Monday, May 25, 2015

Rikshawala and me

Last week, I happen to travel by rikshaw twice with my wife.

First, it was an auto from my place to station and second time was when we were coming back in the evening - from station to home.

On the first occasion, the meter read 43 rupees. I gave him 45 rupees. He said he does not have change. I said - OK and walked away. In the second instance, the meter read 38. I gave 40 to autowala and again he said that he did not have the change. Again, I said - OK and walked away.

My wife was surprised by this behaviour. She asked me, "how can a kanjoos like you, walk away without talking back 4 rupees".

Here is what I told her.

4 rupees are offcourse important to me. However, I do not let go money on daily basis. Actually, I rarely take an auto. I actually hate autowalas because of there attitude rather than because of their over-running meter. If any of the reader has any sympathy for autowalas, go to powoi and try to catch auto for ANY location. Better, go to Malad west and try boarding an auto for Mind Space.

In rare cases, when I do take auto, it will be when I have some company. It is absurd to pay auto when you are all alone. Especially, in Mumbai, where we have good bus facility. The minimum fare of 17 rupees is for first 1.5 km. And this increases exponentially, as the km increases. BEST will charge only 8 rupees for this much amount of travel. However, when you are 2 people travelling, BEST fare would be 16. In this case, it makes sense to pay 17 rupees to auto for the additional comfort and guarantee of a seat.

I can quarrel and get my 2 rupees back. However, that will ruin my mood. This may affect the work for which I was originally travelling.

And while returning too, I could have quarrelled and got my 2 rupees back. However, that will again ruin my mood. I will unnecessary be hyper and increase my blood flow for 2 rupees. I will carry this bad mood to home and most likely, will pick up a fight with somebody at home.

Another important point to note is, I did not have exact change to give it to him. Offcourse, we can argue that how can we give 38 rupees change. But that will not change the fact that we did not have the change.

So forgetting about the 4 rupees and moving on was the best decision for me. Sometimes, it is better for us to think beyond money.

On a lighter note: Life will not always give you change. You have to bring change, from home, specially, if you are travelling by an auto :-)


  1. Peace of mind is more important and you opted the correct thing.

    1. Well said - Peace of mind is important

  2. Good one.. You have to bring change from home.. :p

  3. You can do same to autowala next time. if meter reads 42 , give him 40 only n say you don't have change....see how he reacts :)

    1. Correct. However, if he reacts negatively and quarrels with us, it may again hamper our temperament and peace of mind. Baki, paise kisko nahi chahiye :)