Anu's love of auto-rickshaws is legendary. He owns about half a dozen toy-autos at home and appears to recognize most of the autos that ply on campus. In Port Blair, we took a ride in this auto which Anu thought was "bohot hi sundar" and wanted a picture taken alongside it.
But a far more interesting story is this. I got chatting with our auto-driver, a young man around 20 years old, during our ride. It turns out that he was doing his BA in English and aspired to be a teacher. In his spare time he worked as an auto-rickshaw driver so he could save enough money (Rs 7 lacs) to go to Chennai and pursue a B.Ed. degree. He told us all about his family and their association with the Andamans, the local politics and so on. It was a fascinating ride. After we got off, I gave a little lecture to the kids (quite predictably) on how fortunate they should feel about the opportunities they have and see how this guy has to drive an auto so that he can study and pursue his dreams etc. Kabir nodded but Anu apparently got a different message. He said, "mama, I promise I will study very very hard so I can become an auto-rickshaw driver!"