Bargaining For A Rickshaw - Poem by Sudam Panigrahi
Alighting at the bus stop with wife and son,
A gentleman looked for a rickshaw puller anon,
Saw one sleeping on his rickshaw waiting for passengers.
“Will you go, ” asked he patting on the cover.
“Yes sir, ” replied he bearing a smile.
“How much to Puranabasti, ” asked the gentleman agile.
“You know sir…it’s 30 only, ” rickshaw puller said peeping.
“What,30 for 2 kilometers! ” he wondered eye widening.
“Yes sir…don’t you see how much everything costs? ”
“No…I’ll give you ten, not much.”
Rickshaw puller looked at his face and his burly wife.
“No, not at all, ” replied he asserting his right.
Wife came to the front to show her ability in bargaining.
“Money is not fruit to be plucked.
Why do you demand so much? ”
“Mem sahib, I know, but
Like your hubby I’ve no fixed job.
Neither I get bonus or holiday package,
In a month, I’ve to bear 10 days work stoppage,
Some day it’s Anna, another day death to Kasab.
On some other day, CM Down, down with black flags.
Or protest against Petrol price rise.
Or demand for a new state district wise.
Does anyone think about my fate,
And do you ever haggle in super market?
Only want to diminish my pocket.”
The wife’s anger rose, as she thumped her foot.
Huh, I don’t want a rickshaw, easy to walk the route.
Turned to her beloved, you Jee pick up the bag,
And you my dear Sonu come to my lap.
Thus they began to walk, as the hubby grumped.
No, what for the money?
When there is no honey?
He sat on another rickshaw without asking.
Wife said, “Fix the price before boarding.”
“No bargaining…just sit down and get going.”
The wife slumped, and the rickshaw started running.
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