Wednesday, August 25, 2010


As they were getting down from the rickshaw, the driver volunteered to pick up their luggage. That in itself was a strange sight. Under normal circumstances you always end up convincing the rickshawala on why the total fare should be far less than what he is demanding. But not in this case. Irfan carried the luggage and accompanied them to the hotel. But there was no accomodation available. He voluntarily took the luggage back into the vehicle. He then took them to another hotel and repeated the same routine. Finally, after one more try they got a good accomodation. Irfan stayed with them until all the formalities were complete.

30 Rs is the fare he said. Are you sure they asked? Yes, he replied to their surprise. They gave him Rs 40 and asked him why he had taken all the trouble and why was he not demanding more money. You folks are from a different part of the country and you are visiting my state Gujarat. Tomorrow you should not go to your state and start speaking badly about my state was Irfan's reply.

What does a man think at the age of 69? What is your motive for working at this age? I asked. He was the general manager at a prestigious company and had long retired. He was now working to help youngsters manage their finances well. Years ago my I had achieved my goal to move about in a chauffeur driven luxury car he started. But today I donate my earnings to an NGO in Pune. I also give new clothes to the under privileged children on the occasion of Diwali from these earnings. He was silent for a while.

Today I drive a scooter to save on fuel, he continued. No, my priority is not to save fuel on the planet. But the additional amount of money that I would spend on fuel might take away a morsel of food from the children.

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