Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Life lessons, from the three-wheeler guys

We love to hate them yet we cannot do without them. For a city and its people constantly on the move, we cannot do without the rickshaw and those three-wheeler guys. Over the years, I've had my share of experiences with them - some good, some bad. As a storyteller, I've found some of their stories interesting and I've even written about them.

There was Sebastian D'souza, an enterprising three-wheeler guy who used to give commuters his mobile number. They'd simply give him a call when they needed a ride. And this over 7 years ago when some of us (well, me at least) were just getting our first mobile phones! Then there was Pandit Ram Prasad Sharma (really!), the three-wheeler guy from Uttar Pradesh, who offered me hope and enthralled me with stories from his life on a not-so pleasant evening a few years ago.

Today, three-wheeler guy Chandrakant Kapse - One Manshow Comedy Artist - that's what his card says, took me from Vikhroli to Ghatkopar and taught me a lesson I keep re-learning every few years. A mimicry artist, Chandrakant can speak in women's voices,  mimic our artists and does stand-up comedy at small shows he's invited to - 105 in all so far. Oh, and he's also been invited on The Indian Laughter Challenge. An artist at heart, he's a three-wheeler guy by choice as he has a family to support. "Sir, I'll keep trying," he tells me in earnest.

Life lessons, from the three-wheeler guys? Keep the faith. Believe in yourself. Work hard. I try to tell myself the same. But life's a bit of a challenge right now. And yes, my themes are still the same. And I'm still the smart amazing lovable intelligent life-form who smiles and lives in lies.

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