METER DOWN




Image courtesy: mumbaifacts.com
                It was 9:10 a.m. and  I was still near Vashi station. I didn't had my Resume copy with me but carried my pen-drive. Unfortunately the only Print-out shop near station was closed that day. I asked a passerby where can I get print-out. He told me to go to Sector 17. I was completely pissed off. I said to myself, it will take more 15 min. to reach Vashi Plaza, but somehow I had the intuitions that I won't get print-out in Mhape, so I decided to walk towards Vashi plaza. After taking printout   I went to bus stop and waited 10-15 min. 

' Why the hell I am going  for an interview??', I asked myself. But then at the same time,I  wanted to reach there on time. When I saw my watch again, I decided to catch an Auto -rickshaw and go there. I had never visited Mhape area before . But I do have a old connection with Navi Mumbai. I sat in the auto and told Rickshaw-wala, 'Mhape chalo'. He looked with happy face towards me and I realized,Ok..So Mhape may be too far to go with Auto. :P Usually Rick-drivers have this cunning smile on their faces when they realize that they gonna get big fare.He put Auto Rickshaw Meter down & started driving.

        As the auto started moving, I kept watching buildings outside.Being Mumbaikar, I had seen this area getting transformed from Jungle into Commercial hub. I remembered my friends who shifted to Vashi, Belapur,Panvel long back when the area was under-developed. There were no proper roads that time. I still remember the 'Rangeela' shooting which I saw in Belapur long back..My mind was constantly thinking about how faster the concrete jungle grows? Suddenly one car came infront of us from nowhere and there was the sound of 'kirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr' the 'emergency break' !!

'Aaig***a, tuzya baapane tari gaadi chalavali hoti ka??' rick-driver started abusing the car-driver. 
I told Rickshaw-wala not to indulge in fight as I was getting late for an interview. But he kept abusing the car-driver even after  he left. He was fuming with anger and increased the speed of Auto. 

To calm him down I started talking to him. 
'Mhape khup durr aahe ka?' 
He said ' Tumhi pahilyandach jatay ka tikde?' 
I decided not to tell him the truth.When these people realize that you are visiting some place for first time,there are chances that they might charge you more.

So I said calmly, 'Nahi tas nahi, khup divas zaale tikde jaun'. :P
He asked, 'Kontya gavche tumhi?'
I said 'Wadala'.
He started laughing, 
I realized my mistake and I corrected 
'Mi Solapurcha', 
He was happy, he said he had lot of Rickshaw-wale friends who are from New Solapur. 
I asked him 'Tumch gaav konta?', 
He answered ' Satara'. 
'Sataryala konta gaav?' I asked him as if I have Google Map of Satara in my mind. 
He said 'Vaai'
I said, 'Mala mahit aahe Vai, khup prasiddha gaav aahe'
The only information I had about 'Vai' is its 'Heavy Monsoon', which I used to teach my students in Geography subject during my classes time. 
Rickwala got happy when I praised his hometown,
He asked, 'Interviewla challaay ka saaheb?'
I said 'Ho re baba', with lot of disgust as I never like to go for an interview. 
I stated thinking 'Why the hell I am going for an interview?'
I have a track-record of clearing all the interview but not taking any single job in last one year. 
The desire for self-employment doesn't allow me to stay in a job for longer time. 
I kept quite for some time and then asked him 
'Tumhi ikade kadhi pasun Rickshaw chalavta?'
He said '7 varsh zale astil'. 
He continued, 'Saheb tumhi changla manus distay, mhanun tumhala short-cut ne gheoon jaato'. 
I smiled. 'Mhanje?'
He said, ' Aho, Mhape la jayach mhanje Rickshaw wale firvun firvun netat, 150 paryant kamavtat, ekdum lumpsum.' and started laughing loudly.
I realized he was telling truth, as the Auto started running on a small road with lot of pot-holes and water in them. This was really a  camel-ride.
 I asked him, ' Jar haa short-cut aahe tar long-cut kasaa asel?' 
He once again laughed at my sarcasm & said ' Saheb, tumhala tyani Kopar Khairane, Ghansoli varun Mhape la nela asta'.
I started looking at meter and realized my mistake of catching an auto. 
But still I was happy that I would reach in time. 
He said, 'Kasali company aahe? IT ki Chemical?'
I was startled by his general knowledge about the companies in that area. 
I said 'Chemical chi'
He said, ' Tumhi Chemical engineer dista?'
I said 'Hmm'.. 
And started thinking about my Chemical connection. Unfortunately I never liked chemical field. I did my B.tech from an esteemed college UDCT and that too with lot of struggle as I never attended my college and was busy in trying out new new businesses like Data entry vendorship, Multi-level Marketing and Silver Extraction during my college tenure.  
I remembered my Training during my B.Tech with Ricinash Oil mills in Taloja.  
Perhaps that was the only memory of working in chemical company. My mind started wandering in past.Suddenly my thought-chain broke with his voice. 
'Saheb, mazya bahinicha mulga Civil Engineer aahe, 30,000 pagar aahe. Durbinitun rasta baghayache 30,000 gheto to'. 
I started laughing on his funny perspective about Civil Engineers.
I told that's a really good thing. 
'Shikshan khup mahatvaach aahe' he continued. 
I was numb for some time as I remembered how badly I ignored my studies during Engineering days to start something of my own at very early age. 
I didn't said anything.
He stopped Rickshaw in MIDC area and asked one passerby about Chembond company. 
That worker helped us out with the exact road to Nelco and Chembond. 
We thanked him and started Auto. 
We reached Chembond. I handed over Rs.100 note to him and thanked him for bringing me there on time. He smiled and said. 
'Saheb, kalaji karu naka..Tumhi mazya Rickshaw madhun aala aahat, Tumcha kaam nakki hoyeel bagha'. I loved what he said. I thanked him again for his genuine warmth and waved my hands to say 'Good Bye' to him. 

He made his Rickshaw meter UP and drove aways and I went on my way for reception area. 




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