A share-auto ride gives you a glimpse into the lives of people you would not have otherwise met in your life. If you don't have anything to do or you have lots of free time at your disposal then please feel free to give yourself the liberty of getting a glimpse into the lives of a micro fraction of the exploding population of India.
As you comfortably settle yourself into the auto, you find yourself sitting opposite the aging man, who is as expressionless as a stone. You wonder what has made him lose all emotions — disobedient children, nagging wife, domineering boss — who is the cause for this man to sit stiff sans emotion? Maybe he has taken a vow not to let his emotions betray his real person behind the mask. Whatever it is, you move on to the next person.
Amazingly you find a sharp contrast to the aging man. A girl in her teens! Adjusting a few strands of hair fallen across her forehead with the back of one hand and checking her multi-use mobile phone with the other, she clearly is a multi-tasking person. She is oblivious to her surroundings as she is lost in the world of songs ringing into her ears through the ear phone. Maybe because the song has a special meaning for her, a smile slowly forms across her lips. Better than the emotionless man at least.
Further as you see you find a mother-baby duo enjoying the short spells of cool breeze flowing in through the window. The baby enjoys the warmth of the mother as he snuggles close to her, feeling secure in her arms. The young mother is lost in her thoughts. You may wonder what she thinks. Maybe working out a plan about how to face the gruelling task of getting her child a seat in one of the ‘prestigious' play schools a few months from now or in one of the ‘reputed' colleges quite a few years from now. By the time she finishes her planning and actually executes it, a few strands of her hair would have turned grey. What a plight!
There is the young executive seated next to you. He vibrates an enormous amount of energy to the person at the other end of his phone.
A little eavesdropping and you find that he is working on a new project that would be the icing on the cake, his resume. The earth under him may as well shake with his energy.
Then you find a middle-aged lady seated near the window frowning as a motorbike speeds past creating a cloud of dust behind it. She sends a silent prayer above for her teenage son praying that he shouldn't contribute much to the noise and air pollution. Finally, there sits a man in the front seat on whom all these people depend till they reach their destination. The driver's job is one that requires plenty of concentration . He has to drive with the utmost care and at the same time look out for potential people who would fill his pockets with money.
Photo: K. Pichumani