The Honest Auto Driver
The Honest Auto Driver3 mins 3.5K 3 mins 3.5K
It was a cold and windy night. My friend and I had met after a long time and chatted for hours. We did not notice that the time flew and it was close to ten. We decided to take an auto rickshaw to go back to our room.
It started raining and we hurried to get into an auto rickshaw and reach our place. None of the auto rickshaws stopped for us, except one.
The driver asked us where we wanted to go and we gave him the address. Without talking anything about the fare, he said, “Please get in!” We thanked the auto driver for stopping for us.
Since it was very cold, I asked the driver to stop at any of the small restaurants or a tea shop. We wanted to have a cup of hot tea. The driver stopped near a small restaurant.
We ordered tea and asked the driver to join us and have a cup of tea. The driver refused. I insisted. Again the driver refused to drink tea.
My friend asked, “Will you not take tea from this shop or what?”
The driver replied, “No Sir, I don’t feel like having tea now.”
I asked again, “But, why? A cup of tea will do no harm.”
The driver replied with a smile, “Thank you sir, but I’m sorry.”
My friend asked, “Do you have a rule against eating out?”
The driver said, “No!”
My friend got angry at the driver, “You think we are not your equal to share a cup of tea with you?”
The driver remained silent and never replied.
I was really surprised at his behaviour and asked my friend not to compel him.
In 15 minutes, we reached our mansion. We paid the fare and he thanked us.
I stopped him, as I really wanted to ask him why he had refused to drink tea.
He thought for a minute, and replied, “Sir, my son passed away this noon in accident. I don’t have enough money for his funeral. So I promised not to drink even water until I earn enough money for my son. That’s why I didn’t drink tea when you offered. Please don’t misunderstand me.”
We both were shattered and offered him more money for his son’s funeral.
I said, “Please take this.”
He politely refused, “Thank you for your generosity, sir. In one or two hours, if I get one or two more customers, I will earn as much money as I need.” And he left the place.
He could have charged us double or even triple the usual rate due to rain. Still, he took the nominal auto fare. In spite of his poor financial condition, his deep sorrow, the auto driver stayed honest and stood by his words!