Just Emkaying: Spirituality in an Auto - Mumbai Tidbits

Aug 22, 2012

Spirituality in an Auto - Mumbai Tidbits

It was just another day, another ride home, and another auto wala. By now, I thought had seem them all. The ones who told me their life story, graduates who had come to live the Mumbai dream, others struggling to make ends meet, and so on.

Little did I know, that these swearing-at-the-drop-of-a-hat guys had an unknown side to them as well. Spirituality.

It was on one of these regular trips, that this guy began his tirade against humanity. He used the choicest mother-sister referenced expletives at each and every man on wheels, and the rampant potholes as well. To shut him up, as he was constantly engaging a non responding me in an attempted conversation, I said 

"Ab kya kare, har kisi ka kuch na kuch problem hai life main." - A very generic statement that works effectively across occasions. 

He kept quite for 5 minutes. I was happy at my success. If I had only known, I would have done this earlier. I went back to my Hunger games - the last chapter, and Katniss Everdeen fighting against a horde of SEC A+ people laden with Make up while struggling with her choice of TWO boyfriends seemed more important than the misery's of the world. 

"Kya Aapne Bhagwan Dhekha hai?" came the question. 

I sat there dumbfounded. 

For a second I wondered. Should I ignore a potential life changing question and see if Katniss kissed Peeta? Or take a risk and listen to him and be given enlightenment, in the back seat of an Auto.

He decided to make it easier for me. Without me saying anything, He continued about how, from the last 8 years he has been a sevak of Nirankari Baba. Of how he goes every week to this place, where all kinds of people including popular actors come, to perform seva. After 8 years, he had the good fortune of seeing God, and he could now see him at will, and that he was there everywhere. (I KID YOU NOT)

For a second, I wanted to know what he was smoking, but he was in his own world. He cared not if I was listening, he kept talking, and his whole demeanor had changed. He was talking much softer, and almost to himself. It was absolutely numbing to see this person talking about the greater good, of not worrying about problems, and having faith. And to think 20 minutes ago, he cursed like the devil himself. Fine balance between reality and spirituality. 

As I got off, he pointed to the poster he put up on the back of his rickshaw. He wasn't bluffing. http://www.nirankari.com/

On another occasion, I got a discourse on how Kalyug has proven true as Krishna had siad it would, an e.g being there will be more liquor in households than God. 

Only in Mumbai, I tell you. Only in Mumbai. 



  1. Very amusing episode. Spirituality for most people is a way of escaping from the harsh realities, a self-delusion. And it works as effectively as any narcotic.

  2. It is all different thoughts on religion... cannot blame or appreciate anyone really on it. Nice post!