With a lot of us using public transport to commute daily for college and to other places we go to, we sometimes take these for granted and fail to see the little bundle of happiness that the public system of transport is.
“Metro se Kaun-Kaun jayega?” (Who all will take the metro back home?) is a question that is very common in the college campuses of the University of Delhi. Whether you might be a student from the Delhi NCR region or somebody who lives away from college intentionally to save some money, we all have used the Delhi Metro a lot. And certainly, the Delhi Metro has had a lot of importance in the daily lives of Delhiites, but it’s not like all the colleges are at a walking distance from their closest metro station. Thankfully we have a lot of public transport facilities available to make that small commute easier, in the forms of E-Rickshaws or Auto Rickshaws. But there exists another form of transportation that maybe has gone oblivious with the fast moving world, that is the quintessential ‘Cycle Rickshaw’.
Cycle rickshaws are the type of three wheeler public transport which is structured a lot like any other type of rickshaw, except it is pulled by cycle like mechanism and is powered by a human! Look at it this way, a human, in the 21st century, willingly pulling a cycle rickshaw for you and doing so much hard work just to earn some money. It almost sad but remains a living reality of a large part of India.
It is truly ironical that such a cheap luxury is available to us and still we rarely ever use it. Since the cycle rickshaws are a dying industry, it is mostly run by fairly old men and it is heartbreaking to see an old person doing the hard work for you. When asked, they simply smile and reply something along the lines of “Beta abb toh aadat si ho gayi hai” (Oh child. Now,I am used to it). And truly, these rickshaw pullers would be one of the fittest people you would ever meet.
Cycle rickshaws were initially a very big part of our childhood as well, from fighting with our cousins to sit at the back of the small seat to sometimes even asking the rickshaw puller if we could pull it; even seeing a cycle rickshaw can sometimes bring back the most beautiful memories and one can simply forget all the worries of life with a ride. But they need not be restricted to just reliving old memories, they can also be used to create new ones. Cycle rickshaws are perfect to ride with dates; they are silent, eco-friendly and some of them can only carry two adults at a time; the perfect kind of privacy you need! Not just that, they are versatile because one can enjoy cool breeze without its overhead roof and can also protect oneself from the sun with its adjustable roof, sort of like a sports car; which makes it a luxury in another aspect!
Cycle rickshaws have a beauty of their own in terms of aesthetics and one can enjoy life at its slow pace while enjoying this modern day luxury. One can also learn a lot from a simple conversation with any rickshaw puller because they have a lot of experience and a simple act of kindness brings upon such a big smile on their face, it certainly lights up one’s day.
Feature Image Credits: Deewanshi Vats for DU Beat