The Rickshaw Ride

When we move back to Canada in another month or so, we will take a lot of India with us in our hearts, a lot of strong friendships and special experiences. We'll also take back some of our stuff, including our most recent purchase, a cycle rickshaw.
Yesterday morning, I drove down to the bicycle market in Jhandewalan near Connaught Place and picked up our special piece of nostalgia. I had ordered it a couple weeks earlier and hoped that it would be ready. Thankfully, when we arrived at the shop, my hope was fulfilled. My kids were excited. Instead of having the rickshaw delivered by truck back to our place in South Delhi, I decided to ride it myself the 16 kilometers with my daughters on the back and my wife close by in the car. I had mapped out my route so as to avoid areas where rickshaws were not allowed. I had also planned for a couple rest stops on the way, including lunch at our favorite restaurant, The Big Chill, in Khan Market, which was exactly halfway between the bicycle shop and our home in New Friends Colony.
We settled the bill with our new friends at Durga Cycle Mart (contact details below) and set out from the shop at 11 a.m. As I began peddling, we immediately noticed that people were amused to see a rickshaw being ridden by a foreigner. Adding to the impact, of course, were three blonde girls riding on the back seat. We expected the attention, but we were amazed to see how much joy it brought to people. They seemed to accept it as a special gesture of cultural affirmation and as an act of solidarity with the common man. People honked and waved, the young and old alike. Some stopped us to take photos. Other rickshaw wallas cheered us on. Even the police applauded. As my legs grew tired and the temperature rose above 40 degrees Celsius, the encouragement from onlookers gave us strength and motivation.
As we came down Janpath and approached Rajpath in between India Gate and the parliament buildings, we took a break in the shade to enjoy some ice cream from a street vendor. People gathered around us. A police officer came from across the street and began questioning me in a purely friendly and curious tone. After a few minutes, we set out again across Janpath only to have the ice cream walla chase after us down the road. In all the commotion, I had forgotten to pay him! Fortunately, his face was the only angry one on the entire ride.
By noon, we reached Khan Market near Lodi Gardens and were sitting comfortably at The Big Chill, enjoying our pasta and salad and fresh lime sodas. After a good rest there, we set out into more familiar territory through Lodi Colony and into Nizamuddin. There, the wider streets of Central Delhi give way to the congestion of South Delhi. With that, the space between vehicles becomes less and the battle grows more intense. I began to use the bell on my handlebars more frequently and found myself brushing up against at least two city buses (with paint scrapes to prove it, according to my daughter, Alexis). On Mathura Road, the chain came off twice, leaving us wondering a little. But both times we were able to fix it quickly and move on. By Ashram Chowk, everything felt heavier and I was beginning to feel dehydrated. However, as we pushed our way through the massive intersection, two rickshaw wallas from a couple lanes over began to cheer loudly over the noise of the traffic and to raise their hands in approval. I received their commendation gratefully and kept peddling. Taking the short-cut through the more serene streets of Maharani Bagh, we came across another rickshaw walla who trundled up beside us and started up a conversation. Of course, among other questions, he asked how much we had paid for the cycle. In India, we’ve become accustomed to paying more for things as foreigners and, on this purchase, I had only asked two different shops for a price comparison. So I was pleasantly surprised when the rickshaw walla told us that his rickshaw had cost the same amount as we had just paid for ours, further solidifying the feelings of concord and camaraderie between us.
By 1 p.m. we entered the gates of A-Block in New Friends Colony to the sunny smiles of our neighborhood security guards. After a few photos with them, we rounded the last corner and rolled onto our lane. Alexis, my eldest daughter, had asked if she could ride it the last few meters to our building, and so I hopped off and walked alongside as she brought us home, completing a journey that we will not soon forget.
Next month, in Canada, another journey begins and I suppose we will feel special again as we set out down the country roads of British Columbia on our shiny new cycle rickshaw. I expect we will be noticed there too, but it is hard to believe that the smiles will be as bright or as numerous as yesterday in New Delhi.

**For anyone who’s interested, I purchased my rickshaw from Durga Cycle Mart (Shop #93A) in the Jhandewalan Cycle Market, New Delhi. I don’t mind saying that I paid 7500 Indian Rupees for it, which is the equivalent to about $165 Canadian/US. I dealt with a guy named Sudhir and his co-worker, Ranjit, who threw in the bell and a few other extras for free. If you want to buy your own and need some help, let me know.

Follow this link below to view the long-awaited video version of “The Rickshaw Ride.”


Darlene Klassen said...

Great story of a great ride! Thanks for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

This was a delight to read. Your unusual presence on Delhi's streets must have made your Father smile - and every rickshaw-wallah proud of doing their job!

niharika sharma said...

Hi-Bird, Safari Group of Industries is known all over the world as a Quality Manufacturer established just two decades ago and pioneered into fashion bicycles in the traditional Indian market offering more than 200 varied designs and models serving all age Groups and segments.

Ludhiana bicycle Industry

Speego Vehicles said...

Contact speego vehicles pvt ltd for e rickshaw manufacturers and suppplier in delhi
e rickshaw manufacturers

Hotel Sita International said...

Speego Vehicles Co pvt ltd a e rickshaw manufacturers and suppplier company in delhi for price information detail call us
e rickshaw manufacturers in delhi

Diamond Beauty Spa said...

Speego Vehicles Co Pvt Ltd, E Rickshaw Manufacturers in Delhi, India
e rickshaw manufacturers

Unknown said...

Nasha Mukti Kendra
E Rickshaw Manufacturers
Choreographer in Delhi
Nasha Mukti Kendra

Thank you for this information. Not only will it help me prepare better but it has certainly given

me more confidence. Much appreciated!

Sunil said...

I am really impress with you for the selecting of new and unique topic and also well written
article on it. Thanks for sharing with us.
Choreographers in Rohini
Nasha Mukti Kendra in Noida

Praveen Chugh said...

Choreographers in Noida
Nasha Mukti Kendra in Gurgaon
E Rickshaw Manufacturers in Rohini
Nasha Mukti Kendra in Gurgaon

I’m appreciated with your post, here you share very informative and useful seo tips for all seo beginners..I’ll learn many new stuff right here. Thank you so much for this valuable post.

Surya Laxmi said...

Choreographer in Delhi
Nasha Mukti Kendra
E Rickshaw Manufacturers
Nasha Mukti Kendra
Hi, I think that I watched you seen my website so I came into return the prefer? . I’m trying to to find things to improve my web site! I suppose its own sufficient to use a number of your concepts!!

Speego Vehicles said...

ICAT Approved E Rickshaw Manufacturers Delhi, India. Providing quality products to clients is the main aim of our company. We are mainly focused on maintaining higher quality standard in our products range.
E Rickshaw Manufacturers
Battery E Rickshaw Manufacturers
ICAT Approved E Rickshaw
CIRT Approved E Rickshaw

Rahul Gupta said...

Lovely post. very informative and well written. Thanks for sharing with us and, consider reading the following post too: e rickshaw manufacturers in Maharashtra.

Speego Vehicles said...

Speego lunched e rickshaws with advanced technology and features. We are e rickshaw manufacturers in india giving best price e rickshaw in india so contact us as soon as possible.
E rickshaw manufacturers in india

Saksham E Rickshaw said...

E Rickshaw Manufacturers in Delhi India
About E rickshaw manufacturers
ICAT approved e rickshaw manufacturers in Delhi

Saksham E Rickshaw said...

E rickshaw manufacturers in Bihar
CIRT approved e rickshaw manufacturers
E rickshaw manufacturers in Maharashtra

Saksham E Rickshaw said...

Battery e rickshaw loader manufacturers
E rickshaw manufacturers in Jaipur
E rickshaw manufacturers in Jharkhand

Saksham E Rickshaw said...

E rickshaw manufacturers in Rajasthan
Gallery Saksham e rickshaw
Saksham e rickshaw contact number

hibirdcycles said...

Hibird Cycles are the largest cycle manufacturer in India and market pioneer in the section with a worldwide nearness. Hibird Cycles are one among the main bike and cycle Manufacturers Company in India and well-known player in the assembling of High-tech bicycles. We have an exceptionally specialized and extensive industry of Bicycle in Ludhiana.

Cycles Manufacturers in India