IITian and rickshawala. Very interesting
Here were two rickshaw-walas vying for our business when we wanted to
go to Sankat-Mochan temple in Benaras. I agreed to go with the one
whowas about 20, seemed like a regular young rickshaw-wala, but I
found something interesting about this fellow in his eyes. I was not
He wanted Rs 50, we said Rs 30. We settled for 40.
Here are the highlights of the conversation that ensued while he rode
"aap kahan se aaye hain"
"bijness ya kaam karte hain?"
"naukri karte hain"
"humara bhi kuch wahin kaam lagwa do"
I just chuckled
"main try kar raha hoon engineering padhne kee. achchi naukri lag jaayegi tab"
"achcha?" I asked a little interested
"haan, delhi mein Guru Gobind Singh Indraprashta University mein
engineering ke liye apply kara hai. achchi hai woh university"
"haan, achchi hai", I agreed.
"haan, kal hee maine JEE bhi diya"
"JEE matlab, IIT ka?"
"haan, Joint Entrance Examination" he pronounced it perfectly just to
make it clear to me what JEE stood for. "mushkil hota hai exam"
"haan, 2 saal toh log padhte hee hain uske liye, asaan nahin hai" I
carried on the conversation
"Delhi mein Akaash coaching institute hain na?"
"aapne kya padhai kari?"
"main engineer hoon, aur phir mba bhi kiya"
"kahan se engineer?"
"IIT delhi se"
He swung back, surprised, a little delighted, and smiled. "Ok, aapke liye Rs 30"
Swati and I laughed
Swati asked "padhai kab karte they IIT ke liye"
"bas, rickshaw chalaane ke baad raat mein". Then he added "kismein
engineering kari aapne?"
"toh aapki chemistry toh badi strong hogi"
"nahin, aisa nahin hai"
He continued "yeh bataiye....jab Mendeleev ne Periodic Table banaya
tha tab kitne elements they usmein?"
Now it was my turn to get surprised. He was quizzing me. I said "shayad 70-80"
"no, 63" he said sharply. "kaunse element kee electronegativity highest hai?"
Swati was laughing, and I didn't try too hard and said "pata nahin"
"Flourine", he said confidently. Without a break he asked,"kaunse
element kee electron affinity highest hoti hai?"
Now I was laughing too and said "nahin pata"
"Chlorine. toh aapka kaunsa subject strong tha?" clearly having proven
that my chemistry wasn't a strong point
"Physics", I said
"achha, Newton's second law of motion kya hai"
I knew this one I thought, "F=ma" I said
"Physics is not about formula, it is understanding concept!" he
reprimanded me in near perfect english. "Tell me in statement"
I was shocked. Swati continued to laugh.
I said "ok, Newtons second law, er....was...."
" 'was' nahin, 'is'! Second law abhi bhi hai!" he snapped at my use of 'was'
Surely, my physics wasnt impressing him either. "yaad nahin, I said"
"Force on an object is directly proportional to the mass of the object
and the acceleration of the object", he said it in near perfect
english. "aapne mtech nahin kiya?"
"nahin, mba kiya"
"mba waale toh sirf paisa kamana chahte hain, kaam nahin karte"
"nahin, aisa nahin hai, paisa kamaane ke liye kaam karna padta hai"
He said "arrey, rehene do" or some words to that effect. He didnt
think too highly of me apparently anymore.
In a minute we reached our destination. We got off and I told him that
he must and should definitely study more, and that I think he is sharp
He took only Rs 30, smiled and began to leave.
I got my camera out and said "Raju, ek photo leta hoon tumhari".
He waved me off, dismissed the idea and rode off before I could say
anything more.... leaving me feeling high and dry like a spurned
Damn, what a ride that was!
India is changing, and changing fast!