Sunday, May 22, 2011

Encounter with a rickshaw driver in Pune

Rajkumar Mahadev Gejage

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes. ~William James

This philosophy was reinforced today on meeting this affable rickshawwallah.

It’s rare to meet good rickshawwallahs particularly in Pune .But I was in for a surprise this evening when after haggling with perfectly idle rickshawwallahs, I chanced upon my new friend Rajkumar.

Barely minutes after we boarded his rickshaw, he broke the ice by asking the meaning of word Honesty and after we told him in Marathi what it meant, he told us about his colossal desire to learn English language and how he has been trying to learn it on his own for past one year. Though he was by no means an erudite person his earnestness won us over.

What started as a mundane commute after a harrowing experience with his lunatic fringe became the most memorable travel.

He entertained us with his self learnt English phrases and also recounted tales of some of his benevolent passengers who were clearly impressed by his will to learn a foreign language, without any proper formal education, and gave him Wren and Martin to improve his English speaking skills.

Those who know me well know my love for English language and clearly he had won me over. He keeps a notebook in which he notes down commonly used English sentences like” I take care of my passengers”,” We are close to your destination” etc.He is 25 with two kids and a mundane job in the eyes of most people but with an amazing attitude and zeal and I am certain that he will one day succeed in not only learning English but also in getting a better job. There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative and Rajkumar’s is definitely a positive one.

P.S.You can contact this guy if you want to help him at 9890008810 or 9850353508.