SEEPZ is a SEZ and lies midway between Jogeshwari and Andheri and not even remotely close to any railway station. Although a major commercial hub housing many IT and Jewelry export companies, getting to SEEPZ is a mammoth task and getting out of SEEPZ is a much bigger task.
At the stroke of 6:00 PM when most of the companies wind up their day and the employees walk out of SEEPZ, its difficult finding a ride to the nearest station. The buses are full. The nearest bus stop is a long walk from the gate and the rickshaws won’t stop.
Its a case of demand and supply. Before 6:00 PM, most of the rickshaw drivers are ready to take where you want. Its the right time to go home but when the clock strikes 6:00 PM, the rickshaw drivers turn into an alien breed.
They don’t want to go anywhere. The probability of getting a rickshaw after 6:00 is rare. Its better to hang in an over crowded bus than try getting a rickshaw to Jogeshwari.
Rickshaw drivers are on the customer choosing spree. They decide who they want to ferry home. I guess they do the “Eeni-meeni-maayna-mo” kind of stuff and pick their passengers. After 6:00 PM, 9 and half of the 10 rickshaw would say “No” to you.
When you try asking them, the rickshaw drivers;
- Look at you like you just said the worst PJ. They smile at your innocence. Imagine asking a rickshaw driver to take you to a destination? Who does that? Stupid!
- Or just say a plain “No” and go in the opposite direction
- Or Stop and then look at you as if you have committed the biggest crime stopping and asking him to ferry you
- Or slow down and when your hopes are high, just speed past you teasing you
- Or pointing that they are going in some other direction when you realize that you really want to go in that direction
- Or Stop, think and then decide “You are not worth ferrying around”
- Or Speed around without even glancing at you
Some of these drivers just roam around in the rickshaw going particularly nowhere. They just can’t decide which way to go. They don’t pick any passengers and neither they have a destination. They just sit in the rickshaw and decide to go on a long drive. They have earned enough to last for a life time.
I have asked a rickshaw driver and then asked him again when he came back roaming around only to realize later that I have already asked him.
Where do these drivers go? Where do they roam when they should be busy earning money? I would like to understand? It has been a mystery and I have asked many rickshaw drivers the very same questions and believe me they are as clueless as I am.
Really? Wahan kaun hai tera? Rickshaw wale jayega kahan?