Santosh Gaikwad with a little cute monster
Mumbai local train is called as Mumbai’s lifeline, but the auto’s and taxi’s which ferries its passengers from their home to the nearest railway stations cannot be sidelined. They are as important as the local train. They are on duty right before you sip your morning cup of tea and carry you halfway to your workplace till wee hours of the night to drop you home safely from the railway station.
The importance of autos cannot be ignored by any Mumbaikar, right? But somehow I feel the equation Mumbaikars share with most of the auto wallas is not good. The aggression, the bashing continues from time to time. I keep wondering why? I too have had my share of disagreement with a few of the auto wallas when they had refused to travel to places which are too close and at times I felt their meter is tampered. These incidences keep happening and I think will continue to happen. But after I met this man called Santosh Gaikwad, my outlook has changed a little towards them. This autowalla bhaiya was making a difference and helping people with whatever small ways he can.
I got to chance to speak to him in our society while he was dropping a passenger. You will find this man in Navi Mumbai and can recognize him with his auto which is decked up with flowers and bright lights. The moment you enter his auto you will be amazed to see how he has customized his vehicle with newspaper, magazines, pamphlets to keep enlighten you while he drives you safely to your destination.
The best part is not only the literary collection that he has but giving free rides to physically handicapped people. Yes, you read it right, this man gives free rides to the differently –abled. His grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and one of her leg got amputated, he saw the difficulties faced by her and decided to help those people to ease their pain a little. His philanthropic work got recognized and was included in the Limca Book Of World Records in the 2014 edition. Isn’t it awesome?
Limca Book Of World Record certificate
Santosh Gaikwad is a very simple man, who inspite of being not so financially sound is doing his bit to help those who need support. I think he is doing a great job and we all should come forward and support him. He also told me that now a few of his fellow autowalla friends are also doing the same.
Not only this he told me that he also supports social causes like Education For Every Girl Child by giving information to socially backward classes. Awareness about road safety measures is another issue which is being addressed by this Good Samaritan.
Hats off! Respect!
As soon as the summer used to settle down with its fist downpour, the child within me used to rise beyond measure. A July born, I used to love the rains and how. It’s needless to go back to childhood and describe my feelings then because I guess each and every child loves the rain. Getting wet, going out with their own tiny umbrella’s, wearing their gum boots, jumping in the muddy puddles; well which kid doesn’t like rain?
As I started working in a place away from home, this feeling still stayed within me. The morning shower would leave me a little exhausted and would make me walk with an umbrella and with an office bag to find an auto/taxi to reach work on time. I would crib about this and that in front of the bosses but I didn’t have any hard feelings from within. I enjoyed getting drenched, reaching late at work and joining the conversation of how we all fought like great warriors to reach at work on time.
But now the feelings have changed; just because I am a mom now. A sudden outburst of rain or even a slight change in climate drives me nut. It’s my 3rd monsoon with Pahi and this has been the best one so far as compared to the last two. Not going out in public places, not letting her mingle with kids with running nose, not letting her step out without wearing full sleeve clothes, not letting the mom in me sneeze, taking antibiotics to suppress the cold so that the infection does not pass on to her and all those crazy precautions.
It feels like ages that I have enjoyed getting wet in the rain; that I have enjoyed smiling at the onset of monsoon; that I have danced in the first downpour; that I have jumped in the muddy puddles. Now the fist thought that creeps in instantly is whether Pahi is dressed up properly; whether she should be sent to school or not; whether she should be given a bath or not and how to prepare myself for the cold and cough if by any chance she gets an infection. In short we mommy’s get so concerned that we forget to enjoy the beautiful happenings around us.
So, yesterday I was enjoying an episode of Peppa Pig on You Tube with Pahi. We lately got addicted to it and I must tell that it’s a must watch for all the toddlers. We saw Peppa Pig and her family enjoying jumping in the muddy puddles. Pahi got up from her tiny red chair and asked “ Mumma, why can’t we too jump on the puddles? Why do we not do this? Look, they are having so much fun”, and I was astonished at her thoughts. I said yes why not, we can also start doing this. And so the next morning it rained and in peppa pig inspired moment Pahi decided to jump on one of the puddle while going to school. Thank God the puddle was not muddy or else I would have had to take her back home to change her uniform.
Such small joys!
I now wonder how sometimes so ordinary and naïve things become so narrative and change our perspective all of a sudden.