It was a routine working day for Nilesh Patil aka Virus, as known by his colleagues at an IT company in Malad, except that it was raining heavily when he woke up on Thursday morning.
Nilesh, a resident of Mira Road, always kept a buffer of 15 minutes to catch an auto rickshaw to the railway station as he would normally be turned down by at least half a dozen autorickshaw drivers. A punctual Nilesh (who benefited of downloading videos at high speed by reaching office before others) on Thursday increased the buffer by 15 more minutes expecting to have a tough time with autowallahs. But he got a shock of his life when the first autowallah he signaled agreed to ferry him to the railway station.
Nilesh, who was used to hurling cuss words at drivers in volume audible to other office-goers after being refused everyday could not digest the fact that the driver had agreed to take him to the station. After initial hesitation that lasted for over 15 seconds, Nilesh tried to reconfirm by telling the driver ‘bhaiya Mira Road station jana hai, Mira Road‘. Replying to his query, the autowallah said after turning the meter down, “Ha babuji baithiye.”
After folding his umbrella and before getting into the vehicle, Nilesh looked around at other office-goers from his society who were still waiting for a rickshaw with a smile of achievement broader than what he had given while accepting his certificate after completing a course from a local computer training institute.
Once inside the autorickshaw, the excitement turned into suspicion as Nilesh saw a sticker of KRK with two guns pointing at him pasted at the backside of the meter. Theories ranging from sabotage to kidnap to girlfriend’s angry brother vying for his blood started running in Nilesh’s mind just like codes of MSQL server did while at work. All hell broke loose when the driver stopped the vehicle at Chaurasia Pan bhandar, unannounced.
When the autowallah returned with a Benarasi paan in his hand and started the auto again, Nilesh pretended to talk on his mobile phone boasting about his gold medal at Pathare Gymko and his kushti prowess. Unaffected, the autowallah continued to drive and dropped Nilesh to the station and promptly returned a one rupee coin change after deducting his Rs. 19 fare from a Rs. 20 note handed over by Nilesh to him.
Nilesh filled with pangs of guilt for suspecting an honest autowallah and moist eyes asked the driver, “Bhaiya aap pehle autowale ho jisne pehli baar mein aane ki haa kahi hai itne saalo mein. Aapne aisa kyon kiya?”
The autowala caught hold of Nilesh’s hands and in an almost confessional statement said, “Saheb kal raat ko humne pehle bhojpuri picture ‘savan barse hum tumhare pyar ko tarse’ dekhi par jab room par baki log aa gaye to hum sabne Salman bhai ki ‘Jai Ho’ dekhi. Bhai ne film mein me bola hai ki tum 3 logo ki madad karo and unse kaho ki wo aur 3 logo ki madad kare, toh unka fan hone ke naate sasuri ee baat humne jeevan mein utaar di.” Saying this, the autowala pulled up the rod to start the autorickshaw and drove away.
Since two days, Nilesh has been spotted giving pen drives loaded with torrent downloads to random colleagues in office.