“I used to work at Hindustan Unilever, but the concept of a 9-5 job got too mechanical for me. There was nothing wrong with the company, but I hated the monotony to the point where I was unhappy. One morning, I woke up and quit. I didn’t really have a plan, but I knew I was passionate about a lot of things like meeting new people, photography and sketching. I didn’t want to be confined to a space… I wanted to be free so I purchased this auto rickshaw a few months later because I knew I would be able to meet all kinds of people and have the time to stimulate my creativity. Ofcourse I worked hard — sometimes I worked more than 12 hours a day but I was thrilled — I was getting to see so many new people and learnt photography from studios all over Bombay.
That was 40 years ago, and to some this profession is demeaning but to me it’s the best job in the world. I’ve combined my passions in so many ways — I click photos of my passengers, I write and paint. I’ve travelled all over the world for my photography— London, Africa, Dubai and when they ask me what I do — I proudly say I drive an auto rickshaw in Bombay. After hearing that I’ve completed my MSC and speak fluent English, people often ask me why I continue to drive an auto and to that I’ll say only one thing. Happiness is something that no amount of money can ever buy, and once you know have that you’re the richest person in the world— and that’s how I feel. I feel on top of the world, every single day.”