City on hills, dipped in the serene beauty of nature was Darjeeling. City known for the finest of the tea products.
Chacha !! Please ride faster na, I will pay you double of the actual fare, if you get me to the station on time, A man sitting on the hand rickshaw on the hilly roads of Darjeeling was asking the rider. Rider, though already at his max was trying to pull it even faster despite the fact that hilly roads were making it difficult for him to even walk with the load. He was literally running or at least was attempting to do so.
Pillion was to catch a train scheduled at 05:20PM, to reach his home and it was already 05:00 PM by the time he started for station. He kept pushing the rider to speed up the vehicle.
Chacha, faster chacha. I will miss the train otherwise. This is the last train. Please.
Rider, not for the extra money but to abide by his duty was already doing his best to reach the station on time. Sweating heavily, literally panting but determined and focussed, he kept pulling the rickshaw. Train whistle was now already very much within the hearing range.
On the way to station was the home of rickshaw-puller, a small hut with two compartments reserved for sleeping and making food respectively. The one reserved for making food strictly can not be called as Kitchen, because it was not, by any means. Not even if you search for the basics of the kitchen. His kids were playing in the dust and mud around the hut with their mom working in nearby homes to earn some to support the family needs.
Poor kids, they saw dad passing by. They had this image of dad stamped in their brains and not the one with calm and relaxing one because, they saw him like this more than in any other form.
But, rider has no time to think of all this as he had a duty to finish to earn food for his kids. He rode faster and faster. Now he was really running short of breaths. They were nearing railway station. Pillion was all but nervous, thinking about missing the train.
As soon as they reached railway station, pillion saw the train whistling to leave and he rushed to catch it. Good god, he managed to catch his train. He breathed deep and thanked god. Relaxed, he took his seat near the window,adjusted himself and looked out. Train left the station and a set of eyes were fixed on him.
He thought of waiving his hand to the rickshaw puller to thank him and then was that he realised, he promised to pay him double and here he is, didn’t even paid him the fare.
Eyes of the rickshaw puller never seemed to be complaining, rather they conveyed satisfaction, satisfaction of having done something good. Money, he knew was of essence but not bigger than the happiness of letting someone get what they thought they will miss.
Paisa badi cheez hai, par sab kuch nahi !!