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An Unforgettable Memory………(A true story)

By Rishika Agrawal

I was on my way home. When I saw him for the first time

I crossed the station daily, but it was the first time I met him. A white bearded man with pagdi, sitting still on the driver seat.

I gazed at him with a perplexed look, but he greeted me with a warm heart.

“Where to madam?” he asked. There was something unique about him he wasn’t like the other drivers.

The day was badly hectic for me. With an emotional mind set and troubled soul

I boarded the auto. Janakpuri opposite to CNG station, I said.

He looked at me through his mirror. “South se ho?” he asked.

Yes, I said.

“Padhai karne aaye ho?” he peeped in me again

Yes, I said with a nod.

“kuch soch aur pareshaani mein ho, beta?”

The word “beta” poured in me like something.

I was overwhelmed, as I was studying in New Delhi since six months then and was away from home.

Something in me pushed to talk to him.

Yes I said sincerely.

He started the auto. The sound of the engine reminded me that soon I would be at my stop and this strange person will also vanish.

As if he read what I was thinking, he called me beta again and said

“Zindagi bahut choti hai

Rokar ise khatm na karna

Manzil paana bahut mushkil hai

Rah ko thakkar na chodna……….”

Those lines healed the worry inside my head.

My story started with the studies of UPSC in New Delhi. That day was the day of my result which I expected would be extra ordinary.

But then “Luck” is something that doesn’t stand on our side only when we need it the most. So was my day.

I expected to be in top 100 in my coaching institute final test, but only 329 was the rank that I scored among 2000students. This made me go crazy.

The figures started revolving in my head. 329/2000 then I would be no where when the count of students would be in lakhs in the all over India test.

My heart started thumping harder and harder and with a bad mood I boarded the metro and was later down at the station to hire this auto.

Suddenly, the driver stopped. I thought it would be my stop, but it was the longest traffic signal of 6minutes which I mostly had to stop…

Thinking that my dreams of being an IAS were just shattered, I wiped my eyes when the driver started talking.

His story was a bit different. He had met with the deadliest accident before an year. Almost he was dead, when a stranger took him to the hospital. After 9months of bed rest and multiple surgeries costing him all his savings…he was back in his auto to help people like me.

I had goose bumps on my body when I heard his story. Stitches in head, amputation of a leg, son and daughter in law turned against him and left him in an old age home to lead his death.

“marr toh uss din hi gaya tha

Par khud par taras nahi aaya

Eeshwar jo mere saath khada tha

Bann kar mera saaya…..”

I cried inside my heart on hearing his pity tale. He showed me his artificial leg, the water bottle and lunch box.

He said, he came daily at 9 o’ clock at the auto stop and kept sitting inside the auto, take passengers like me to their destination and at the end by 10pm go back home.

What a will power!!!!

A man in his 70s, who needed the at most care and love was talking to a stranger his entire life journey with a loud and clear voice, no shivering, no ifs and buts, no stammering…….

Then the auto stopped again.

It was my stop.

I didn’t have change I said I would get the change from my room in a minute.

I paid half of the amount and rushed to get the remaining amount.

Before I leave, he said, “do what you are doing with real desire to achieve it, but if you fail just remember one thing, you travelled this route only to catch a new bus to your new life that is waiting for you.”

I was confused, what did he mean??

I just said ok and left to get the money.

I came back and to my surprise, he was gone.

There was no sign of him.

He didn’t take his money. Only his words that he spoke at the end kept repeating in my head.

After that day, I checked daily at the auto stop but he was nowhere seen.

I failed in my exams and had to get back home, as my dad was seriously ill. I had to quit my desire forever.

Who was he?

How did he know I would fail???

He was only HIM, who taught me my lesson before I would have shattered…..


By Rishika Agrawal

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