Delhi Drama Act 21.
I get down from the metro station and look for a shared auto, something I do a lot more these days, after a stretch were an uber pool would have been the go-to thing, but I figured shared autos are faster and cheaper than uber pool.
A driver comes in shouting about my destination, four more guys get in.
"No matter where you get down, the fare would be 20"
Three guys are elated as the usual fare to their stop at this time is Rs 30, one guy gets down, saying he won't pay more than 10.
The driver seems more than happy to let him go.
A couple comes in, I and another boy are asked to come to front.
"One goes, two come" The drivers laughs.
"Can anybody tell me how to pay electricity bill online?"
He asks after a minute of driving, still looking at the road.
Nobody responds for a minute.
"I need to pay my electricity bill, it's urgent, otherwise they'll cut my connection" He continues.
"It's only 4300, and they are threatening to disconnect, here people are running out of the country after scamming for crores"
Again, nobody responds.
"Try paytm" I suggest.
"Can I pay in installments over paytm?"
"I don't think so"
We stop at a long signal.
"How to pay it via paytm?"
I take my phone out and give him a generic walkthrough.
He looks at it and says he doesn't have a smartphone, he'll tell his younger brother.
The signal turns green.
"When I had no money I was at peace, I used to make 1200Rs a month, and still saved 600, now I make 1200Rs a day and have nothing at the end of the month"
A boy laughs.
"Though I did buy a lot of property, I have a plot here in dadri, and my own home on village, but still I was at peace when I had no money"
Nobody responds this time.
"Though my luck is bad too, I know how to fix TVs, ACs, Washing Machine, worked for a company which used to pay me 1200 rs a month, first promotion was to 3000"
"Why did you leave?" I ask.
"There was no growth, my colleague from that time earns only 18000 a month, plus I couldn't work for anyone else, sometimes I regret, it would have been a peaceful life"
"You've your own work!"
"But for how long?" He questions.
My stop arrives, I pay 20 Rs and get down.