The Happy Rickshaw driver

Today, more so than most days, I enjoyed my drive to work, The city just looked cleaner, not as hot, less problems in general. Or maybe it was my state of mind. The first point I should mention about my way to work was that I took a rickshaw. Yes, a rickshaw, and I was able to think! Thats all thanks to brand new Green CNG rickshaws that are hitting the streets in increased numbers.

Only the day before I had seen 2 on the streets! I guess the governments subsidization plan is really working afterall! This rickshaw driver was so happy and proud of his new CNG Rickshaw. He commented on the build of it, how it was stronger in comparison to the flimsy old rickshaws. He smiled and pointed to his ear and said, listen no annoying racket from the loud muffler.
The noise reduction alone made for a much more comfortable ride, as I said, I was able to think for the first time on a rickshaw.
He then mentioned how less of a pollutant it was, and that it is so much better for the environment!

Throughout the journey, on 2 occasions, individuals at stop lights came out of their cars and asked the driver how he likes the new rickshaw, one even circled it commenting on how nice it was.

I asked him the price and his response was rather surprising; he said “thanks to the government and Musharef who has helped subsidize this rickshaw for me, I can really enjoy my livelyhood now”

I looks like the driver has gotten a fresh haircut, a new rickshaw and a great new confidence on the road, knowing that the government actually helped him out, and now he’s become quite the center of attention to curious motorists and somewhat a symbol of jealousy to others still driving the old rickshaws.

It was a pleasant journey, and I for one, like today, will bypass 6 other rickshaws to get my hands on a CNG rickshaw to ride.
It just makes things that much more pleasant while on the road to work.

Have great day!

16 Comments so far

  1. Yawar Herekar (unregistered) on July 20th, 2007 @ 12:26 am

    CNG rickshaws? Hopefully, we can make Karachi a greener and cleaner city. It’s sad to know that we cut down trees yet allow cars to multiply. I pray that one day Inshallah we take a lesson from another city in a Muslim country, Kuala Lumpur and change our ways. Until then..let’s take in the smog…

  2. Syed Johny r (unregistered) on July 20th, 2007 @ 12:41 am

    Well I have seen some of these rikshaws on street!!

    Unfortunately didnt get a chance to travel in it!

    One Question !
    are they Over demanding the fare??

  3. d (unregistered) on July 20th, 2007 @ 12:49 am

    photos please for us expats :)

  4. TEE BEE (unregistered) on July 20th, 2007 @ 12:54 am

    Finally….a positive gesture towards the government for the BIG step taken up for the poor…..amidst all the negativism and criticism government has seen in recent time in every matter……hope the intiative turns out to be beneficial to a large number of daily wage earners..!!!

    Keep Rocking Karachi…!!!!

  5. Balma (unregistered) on July 20th, 2007 @ 1:14 am

    This is probably one postive note I have read in a long long time about Karachi.
    It has been a while I rode in a rickshaw. I always thought Indian rickshaws were little more comfortable and little less chhichhoraa looking.

    Last time I was in a rickshaw probably 10 years ago on Sunset Blvd or Clifton road, this nasty mean looking donkey stuck its neck inside the passenger compartment of rickshaw while I was stuck in traffic. I must have recited ayat-ul-kursi like 2 million times in 2 minutes. Saalay kay bhadae daan’t ab tak mujh ko yaad hai’n. voh din aur aaj kaa din, I haven’t been in a rickshaw. Hamaray loge hee nahi’n, gadhay bhee dramay baaz hai’n.

    But, I have always though rickshaws are cool, and would love to ride in the new rickshaw.

  6. Pkhan (unregistered) on July 20th, 2007 @ 1:23 am

    @ BALMA
    There must be some attraction inside the Rickshaw? Daant Yaad rahaee uskae hont nahee?

  7. Balma (unregistered) on July 20th, 2007 @ 1:43 am

    * PKHAN writes
    There must be some attraction inside the Rickshaw? Daant Yaad rahaee uskae hont nahee?


    I am thinking of an Urdu saying: pyaar toe gadhee say bhee ho jaataa hae!

    I am basically scared of animals. Even cats scare me. Dogs I feel can bite me any time.
    When I was a kid, there were these two scary pet dogs in my neighbor’s house: xxx and yyy, who will follow me like enemies when I ran to my school bus. So, for a man like me who has heart of a mouse, that donkey head in the rickshaw was surely one of the scarient moments in my life.

  8. BitterTruth (unregistered) on July 20th, 2007 @ 4:54 am

    lol @ Balma

    good to see a positive change on streets of Khi.

  9. zee (unregistered) on July 20th, 2007 @ 6:13 am

    Lovely post!

  10. JAY (unregistered) on July 20th, 2007 @ 11:31 am

    10 out of 10 for the lovely post !!

  11. Keep Walking! (unregistered) on July 20th, 2007 @ 12:03 pm

    Kya Balma! Be a man even if you are a girl! I am not saying you be someone like Steve Irwin of Jeff but still man.. And the dogs in your neighbourhood would have been some sissy dogs who couldn’t catch u..

    Let me introduce you to my falcons.. Coming?

  12. Nabeel (unregistered) on July 20th, 2007 @ 12:17 pm

    Where did you travel? As someone who travels a great deal on rickshaws himself,I am interested. Are the rates different for these rickshaws? Are they fast? I have yet to see any of these in my area (North Nazimabad).

  13. Sameer (unregistered) on July 20th, 2007 @ 1:44 pm
  14. Arfeen (unregistered) on July 20th, 2007 @ 11:17 pm

    Do these CNG rikshaws have all that fancy artwork and mirrors too?

  15. Balma (unregistered) on July 20th, 2007 @ 11:57 pm

    It won’t be too long before these rickshaws get into the hands of people who love to have their rickshaws chamkeelaa, gaudy, showy, and real chhichoraa looking, like the mini vans and trucks in Karachi.

  16. atif abdul rahman (unregistered) on July 21st, 2007 @ 12:02 am

    any government which does something for the people is appreciated.

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