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Sunday, Aug 25, 2019

This auto driver in Delhi writes phrases on his vehicle that promote high thinking

An auto rickshaw on Delhi roads has its hood filled with verses that will leave you stunned. From creativity to knowledge and tact, the man driving this three-wheeler has it all.

delhi Updated: Jun 27, 2017 20:29 IST
Srushti Dhoke
Srushti Dhoke
Hindustan Times
Awadhesh Singh Rathour in his auto that has phrases, conceived by him, written neatly all over the vehicle.
Awadhesh Singh Rathour in his auto that has phrases, conceived by him, written neatly all over the vehicle. (Amal KS/ HT Photo)

On the yellow hood of an auto rickshaw in the city, if you find phrases written in black ink, all over, then be sure that you have found the vehicle where you will get all the gyan about simple living and high thinking! Meet driver Awadhesh Singh Rathour, who has given a mysterious makeover to his three-wheeler.

Stop by, read the phrases carefully. Some of his version of spirituality is reflected in the verses — ‘Saadgi sabse bada fashion hai’ and ‘Andar sanyasi, baahar sansari raho’. “People, all their life, keep trying to change their hardware, that is, their outer appearance whereas I believe in changing the software, that is, our soul. It’s important for our thoughts to be pure, so that we can bring a change in this world. I try to do that through my writings,” says Rathour.

“I started meditating at the age of 50 and it was about 5-6 years ago that it struck me that I should write all the thoughts that come to my mind. Since this auto is my office, I decided to write my thoughts on it... and within no time it became a habit. At times a thought strikes me when I’m driving on the road. So, I pull over, apologise to my passenger for breaking the journey, and write it down in a notebook lest the thought slips away. When I go back home, I neatly note it down and then use a permanent marker to write it on my auto,” says Rathour — showing the two markers that he keeps with him at all time. “I write about two to six phrases every day, as and when they occur to me,” he adds.

His passengers are often taken by surprise at this unusual practice. But more than that, it’s his dedication to propagate high morals in the society that melts the hearts of cops too. “There have been many a times when a verse struck me at a red light and I started writing it and didn’t move even after the traffic signal turned green. But all the traffic policemen, who approached to reprimand me, saw the positive writings on my auto and didn’t issue a challan. In fact, every year when the auto goes to the authorities for permission of renewal, at times it gets passed without any objection,” he says, and sounds confident that though not every cop knows him personally yet everyone recognises his auto.

Awadhesh Singh Rathour has come up with the idea to deck up his auto with phrases that promote positive thinking.
Awadhesh Singh Rathour has come up with the idea to deck up his auto with phrases that promote positive thinking. ( Amal KS/ HT Photo )

His idea to propagate spiritual thinking via his workplace, that is his auto, is hard go unnoticed, even from the inside. “I spend about 8 to 10 hours a day driving this auto, so it’s necessary for me to surround myself with positivity, which I do by writing all my spiritual thoughts on the outside and inside of the auto. I have had well-educated passengers who feel amazed at the skills of a 10th standard fail auto driver to be able to write such profound thoughts! But I don’t know how the phrases come to me,” he says with all humility.

“My favourite couplet is ‘Apne woh nahi jo rulaate hai, apne woh hai jo rone nahi dete’ (Your loved ones aren’t those who make you cry but those who don’t let you break down).”

His fellow auto drivers, who often sell off the same space for an advertisement, also hold him in high regard. He, however, believes, “This is a passion that’s not for the faint-hearted because while pursuing it you will be called names, mocked at and even ridiculed.”

His challenges don’t end there. There have been times when he didn’t get the permission to ride an auto that has anything written on it. So, he had to change his auto’s hood and start afresh. “Once the hood of my auto was torn. Someone might have played a mischief. But it doesn’t affect me. It’s the spiritual thinking that provides me the strength to face everything. It’s through the power of meditation that I once even persuaded some youngsters to quit drugs for the sake of a healthy body. They were taking drugs inside my auto!”

And what does he desire to do in future? “My daughters used to earlier feel ashamed of me. Now they have realised the strengths of my passion. But I want to get my writings published to make them available to as many people I can!”

His words fill you up till there’s nothing more you can think of.

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First Published: Jun 27, 2017 20:11 IST

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