Well, you almost were threatening to hold the city at ransom again today, until sanity prevailed at the last minute.
You know something, for a long time, I thought being a rickshaw driver is a very tough job. You need to know the routes (For a geographically challenged person like me, its a nightmare) you cant take breaks whenever you want, your family depends on you for money, you slog in the sun, rain, cold for hours together to ensure food on the plate, you sit for hours together waiting for passengers, you have to breathe in tons for toxic air in the crowded traffic of Mumbai, you arent really protected by closed barriers, etc etc etc. I thought it took great guts to be a rickshaw driver.
Until yesterday. Yesterday, I lost all my respect for you guys. Honestly.
I stood for 20 minutes at Andheri station pleading to you guys to take me to work. and most of you just went off even without acknowledging the presence of a 80 kg woman dressed in bright colours. Honestly, anyone could have seen me, waving my hands as if trying to fly.
It hurts me that you have such attitude that you would rather go empty that take up passengers to not-so-long distances.
What is the point of being in public transport if you cant help out the public?
What is the point of driving a rickshaw if you cant ply to where the passenger wants you to go?
What is the point of saying that you need extra money if you cant take passengers to their destinations?
Where is it written that you cant take passengers for minimum fare? Where is it written that you will take people only who want to go great distances?
Dont you even feel bad for us passengers who resort to pleading, begging and even crying at times requesting you to take us to office so that we reach on time?
Dont you feel sorry that we may be late and it doesnt reflect good on us?
How much time in spare do you want us to keep? I mean, we leave at least 30 minutes in advance (30 minutes of spare time you know) how much earlier in the morning do you want us to leave?
Its really sad, that you people have so much ego. What for? why?
I agree, not all of you are like that, but unfortunately, a lot of you are like that. You dont seem to understand that we passengers are often as hard working as you, getting up early, attending to chores, working for 9 hours at work, going back home fighting the crowds of the train, and then if you refuse to ply us, it just gets to tiring…may be not physically, but at least mentally 😦
Even in the evening, while I saw 18 crowded buses go to Andheri station, I got into the 19th bus at the cost of getting my bag torn and having my breasts felt by a man. Its sad that most of you just went past without even stopping. I mean, here you are going empty, why cant you stop and ply us to the station. and I was not the only one. I saw pregnant women, old aged uncles and auntys, unwell people, all pleading you to stop. But you just went off with a sneer in your face and not even caring to stop. It hurts you know.
After a day of hard work, when you cant transport yourself home. Where you know a child and spouse is waiting eagerly to meet you. Please dont give me excuses that you dont get return passengers from Andheri station, because there also, I see people waiting in queues as long as the great wall of China waiting for rickshaws to ply THEM home!
Its sad that we need you so badly. Its really sad, that in Bombay infrastructure is as bad as the gutters. I am fed up.
Honestly fed up with your attitude, your refusal to ply short distances, your refusal to even stop if you are empty.
I seem to be losing my respect for you. Slowly but surely.
Yesterday I was so frustrated that for the first time in the 6 years and 6 months of my life in Bombay, I wrote this message to my husband ‘I hate this place, I swear I will get out of Bombay by September 21, 2013’
I may not be able to do it, but I must admit, one of the reasons why I will quit Bombay is because of the seemingly heartless rickshaw drivers. Of course, you may argue, who the hell is asking you to be here? unfortunately, in my case, just like yours, you will agree ‘Paapi Pet ka Sawaal hai’.