On that day, even in the evening, I was not getting customers frequently. I had to wait longer as compared to other days. On other days, market usually bustled with women bargaining for goods, children chit-chatting excitedly and couples taking a walk. But on that day, market wore a deserted look.
It had been raining all day. Not heavily, just a drizzle. It was one of those days when you like to rest cozily at home. I also felt that way and in the afternoon, I wanted to take my auto-rickshaw back home. But I couldn’t afford this. Looked like I was going to earn little less, but I continued to stay there on main road waiting for customers. I thought something is better than nothing.
It was only recently that I had migrated to this city and started my job. My job was not very exciting but I got to travel a large part of the city. While I drove my Dhanno, I felt good. The most boring part of my job used to come when I had to do nothing but wait for customers. My friends also felt the same way. At those times, the whole of auto-stand looked like as if there was no one. But as soon as any customer came, the auto-stand became alive. Every one of us fought to see who gets his customer first. We all vied to get their attention. But ultimately it all depended on them to choose which auto for traveling.
I was lost in my thoughts when I saw a girl coming outside market and approaching the auto-stand. As I had seen her first, I quickly accelerated my Dhanno before anybody could. She was wearing pink shoes, pink top, and carrying a pink mobile and pink purse in her hand. Even her earrings were pink. At first glance, she looked a typical ‘pink’ girl. But her black jeans gave her a smart look that somehow set her apart from those pink girls. She must be in her early twenties. When I reached near to her and asked where she wanted to go. She pretended not to see me and continued to look for an auto. It was a signal for me that she was not going to travel on my Dhanno. Now I had to look for another customer. Just then another auto-rickshaw came and she boarded it without asking anything. After she told where she wanted to go, the other auto driver started the meter and proceeded.
Why did she choose the other auto? The only difference between my auto and the other one was that the the latter was driven by an old man and I was a young man. As she was traveling alone, she apparently didn’t feel safe to travel with a young person and that too when it was getting dark. She gave another indication that she was not one of those pink girls. As I was pondering on this, I found myself facing an octogenarian who was asking me if I would go to M.G Road. I said, “Sure, sir!”
My destination was also in the same direction in which the girl had gone. I got curious to see where she was going. She didn’t look like the usual shoppers who carried shopping bags. She carried only her pink purse. It was also possible that she might be carrying her stuff in her purse. But she looked more like somebody who had a home nearby and was going to meet someone. I wanted to know if I was right. And more importantly, I wanted to see her again. For me, she was a species who wore pink, but was not pink.
After driving for about fifteen minutes, her auto took a left turn which didn’t lie in my route. If I followed her to that route, it would have taken me a bit longer to reach M.G Road. Usually, I didn’t follow this tactics, which was used by my friends to earn more money from the same customer. However, my curiosity got better of me. Also, the old man wasn’t paying much attention to the route. I took a left turn and continued to follow her auto. We were now in an residential area. So, it looked like I was right she was going to meet somebody.
Although she had offended my Dhanno, now she didn’t keep me waiting long and only after a few minutes, her auto stopped in front of a building. As I was little behind her auto, by the time I passed the building, I couldn’t see her face but only watched her callipygian figure entering the ground floor which carried the hording declaring “Homemakers Training Institute” as its name.
So, she was pink, after all.