carelessness of the drivers would drive him crazy. Whenever we had to encounter such a situation on the road, we would start our pep talk on how it is so annoying to have autorickshaws dashing around and why we would like to ban this particular mode of transport. Later did I realize that it wasn’t just another casual talk among family members, as most of the independent travelers had their own list of complaints to be talked about. It was hard to contemplate why the steps were never taken despite the multiple issues happening around but as a college student, I never bothered much or wanted to deep dive into this matter anymore.

One day, while returning back from college, I went to the usual bus-stop where I take my bus. I plugged my headphones and started listening to my recent playlist and carelessly started glancing at things that randomly happened beside the road. As I was waiting, the students from schools started flooding the bus stop. The students were drained out of energy but still were high to laugh and chat with their friends while waiting for their respective transport. Watching the students and their interactions with each other were always one of my favourite pass-times, as I get to see different shades of the kids and the way they approach and react to things. Their innocence and adolescence are a few of the many phases I get to see in their gestures.

As minutes passed, numerous buses and share autos passed by and one of the autos slowed down near our stop to drop its passengers. When the driver was busy collecting his pay from the customers, one of the girls from the students’ gang ran to him with huge smiles. She wasn’t about to board but wanted to greet him. As soon as the driver saw the girl, his face brightened up as ever. It was definitely the glow up of a father after seeing his daughter. He was surprised and above all so happy to see her during his work. With great joy, the girl started pointing out to her friends, introducing them one by one. He happily greeted them and immediately put his hand in his pocket to find a few papers of money and handed it over to her dearly, asking her to buy something while riding back home. The girl accepted the money with great gratitude and ran back to her friends. As she ran back, he turned to his customers and proudly proclaimed as the father of the girl. As the auto started moving, I saw a great fulfillment in him. One could clearly say that he was the happiest seeing his daughter in a uniform, being one among the students.

These few minutes weren’t only special to the father and daughter but an eye-opener, hitting me right at my face. I immediately recollected the moments when I ran up to my dad whenever I met him during his work, just to exchange a smile. Despite a hard day, the father was so grateful to see his girl and never thought twice to give her few pennies without calculating. This small act of love had so much to say and I couldn’t help but think about how blinded I was to complain. I was too ignorant not realizing that there were thousands of families relying on the occupation of riding share autos. When few of us are blessed to avail of better transport, many are dependent only on share auto-rickshaws to travel to places.

We rationally make comments and get to conclusions when we hardly realize the other side of the story. As one of the most known quotes says, “Every coin has two sides,” every individual has a different story to narrate. And all we could do is learn them one by one day by day and start accepting them while co-existing as social animals in this chaotic world.

Were there any situations that changed a particular perspective on life? Let me know!

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