Rickshaw Drivers

November 19, 2008

Like most foreigners in India, I have a love-hate relationship with rickshaw drivers.

And like with most things in India, time mollifies anger into impatience. How could I be angry at these poor guys? I used to really hate them, but with the years passing I started to see things in the bigger Indian picture. What chance did they have in life to make it? Some of them are really thick, but wouldn’t we all be if we had never been to school?

School hasn’t taught us lucky Westerners only dates and facts: it has switched our brains on and taught us to remember, analyze and infer. Without this early intellectual workout routine, we’d be just as daft as they are.

Then of course, as usual, there is the One. The exception. In my last flat, when I lived in a haveli, there were three bothers operating the local rickshaw stand. They were amazing, helpful, soft-spoken, and one day one of them was even heroic. Soon, I’ll tell you that story.