By P Charitha

HYDERABAD: As I was waiting for an auto to get to work, I finally got a rickety one. I was getting late, I said "Sakshi Office," and he said ''okay'' and with me emphatically stating the rate before I got in, he smiled and said please sit.

After two minutes, he asked me if I was going to Sakshi office directly and I said yes. He struck a conversation and said that he read the Sakshi Telugu Paper every day and even showed me a copy, pulling it out from his seat even while he was driving. Pleasantly surprised, I said that's very nice, and encouraged with my answer, he went on to chat with me for 15 minutes en route my drive to work.

I asked him his name and he said my name is Babu Rao but everybody calls me ''YS'' he stated rather proudly.

Elaborating further, he said that he actually hailed from Karnataka , but had settled in Hyderabad since 1968. Ten years ago a group of marketing people came and gave him a copy of the Sakshi paper's first edition and from then on, he had been diligently reading the paper without fail.

He said that he was a huge fan of the late Chief Minister Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy and was following him and his family. Babu Rao said that he was well acquainted with the political developments that took place after Dr YSR's untimely death, YS Vijayamma and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy coming out of the Congress and floating the YSR Congress Party.

In fact, his friends and fellow auto drivers call him YS as he knew everything about them.

"I have closely followed the political developments in Andhra Pradesh, including YS Jagan's Padayatra, till him winning the elections and it's a great thing. It is because of this deep knowledge of the family, and my ardent love for them, my friends started to refer to me as YS," he said rather proudly.

In the few minutes left to reach my office, I asked him about what he felt about the welfare schemes promulgated by YS Jagan. I was surprised when he said the schemes under ''Navaratnalu'' were great and the YSR Vahana Mitra scheme would be very helpful for the auto drivers. "It's a pity we don't have that kind of a scheme here in Telangana, he rued. I can talk for hours about all the political developments, he said and that the Family section in the Sakshi paper was his favourite.

As I was reaching the office I asked him where he came from. He said, "Just come to Hussainialam Baragalli X Road Auto stand near Charminar and ask for YS, they will show you where I am!"