It was freezing cold night of December. We came out of local restaurant at 2200 hours after feasting the scrumptious food and started searching for a cab to go back to hotel wandering through narrow streets of Amritsar. The street was almost empty with few local vendors selling favourite dessert of India, Gulab Jamun in tiny kiosks. We decided to walk to hotel but looking at the distance and newness to the city, we gave up the idea.
Trawling, we reached the middle of the street where we found a man sitting on the threshold of the stairs of one house. We asked him if he can guide us so that we can reach to hotel. He suggested hiring a rickshaw instead of searching the cab. A rickshaw puller was standing few steps away. A man called him and asked him to drop us to the hotel. At first, we were unwilling but the man assured us that he will drop us safely. Moreover the rickshaw puller was known to him and he used to ferry school kids from the same street.
The rickshaw puller was an old man who must be in late sixties. He wore a turban and had a long beard. He was wearing a check shirt and his trousers were tattered. With a small piece of cloth, he dusted the rexine seat and gestured us to sit with broadest grin. We both sat and set off towards the hotel.
He was not wearing socks and pedaling with great difficulty through sleepers. My friend suggested him to take rest for a minute or so as he looked exhausted.
“Madam, let me drop you both to hotel first. I will go back to my home and will sleep”
This worked as an ice breaker to beat the taciturnity. Conversations started. While pedaling, he talked about his family, his children and asked us about our whereabouts. Seconds and minutes passed and we reached hotel within fifteen minutes.
And he said :-
“ I will go only once you both get inside the hotel as the road is deserted”
We were touched by his caring and considerate nature and gifted him extra pennies. Though money cannot the surpass the value of strong value system and genuine concern for humanity, yet earning extra money after backbreaking work for the day can make anyone feel contented.
With a broad smile that highlighted wrinkles under his eyes, he raised his arms, touched our forehead with his palms offering blessings and departed, grinning cheerfully.
Please also read :- Different shades of happiness