The driver who knew my father!
March 26, 2021
A thing I cherish the most about my work is the diversity it brings! A lot of it is supposed to be measured online and an equal lot offline is a determinant of what goes on the internet.
On the above date, I was supposed to be in a different city roughly 30 km away in the early hours of the day. Looking at the declaration of the Bharat Bandh by protesting farmers, I chose to take a cab and not drive to my destination.
Scheduled an Uber before sleeping for 0530 hours and voila! My sleep cycle allowed me to be in formals before the cab arrived.
The setup now finds the traces of the dawn in the sky. Cool breeze offsets the early morning wind while the birds are slowly waking up to the realities of the day. On a relatively empty road were two more awake individuals with one in the driving seat and the other, me, in the backseat of his sedan.
No matter how fresh, ignorant or active you are, human nature pushes two individuals stuck in an enclosed space for a relatively extensive time to strike a conversation.
And then starts a series of stories to kill the next 41 minutes. After mentioning his miseries of being a driver and how less the on-demand taxi tech giants care for their drivers, my driver led the conversation to my pickup location.
“More than half of your society knows me!” he said with a sense of pride in his voice. Enquiring a bit found myself tracking his acquaintances to his previous occupation at a nearby hospital.
“This one plot numbered ***** is where Sh _____ lives in your society” he mentioned a plot number and name of a gentleman whom he thought was my neighbour or that I might know him by the virtue of living in the same street.
“Umhm, what about him?” I asked, cautiously.
“I have encountered many people in my life but very few like him. He was posted in the nearby station and had a soft corner for the poor and unprivileged section” he said proudly of his acquaintance.
“I am sure!” I muttered still absorbing what I just heard.
“I even met him once in Gurgaon during his days in the city regarding some case. He has an uncanny feeling of care for people who come to him” he further elaborated.
“Since when do you know him, sir?” I enquired.
“Has been a long time. More than 10 years! Even at the hospital, whenever he came, I found him polite carrying no air” he spoke looking at me in the rearview mirror.
In less than a couple of minutes after this, he spoke about a case where this gentleman had sought his help. By now, I was looking outside the window reminiscing the words my ear collected in the last 5–7 minutes of this story.
“I am his son!” I broke the silence as he drove noiselessly finding me not reacting to his earlier words. His eyes widened looking at me in the rearview mirror as he applied brakes to slow down the car to grasp what he just learnt!
I do not know if I confused him with my 4 words but surely, he left me humbled on meeting him and listening to his story.
The story of a driver who knew my father!
- My father works with the government. His work allows him to meet and interact with people from different spectrums.
- If you are wondering how did he not know my house number since he picked me up from there, I walked up to a landmark near my place. Was not comfortable having a stranger know about my house in the early hours of the day (or otherwise)
- This is the real story quoted as it is! I am certain this conversation will stay with me forever. I do respect my father for his occupation but learning that his acts instil confidence in someone left me an inexplicable feeling. Those were real words based on my driver’s experience and not some gobbledygook! It is a small world, indeed.