On Three Wheels And A Prayer

About Neeraj Joshi

Neeraj works with Viacom 18 Motion Pictures as the AVP Marketing, after having served media houses like Fox Star Studios India Ltd., Balaji Motion Pictures, etc.. He has been awarded for working on films like Gangs of Wasseypur, Son of Sardaar, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Mary Kom and Gabbar is Back, among others.

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Some six may be seven years back, there was some sort of communal tension in the city. In an undefined way the city was bandh (a politically enforced closure for every economic activity)- as the case usually is.

I had to step out of the house and reach somewhere for some work. I don’t own a vehicle myself and have always commuted by trains and other public transport to get around in the city. Needless to say, the trains and stations were empty. There was a certain sense of tension around.

I couldn’t find an auto rickshaw for quite a while. Finally one guy agreed to ferry me. An old 50 something Muslim fellow; white beard, a cap and a peaced out smile.

I got inside. As he was driving, I noticed he hadn’t turned the meter down; which meant it would not indicate the fare at the end of the journey.

I asked, “Chacha (Uncle), why haven’t you pulled your meter down?”

He said, “Because today the situation isn’t in our favour!”

I didn’t quite get it. He explained.

“If anyone asks, I will say you are a relative. I am carrying you back home!”

I watched on astonished, as the auto ran through the streets of Mumbai, with a person trying to help me and protect me from political goons, in case they arrived.
I paid what I should have at the end of the ride; and I prayed to God that if I can ever get such a sense of semblance and maturity, perhaps courage will follow.


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5 Response Comments

  • Kishor Varma31/10/2016 at 10:03 PM

    The story of Neeraj Joshi is absolutely relatable. As a mumbaikar one can feel it. Most of us living in this city would have experienced it in some way or the other. This one is nicely emoted.

  • Nidhi Jangid10/07/2019 at 5:21 PM

    Such a deep massage the story has! The write has put simplicity and humanity in the story with fine narration!!

  • Swetha Amit12/07/2019 at 5:14 AM

    A simple narration with a profound and a heartwarming message. Nice to see some goodness prevailing in dark times.

  • Bishakha Moitra22/07/2019 at 11:38 AM

    A narrative which is simple but heart touching. Leaves a deep impact and something to ponder on.

  • NANDANA DASGUPTA29/08/2019 at 10:41 PM

    Wow! Your story indeed shows us that even amidst these bloodshed in the name of religion, there is no better religion than Simple Humanity itself!

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