Rollercoaster ride by rickshaw
Thought rickshaw rides are always fun? Not quite, for office-goers at least.
First off, you suddenly find yourself in a race with your never-before-seen “foes” who want to get hold of one of these three-wheelers before you do. It's rush hour you know. But while running (which is good for your health), be mindful of all the pushing and shoving that come your way as a bonus.
By the time you come near a rickshaw before the other contestants do, you are heavily panting and you wish you had some water with you. But you still feel lucky to have come out first.
And that's when the next shock comes. Your good friend rickshaw puller demands double the fare, or even more. You try to work out quickly in your head, which is tired from a short sleep during the night or overwork throughout the day, if you have enough in your purse. You remember you have, and hop on.
But that's not the end of the test of your patience; you have a long way to go. During all the racing, pushing, shoving, panting and counting your money, you forgot you lived in Dhaka. O! It's perennial traffic, the illegal parking here and there and everywhere, the road-digging throughout the year and the foul smell from garbage cans! You wish you never came out.
In the meantime, your boss is calling you every five minutes because you are half an hour late already and he cannot find an important file with which you have nothing to do. If it's in the evening, you get a call from home every two minutes: “Mummy/daddy/honey, are you coming home?”
It pains you, and you hope…
But your imagination is cut short. You suddenly hear heated verbal exchanges between two rickshaw pullers because one of them blocked the way of the other. And your “foe,” whom you defeated in the sprint a little ago, gives you a stern look that says you are the one to blame for it all as his rickshaw speeds past yours.
Even so, you hear your rickshaw puller shout at his fellow and say certain things he wants to do to his mother and sister and all of his kith and kin that ever lived under and above the sun. The other rickshaw puller fires back, challenging, and expresses his desire to smash the face of your good friend rickshaw puller.
This sometimes amuses you and you may call it fun. But then you are hit from behind or right or left by another rickshaw and it's only sheer luck that you did not take to the air and land on the road face down, your legs skyward.
Despite everything, most of the time you reach your destination in one piece. Still think rickshaw rides are always fun? Then fun it is.
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