Week 6: The One with Autowallah Playing Guitar

17 Jul

I was returning from guitar classes. I took an auto, back home. On the way, the auto driver (autowallah, as we call them in Mumbai) asked me how long has it been since I started learning to play the instrument. I told him it was my 2nd session that day. 5 minutes in the conversation I understood he knows a lot about guitar. I knew there was a story behind it and I wanted to know that story. So I asked…

PS: The whole conversation happened in Hindi

Me: Sir how do you know so much about guitar?
He: *chuckles* I was a professional guitarist. I used to play with a group of friends, at small restaurants and bars. We used to perform on streets also. All that was 10 years back.
Me: Then why did you stop playing?
He: Money wasn’t good for musicians back then. Also, there was no assurance of a gig on daily basis. I was married and I needed something which assured my family food, at least twice a day.
Me: Hmm.. tell me more about your friends, the group of friends with whom you played, a bit?
He: We started playing when we were around your age. They used to go to college, I couldn’t since I was working at a factory during day time. Every evening we used to meet, play our favorite songs and perform at some bars if we could get in. Good times, those.
(We reached the place where I was going to get down)
Me: It was good talking to you, uncle.
He: You mind if I play something on your guitar? It’s been long since I played one.
(I could see how eager he was to play the guitar)
Me: Sure! I’d love to listen to you.

He started playing the background score from Sholay. Here’s the video.

Me: That was awesome! Even after almost 10 years you have a good command on the instrument. How do you feel?
He: I feel I should buy a guitar soon. My son learns and plays on his friends’ instrument.
Me: That’s great. I hope I learn well.
He: You will. It’s not easy but promise me you’ll not give up for at least a year.
Me: Yes, I won’t.
He: Don’t give up on guitar for a year and guitar won’t give up on you ever then. (Actual words: Beta tum guitar ko ek saal mat chodo, guitar tumko zindagy bhar nahi chodega)

We can’t even comprehend how much, in how short period of time, can someone can touch our lives and inspire us!

PS:Β This post got viral (over 2.5 Lakh views on my Youtube channel) and is featured in NDTV, Yahoo News, DNA, ScoopWhoop, The Logical Indian, India Music News, Daily Bhaskar, Just Shared, Veg Momos. Video featured at What’s Trending India. We were called for an interview at Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM. And, I have offers for a few gigs for him from the awesome Mumbai junta! From what people contributed, we gifted him 2 guitars – one for him and one for his son. I’ll keep you’ll posted on the advancements. Cheers!

Posted by on July 17, 2015 in Zindagy Weekly


Tags: , , , ,

34 responses to “Week 6: The One with Autowallah Playing Guitar

  1. adityapathak

    July 18, 2015 at 9:43 am

    A very positive read mate πŸ™‚ Also, I am glad to see that we do share some creative interests in common πŸ™‚ Thanks and bless you! Cheers!

    • kunjkaria

      July 18, 2015 at 10:04 am

      Cheers, Aditya! πŸ™‚

  2. Pearl Alex

    July 18, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Damn! I’m inspired man!

  3. Vishal Kataria (@Vishipedia)

    July 19, 2015 at 6:16 am

    Hey Kunj, beautiful conversation. Is there any way I can buy a guitar and gift it to him with your help?

    • kunjkaria

      July 19, 2015 at 6:44 am

      Yes we can do it. I met him yesterday also. He drives at one particular area in Mulund. We can meet him and do that. Contact me on

      • Hricha narayana

        July 19, 2015 at 5:16 pm

        Hello dear… Can u gimme his contact number … May b we can help him out with some good (musically) work… Please its a humble request from an artist….
        Contact me on

      • kunjkaria

        July 19, 2015 at 5:56 pm

        Hi Hricha!

        You’re awesome for thinking about this thing for him. Shoot me a mail at and we can discuss this further there.

  4. Romesh

    July 19, 2015 at 6:19 am

    hey Bro! Is there a way people we could contribute and buy him a guitar, since he mentioned his son learns on his friend’s guitar. Do you have any contact of him. Thanks tc

    • kunjkaria

      July 19, 2015 at 6:46 am

      Yes Romesh, we can do that. I got a similar request from one more person. It’ll be great if we can buy him a guitar by contributing whatever we can. Contact me at

  5. Niral

    July 19, 2015 at 7:19 am

    I would love to contribute for a guitar… sent you a mail πŸ™‚

    • kunjkaria

      July 19, 2015 at 7:54 am

      That’s awesome Niral. I read the email and replied to you. Cheers! πŸ™‚

  6. Claimers

    July 19, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Awesome story. I play Spanish. And he is right, do not give up for a year and it won’t give you up for lifetime.

    • kunjkaria

      July 19, 2015 at 9:03 am

      I won’t give up on guitar, ever. Thanks buddy. Cheers! πŸ™‚

  7. Sivaramakrishnan

    July 19, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Hello there! That was an awesome work! I want to know more about him. Can you please give me his contact details??

    • kunjkaria

      July 19, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Hi! I don’t have his contact details yet. When I get it, I’ll give it to you.

  8. Sonia kalra

    July 19, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Can I please contribute whatever k can to get him his happiness….
    Pleaseet me know how to transfer money or we we all can meet at one particular place and then talk about it?

    Awaiting your reply 😊

    • kunjkaria

      July 19, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      Hi Sonia, yes there are a few others who are willing to contribute so that we can buy him a guitar. I have got in touch with people who are willing to give him a couple of opportunities to play in gigs. You can shoot me a mail at and we can discuss this further! Cheers! πŸ™‚

  9. kapild326

    July 20, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Reblogged this on Young India Speaks.

    • kunjkaria

      July 20, 2015 at 8:37 am

      Cool! Spread the inspiration! πŸ™‚

  10. Neha Anand

    July 20, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Hi! My email add is I have a Guitar with me, gifted since years, that I don’t use because I’m lazy and musically challenged. I’d LOVE to give it to him. If you have any leads how, please let me know.

  11. Gargee

    July 21, 2015 at 6:13 am

    Wow simply a worth read!!

  12. Maithili Sagar

    July 21, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Loved reading your experience this completely made my day πŸ™‚

  13. Mohan

    July 21, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    The Lines .. “Beta tum guitar ko ek saal mat chodo, guitar tumko zindagy bhar nahi chodega” .. Have to learn to play guitar .. πŸ™‚

  14. KR

    July 21, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Wowww to the Autowallah and to you !!!

  15. Ramesh Iyerq

    July 21, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Real power of social media, well done Kunj. and I loved the guitar piece of that humble autowala.

  16. Bhushan Satam

    July 22, 2015 at 12:54 am

    Very intresting and inspiring but same time feeling sad that his son cant practise on his own guitar. We must contribute and gift him guitar. And this artical charged me as well to keep practicing keyboard no matter how many yrs it takes to play proficiently.


  17. Abhijit

    July 22, 2015 at 6:05 am

    Hi Kunj,

    I saw the video many times on your channel and each time I feel there are so many hidden stories in the world. Hope his son fulfills the his dream. Thanks for sharing the story and the video. I wish you a good wishes and hope you would able to play the same score very soon. Will be waiting for your play. God bless you.


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