Rickshaw wala

Author: 
Manoj Makker

Manoj Makker served in Customs and Central Excise for 24 years before seeking voluntary retirement. At present, he is part of a consultancy firm at Jaipur. Manoj's passions are trekking and shooting. He has participated in 16 trekking expeditions in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, besides undertaking numerous personal treks. He still finds time for his other love: landscape photography. He is a prolific writer on various aspects of life.

In the year 1994, I was posted in a small town of Rajasthan, Alwar about 150 kms from the capital, Jaipur. The famous tiger sanctuary Sariska is just a few miles away from Alwar.

I always felt lucky to have been posted to that beautiful town. It is perfectly located and surrounded by plenty of natural splendor, which I always relished and longed for.

 
A panoramic view of Alwar

A panoramic view of Alwar

 

The city of Alwar has lush green sprawling meadows, vast natural lakes, panoramic Aravalli hills, forests and historical monuments. The town was carrying this magnificence in abundance, which were sufficient to satiate my adventure & photographic thirst.

 
Sariska Palace, located in the Aravali hills and only a few kilometers away from Alwar.

Sariska Palace, located in the Aravali hills and only a few kilometers away from Alwar.

 

Besides these natural resources, the town was also having a club established by the British. It was an added bonus to my enjoyment as the Jey Krishna Club was having wooden indoor badminton courts. And badminton was my first love.

Fortunately, some members were good players of Badminton and I got to play competitive games. In this manner I also get sufficient exercise. This toned up my muscles and body. I felt fit and fine.

In the '90s Alwar had a major drawback. Alwar was lacking in proper and modern medical facilities.

My wife was in the family way and we were eagerly waiting arrival of the new guest. In the joint families in the past one could always gets answers to all pregnancy-related issues, particularly queries that arise when one is expecting one’s first child.

But my wife and I were living at Alwar as a nuclear family. And my parents were settled in a different town in Haryana. Thus quick consultation with them was not possible. It was a big loss for us. But we had no choice.

Though we were regularly in consultation with the medical facilities that were available in the Alwar, but still my wife and I were having lots of apprehension regarding this topic. It was not a satisfactory situation.

All along we had planned to go to a bigger city, having modern medical facilities when we were close to delivery time.

As per our plan we boarded the train at Alwar and reached Jaipur in the late evening, for the 150 kms journey.

On settling in Jaipur we decided to visit a renowned hospital for consultations. For the journey we hired a cycle Rickshaw. The rickshaw puller was a sober looking man probably in his forties. Owing to medical condition of my wife, I asked the Rickshaw puller to move slowly and carefully.

Though the Rickshaw puller was moving slowly but the scrambled potholes on the road were making the ride very difficult and jerky. I rebuked the Rickshaw puller to be more careful.

He nodded silently but the jerks continued.

Again I felt that the rickshaw puller was being careless about avoiding the potholes which could likely aggravate the medical condition of the wife. I once again scolded him about his carelessness.

And he once again nodded to be more careful.

But the ride continued to be jerky and bumpy. Throughout the way I kept yelling at him about his careless pulling. The rickshaw puller patiently listened to all of my scolding without any protest.

Ultimately we reached the hospital after a bumpy & bouncy riding experience. I was very much annoyed with that rickshaw puller for his careless driving.

Once we reached the hospital I helped my wife to get off the rickshaw. It was a difficult task but managed dexterously.

After that I asked the rickshaw puller about the fare to be paid for the trip.

His reply astonished me.

He replied that he did not charge any fare from the patients he takes to hospitals.

For me this was a very noble gesture and lesson for life.

And inspite of all the shortcomings and difficulties we became proud parents of our first child. A girl.

Today our eldest is a doctor whom we love and adore.

Comments

There's dignity and respect everywhere.

Thank you very such sir for publishing my story on this esteemed page. Regards

It's amazing how a rickshaw puller acted with such generosity.

In today's time it's almost impossible to find such acts of generosity, news of killing for a penny and other petty issues has become so common.
Hats off to Manoj Makkad ji for penning your 24 year old memories in such articulate manner.
It's amazing how effectively, efficiently and effortlessly you have penned your thoughts and memories that go way back almost 25 years... Truly amazing and highly inspiring.

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