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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

Delhiwale: The rickshaw puller’s love story

‘Love’ figures prominently on Akash Rathore’s rickshaw as in his life. It might be over now, but he says he still loves her.

delhi Updated: Nov 22, 2017 15:32 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
Akash Rathore having chai at a tea stall in a congested Delhi bazar.
Akash Rathore having chai at a tea stall in a congested Delhi bazar.(Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

It’s shining like a polished penny. The rickshaw looks brand new. Its seat is the shade of a smog-free blue sky. Other embellishments include plastic roses and a separate plastic bouquet.

Wait, there’s something even more romantic. On the passenger seat are the words, ‘I Love U’.

So where’s our Romeo? (We mean rickshaw puller.)


The young Akash Rathore is having chai in a nearby tea stall in this congested Delhi bazar. Responding in monosyllables, he reluctantly admits that his rickshaw is indeed new. And finally he gets frank and friendly. “I got the rickshaw for Rs 12,000 from Maujpur... sold the old one for Rs 8,000.”

Mr Rathore says he rides daily from 6am to 8pm. At night he sleeps on the rickshaw itself.

While chatting with him, we notice the word ‘Love’ painted on the rickshaw’s rear, too. Our queries get more personal. It turns out Mr Rathore had a girlfriend… until recently.


“It is over now.... galtiyan dono taraf se huyi (there were mistakes on both sides). I said some hurtful things. She left me.” While paying the tea seller, he turns to us, saying, “But I still love her.”

First Published: Nov 22, 2017 15:32 IST

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