Sunday, March 28, 2021

Stories on Wheels- The late night driver

 Arrived at Kadapa railway station at one am. I walked out of it in half a sleep. A few auto drivers offered their ride.  I turned to a driver, who seemed confident and not to pushy towards me. He mentioned his charge; one hundred and twenty. I tried bargaining, he didn't concede. I conceded and took his auto. On the way, he made his few calls. The other guy in the auto said, " I can offer my headphones if needed." hinting to put the phone away and ride the auto. On a defensive note, he shared his story,  "Dubai mei hai Beta." 

The headphones guy left and I got interested in his story. "Aap bhi gaye kya Dubai?" I asked. 

"Mei satrah Saal rahke aaya hu." he answered Talking about timezone and other stuff, he shared how it's  been 37 years since he got into this driving lane. "I drive big trucks. I'm not into this auto lane. I only drive this during nights. We pay special amount for a permission but, other people also ride autos till late night."  What do we do? He asked.  Listening to his story, he further shared, "I used to earn 70,000 a year. I managed to come to India while my children had vacations. Even my children visited me couple of times in Dubai. Everything is costly there. I was a company driver there in Dubai."

By the time he was about to tell why he left Dubai. We reached home. The time was 1.20 am. Too late to stand on the road and listen to his story. Aapka naam kya hai? I asked. "Jeelani Basha" he replied. 

Kuda Hafiz, I wanted to say but, instead bye Basha Bhai, I waved my hands and walked towards my gate. 

what do we do?

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