A tale about a rickshaw wala and an IIT-ian

This is a copy paste …

What with editing one book and writing another, I go through long periods of not knowing what to write on my blog

Plus this story is worth sharing : Thanks Dagny Sol, for sending it to me

I happened to come across this on a Friend’s Facebook Page sent to her by a friend of hers…took the liberty to copy/paste and forward because it is obviously true, heart warming and inspiring….

IITian and Rickshaw-wala….

There 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, who was about 20 years of age, seemed like a regular young rickshaw-wala, but I found something interesting about him. I was not proved wrong.

He wanted Rs 50, we said Rs 30. We settled for Rs 40.

Here are the highlights of the conversation that ensued, while we rode the rickshaw:

“Aap kahan se aaye hain?”


“Bijness, ya kaam karte hain?”

“Naukri karte hain.”


“Internet mein.”

“Humara bhi kuch wahin kaam lagwa dijiye.”

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 kiya 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.”

“Delhi mein Akaash coaching institute hain na?”

“Haan, hai.”

“Aapne kya padhai kee?”

“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 kee 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?”

I didnt 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 thought I knew this one. “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.

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 wasn’t 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 M.Tech 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.” Didn’t 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 thought he was sharp as hell. 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 lover.

Damn, what a ride that was! India is changing, and changing fast!!!


12 thoughts on “A tale about a rickshaw wala and an IIT-ian

  1. wow! what a ride that must have been!!! so different from the normal conversations we have with our auto drivers!!!! times are definitely changing!

  2. Enjoyable. I seriously think that Engineer ought to do something better than adding an MBA to the list of qualifications.
    Disclosure : Even I am one of those who switched from creating to managing 😉

  3. Hi
    I got this link from my daughter who wanted me to read it. I’m to thank her for this wonderful link. That said, I have this link of my blog that has a story you might like.

    In ur story, I read an undertone of irony, a sort of criticism directed against all those who read in IIT to forget soon after and switch over to MBA. A sort of wastage for the society.
    A. N. Nanda

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