The honest auto driver

The honest auto driver
Highlights

It was a cold and windy night. My friend and I met after a long time and chatted for hours. We did not notice how time passed by till it was close to 10. So we decided to take an auto rickshaw to reach our destination.

It was a cold and windy night. My friend and I met after a long time and chatted for hours. We did not notice how time passed by till it was close to 10. So we decided to take an auto rickshaw to reach our destination.

That night, it started raining and we hurried to get into an auto rickshaw. None of the rickshaws stopped for us, except one. The driver asked us where we wanted to go. Without demanding any extra fare he asked us to get in. We thanked the driver for stopping for us.

Since it was very cold, I asked the driver to stop midway at any restaurant or a tea shop. The driver stopped near a small restaurant as we’d requested. We ordered for tea and asked the driver to join us. However, he refused. I insisted that he take a cup as it would be refreshing. The driver refused to drink tea.

My friend asked, ‘Do you not take tea from this shop?’

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, all smiles, replied, ‘Thank you sir, but I’m sorry.’

My friend asked, ‘Do you refuse to eat anything from outside?’

The Driver said, ‘No!’

My friend became angry, ‘You think we don’t deserve to share a cup of tea with you?’

The driver remained silent and never replied.

I was surprised by his behavior and asked my friend not to compel him.

After 15 minutes, we reached our place. We paid the fare and he thanked us.

I stopped him, as I really wanted to ask him why he refused to have tea.

He thought for a minute, and replied, ‘Sir, my son passed away this noon in an accident. I don’t have enough money for his funeral. So I swore 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 mistake me.’

We both were shattered and offered him money for his son’s funeral. He politely refused, ‘Thank you for your generosity sir. In a few hours, if I get one or two more customers, I will earn the money I need.’ And he left the place.

He could have charged us twice or even thrice the usual amount just owing to the rains. Still, he took only the nominal auto fare. In spite of his poor financial condition and deep sorrow, the auto driver remained honest and stood by his words!

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