I have been thinking a lot about cycle rikshawalas since coming to Delhi. They take a lot of pain to earn a meagre amount, all the while breathing in the Delhi smog deep in their lungs all day! Today, looking at a man easily 45 plus who was standing outside my office hoping to get a rider, I felt pity. I hesitated. Is it even fair to make a mid-aged man haul me? It was 9 already. The nights are cold here and it gets very dark around my office. I chose to let him haul me out of the insecurity arising as I stood in the shadowy road alone.
He did his best. On the upward slope of the road, before I could consider getting down for him, he got down as pulled the rickshaw with his arms. Downwards on the road he rode like a young boy enjoying the cold breeze on his face.
That’s when it hit me. Why should I pity anyone for a job they chose to pick? He may not have a lot of options, but of the few he did, he chose to own a cycle rickshaw.
Age doesn’t matter to him, why should I be so arrogant as to pity him? One thing I have learnt is to never pity a person for doing a job that helps in survival or , for us, seems unthinkable. I have been taught this all my life and I feel it’s important; always respect people who earn fair and square, whether through the sweat on their brows or the thoughts in their head!