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Novel – Honey - Ch.2 – Ricksha Driver

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Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Anil Ekbote
Ganeshrao and his son, Vinya, got into a rickshaw and started for the Bungalow. In the rickshaw, the sponge seat next to Ganeshrao was vacant but Vinya did not sit on it. He did not sit beside Ganeshrao. He sat on the wooden plank fixed opposite. When Ganeshrao asked him to sit beside him, he declined, saying,
“It’s fine here. I’ll get a good breeze”
Ganeshrao knew that sitting on the wooden plank or on the sponge seat next to him would not make any difference to the breeze coming in.
Generation gap. What else?...
Or else, have I failed in creating a friendly relationship with my son?…
What could I do? Right from the start, the equation of my life had gone awry...
I blundered while selecting a bride and, as a result, a highly tempered wife came into my life. But she was not temperamental earlier. She has become so only recently. Since last 5-6 years. Is she also feeling that she has married a wrong husband? Besides, has given birth to such an idiotic son? ...
It is true that because of my job I could not pay much attention to his studies, still …
There are other children whose parents also do not pay any attention to their studies ….
How do they do well in life?...
It is my son who is a dullard....
He was born when I was of his present age...
So far, nothing has happened about his job....
The question of his marriage is also far off....
What is there to do, except blame and curse fate?...
Just then the road began to climb steeply. The rickshaw driver got down and began to pull his rickshaw. He was pulling it with his entire mite. As he pulled the rickshaw, the muscles of his dark legs and dark hands began to bulge. The veins swelled almost making one afraid that they would burst any moment. Further, under that hot summer morning sun he also began to sweat profusely. But maybe, the sweating was more due to his physical strain than due to the summer heat. Ganeshrao felt pity on the rickshaw driver.
“I’ll get down. It will make it easy for you.”
The rickshaw driver did not answer him. He was engrossed in pulling the rickshaw. When the rickshaw slowed down a little, Ganeshrao took the opportunity and got down. Vinya sneered at his father and continued to sit in the rickshaw looking at the shops on the pavement as they passed by.
“Why did you get down, Sir ? Be seated. The steep climb is almost over. Then on, it is all slope, downwards,” the rickshaw driver said.
When the steep climb ended, the rickshaw driver paused allowing Ganeshrao to once again get into it. The rickshaw driver sat on his seat and the rickshaw began to quickly roll down the slope without support of the pedals. The rickshaw driver, who had earlier seemed tired and worn out, now began to rotate the pedal freely in reverse direction. He even began to whistle a tune under his breath.
What should one make of this?...
Even amidst hardship and a strenuous life he is able to be joyous...
This would mean that being happy does not depend on one’s circumstances, it depends more on one’s outlook towards things....
My condition is a hundred times better than that of the rickshaw driver.
Then, why is it that I am always sad and burdened…
The rickshaw pulled near a vast compound that had huge trees on all its four sides. Ganeshrao and Vinya got down.
“How much?” Ganeshrao enquired.
“Four,” the rickshaw driver answered.
Ganeshrao took out a five-rupee note and gave it to him. He took it and began to search for a one-rupee coin to return. He foraged first, in his right side pocket and next, in his left.
“Don’t bother, keep the change,” Ganeshrao was tempted to tell him.
But he stopped himself in the nick of time.
After reaching home, his son Vinya would have certainly raised a hue and cry.
“You never have any money for me but you have plenty to give in charity to the rickshaw driver.”
Just then, the rickshaw driver found a rupee coin which he placed in Ganeshrao’s hand. Ganeshrao put the coin in the left pocket of his shirt. This was his regular habit. Small notes went into his top pocket, loose coins in the left pocket of the shirt and higher-value notes were tucked in the secret pocket that was stitched in the cloth-vest that Ganeshrao wore under his shirt.
(to be contd.)
Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode 
English Version by Anil Ekbote


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