All the hue-cry over jacked up meters by rickshawalas sure made them realize their folly. For a change, I realized that my travel from Andheri to Bandra which would usually cost me about 140 rupees cost me about 120 now! Long distance travel suddenly seemed affordable.
I remember a conversation with my friend when we were traveling by a rickshaw during the meter ‘scam’ issue was at its epitome. My friend said ‘Its high time the government regulates this. This gundaisim must end. How much more should we suffer yaar’. I was surprised when the rickshaw driver barged into our conversation and said,’ Kya madam. Garib ke pet (stomach) par kyo lath mar rahe ho?. Aapko pata hai ek richshaw ka license ke liye 35000 rupees hai upar se mahengai kitni bad gayi hai. To uska wasooli ke liye apun logo ko magajmari to karna padega.’ Donno what triggerd, but my friend, who otherwise is quite cool headed, lambasted that guy. Her answer was mind blowing. She said, ‘mahengai sirf tum logo ke liye hai kya? Humara salary bada rahta hai kya? Agar hum company ko bole bhai mahengai bad gayi hai humari pagar bada do ya fir hum office ka saman bech kart ode paise jama kar lenge to chalega kya? Kayde se kam karne mein sabki bhalai hai aise chance pe dance nahi marneka.’ I was so impressed. It’s very difficult to argue with them since they are literally like hoodlums. But my friend nailed it.
My happiness however was short-lived. Now that the government has got its share ‘am very sure some union or neta must have had an under the table agreement’ everything has gone to square one. Today when I traveled by rick, I had to shell out 142 rupees. Clearly knowing that I have paid approximately 15-20 bucks more, I couldn’t do anything. The feeling of helplessness is extremely demoralizing for anyone. That is precisely what I felt. Am sure after reading this, you will agree with me that – some things never change!