It’s a non-working Saturday but I am up and ready to go to work. In fact I had already reached the bus stop when my colleague reminds me that it is a holiday.
Having taken a few days off, maybe I was over anxious to compensate!!! Funny!!!
Red in the face and light in my heart, I decide to eat out before heading back home.
A masala dosa and a hot cup of filter kapi later, I board an auto. I ask as usual, ‘kitna loge?’, in Bangalore, one is free to speak any language. But even before he replies, I said, ’30, hai na’. The auto wallah laughs affably, ‘are madam, you ask the question but you decide the charge as well!’ . I keep quiet.
A little while later, the auto wallah peers into the mirror in front of him and asks me, ‘these pimples on your face….’
I am like, ‘what????’
‘Yeah, he continues, ‘these pimples, they came recently right?’
When I don’t reply, he continues, ‘ don’t use chemicals madam. My son has it too. Apply besan powder mixed with milk and let it dry on your face. It will be cured soon. Don’t use others towels etc. My mom does it for my son, that is why.’
I look at him and smile.
Funny how auto wallahs have turned dermatologists!
His sincerity in advise cannot be ignored but I am reminded of something I wish to forget.
As I reach my home, he speaks again,’Don’t feel bad about my talking to you like that madam. Just use the besan powder and see the difference. No need to go to the doctor’.
Unsolicited advice definitely, but was not offensive somehow.
May be it is his tone or his attitude.
Its is amusing how random strangers try to connect and sometimes do that well!
Thank you, I tell the auto wallah in my mind.
Like many others, I too have had long associations with the auto rickshaw drivers. In fact, they were my best friends while I was in Indore. At PTMs or annual functions when we had to stay back at school, my friends would ask me, ‘so how are you going’, ‘with the auto wallah,’ I would joke.
Well mannered and eager to help I never had to think twice before taking the help of an auto rickshaw driver and that too irrespective of the time of the day, especially in Indore.
One day when I chanced to appear in the local daily with my colleagues, I reached the auto stand to be shown the news paper, ‘Madam, they said almost happily, this is you!’
That sealed my friendship with auto wallah brothers forever!