At that time, we used to live in Kolkata.My friend had invited me and ma for lunch one afternoon. To reach his house, one has to get down at a particular locality and then take a cycle rickshaw from there to reach his house. So, after getting down from the bus at that particular locality, we took a cycle rickshaw and started our journey towards my friend’s house. We saw that the traffic was medium and not too heavy.The roads also were quite empty.So we assumed that it would be a smooth journey.

For some distance the rickshaw wala drove the cycle rickshaw properly. Then suddenly the rickshaw wala swerved his rickshaw towards right and then he again swerved towards left side.I asked him-“Why are you swerving the rickshaw so hard?”

He replied-“Babu, I have to take care that the oncoming vehicles do not cross my path and I also need to avoid the potholes.”

Truth be told, neither there were any incoming vehicles nor were there any potholes on the road.He was simply making it all up.

Me-“I have sweet curd(misti doi) with me.Please drive the rickshaw smoothly or else my sweet curd shall spill out of the earthen container.”

The rickshaw driver-“Don’t worry babu, I won’t allow the misti doi to be spilled.You just watch my smooth and comfortable driving”. Saying so, he started swerving  even more harder and with that he was incessantly honking with blow horn which was going on like-paan puu. paan puu,and with his each swerve he was taking near to each and every vehicle on the road and all the vehicle drivers were looking at us questionably.Once we had nearly even reached the skin of the state bus that was coming from the opposite directions.

His blow horn was causing such a noise pollution that we are lucky that our ears are still hearing and with the swiftness of a turtle he would swerve hard right and then suddenly he would swerve hard towards the left side.

Me and ma, we both had thought that our ride would be a smooth one, but it turned out to be such a miscalculated and disgruntling ride that we both were sorely disappointed with it. When we reached our friends house, I asked the rickshaw wala that how much was the fare? He replied-“twenty rupees”.

Me-“Twenty rupees is too much for such a shaky ride.Make it ten.”

Rickshaw wala-“No, babu with ten rupees what shall be my profit? No rickshaw wala shall bring you this distance for ten rupees.”

I paid him twenty rupees and at that time my friend came out of his house and on seeing my grumpy face he asked me what the matter was.

I told him that the rickshaw wala was swerving left and right continuously and was not listening to our requests..

After hearing me,my friend commented-“He must be a chess player”.

Me-“You sit in his damned to hell rickshaw once and see what sorts of a chess player he his.He will check mate you much before you say-“check” “.

My friend-“I wouldn’t sit in such a rickshaw ever.I would ask the rickshaw wala before hand that- are you a chess player? If he says yes then I will not get on that rickshaw ever.”

Me-“It is easier said than done”.

We went inside his house and then we had a sumptuous lunch.

While going back, I pondered over my friends comment and came to the conclusion that he was right.But I had an addition to make.That rickshaw wala was definitely a chess player, but he was a drunkard too.


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