Autobiography of a Rickshaw Driver
I am a rickshaw driver, and people call me 'rickshawala' around here. That's what they call me. Sometimes, they just say 'Halloo, rickshaw' to call me when they need a ride. I know what they mean and quickly go to help them. I can't be too proud about it.
I am poor, but I'm not unhappy. I may be poor, but I am proud that I earn my living honestly. I'm glad I'm not a thief.
I drive a three-wheeled vehicle called a 'rickshaw'. I don't own it yet, but I hope to buy one soon. I like my rickshaw because it gives me an honorable living. I take care of it like a father, keeping it clean and protecting it from rain and sun.
Let me tell you about my daily life. I wake up early in the morning, have a simple but nice breakfast, and take my three-wheeled car out. Sometimes I have to ride a long way before I get a passenger. As the sun gets higher, it becomes harder for me to ride with all that weight using just my legs. Many times, I have to travel long distances without earning anything. But overall, my income is good. After paying my expenses, I have enough to feed my family, except during tough times when natural disasters disrupt my work. I usually work from morning till sunset, taking a break for lunch. After a long trip, I rest for a while and have some food.
I have a small but loving home where I live with my dear wife and beloved children. In the morning, my children see me off at the door, and in the evening, they eagerly wait for me on the nearby road. When they hear my bell, they rush out to welcome me. When I return home, my loving wife greets me with a smile and helps me relax. Afterward, we all have dinner together and go to bed early.
But amidst all the happiness, I have a constant fear that takes away some of the joy from my life. I have no security for the future. I'm young and strong now, so I can earn a living with my muscles. But what will happen when I get old? Who will take care of my children if I get sick or have an accident? I have no answer to these questions, but I rely on God and believe that He will protect me and my family.