The Auto Rickshaw Driver


It was almost 11 PM. The city was dark and silent. I was looking for a good salon to cut my hair and do some patch works to my beard. However, none of the salons was available.

All these years, most of my holidays were spent in Emirates, so a little unfamiliarity with Kochi. In Emirates, even at twelve midnight we are welcomed to a salon. But, Kochi is always frightened after the sun set. At night, she likes to go into her dark blanket and snore. Some fast food outlets and few street dwellers, all other decent business are closed.

I decided to sought help from that Rickshaw driver, with long hair. Bunch of his hair neatly topknot (colloquially we call that hairstyle ‘Kudumi’) and his long curly beard is combed well. Altogether, in that gloomy street light he looked like silhouette of a familiar sage.

We started roaming through deserted streets to find a salon. Each time when he stopped, he removed his small neck braces and his slip-over like spinal support was exposed a bit, which prompted me to ask him about it. It was as if, he was waiting for someone to listen to him. Doctors already advised him not to drive the Rickshaw but there is no other option for means. He finished his physiotherapy sessions and came back to job.

We did not found an open saloon, but I asked him to keep driving. I was ready to pay for his story. Then he started talking about his dancer daughter. He was painful when he talked about his daughters ambition to act in movie was plucked by dirty predators. Did he shed tears when he explained how they escaped? I am not sure, I was sitting behind him but was closer enough to hear his sigh.

Because of this incident, he left his native place with his family where he lived modestly. The family was eager to kill themselves, but this man had the grace to take his family trough those troublesome days. He talked a lot about his still depressed wife and still young sons. When I got out, he opened his valet to show me his dearest family. They all smiles to the challenges what they faced.

I too dream with him, one day let his daughter pursuit doctoral studies in art, let his sons earn well and let his wife be relieved from the episodes of depressions. I pray for them… our Christ will count each drops of tears which he shed! Let his spine be healed. Let him find good angels around him to support him. Amen!