A young driver with a positive outlook to life

My new driver is a young guy who is very chatty and cheerful. He has a very pleasant disposition and alert to my needs. Besides driving, he also takes keen interest in maintaining the car in good condition. If the car requires any costly repair job to be done, I can count on him to come up with suggestions on getting the job done at the least cost. When he talks to me about his family – his father or brothers – he would always say nice things about them. He has 3 brothers. While 2 of them are driving cars like him, the youngest guy is studying 12th. His father owns and drives a Toyota Quawalis as a tourist vehicle. He would always refer to his father in respectful terms. His father is always ‘pitaji’ for him. He would also take pride in the fact that all the working brothers give away their monthly salaries to his father to be spent for the family. On the whole, talking to him, one would get an impression that his family lives by certain values and it is well-knit in many ways. Now comes the unexpected twist in an otherwise happy sounding tale.

A few days back, he drove me to my office as usual. After a couple of hours, he came to my office quite perturbed. He looked very depressed as he told me quietly: sir, mere ko ghar Jane ka hai – ghar me ek bada problem hai(I have to go home to attend to an emergency). I said okay and he left. Since I needed to go to city on some work in the evening, I called him up after lunch to find out if he could come in the evening. He said to my utter disbelief: I cannot come today sir. Mere pitaji ne mammi ko Mara daru peekay(my father, having drunk, beat up my mother). The following day, he virtually broke down as he explained the real story of his family. He said: ”My father is a drunkard. Everyday he drinks and picks up a quarrel with my mummy. He keeps shouting for hours and sometimes beats her up. This is a regular scene since my childhood. Yesterday, my brother called me up when I was having lunch and I just gave up eating and ran home immediately. My young brother is studying and is quite scared. All of us feel so insecure. If we advise he would say: my tumhara baap hum. Mujhe mat bolna(I’m your father – don’t preach me). A neighbour who came to advise him in the night was himself drunk. None of us ate food for the whole day”.

Then he went on to say something that surprised me. He said: ”I have taken a decision several years back not to touch alcohol, tobacco or cigarette in my life. I have seen what damage these can do to a family. I could not get education because of this. Now my youngest brother’s studies are in jeopardy”.

This is practical wisdom which none can teach in a school? While he could not go to any school, he learnt his life’s lessons seeing his abusive father. But then the same circumstance at home had pushed his other brother to take to alcohol. When I asked my driver why, he said: sir, he views life differently. My brother justifies it saying: Look, we have anyway lost out on all good things in life as we see this ugly drama at home everyday. Let me at least drink, forget everything and relax.
It’s amazing that the human minds can draw completely different lessons from the same situation.

As I reflected on the episode, I realized that there are worlds within worlds. While the rich grapple with problems of plenty, there is a completely different world out there battling with poverty, lack of education, alcoholism, domestic violence etc. The most unfortunate part is that there is no sane person in their neighborhood to give advice. It’s a pity that one drunkard counsels another. Such is the misery.

It’s amazing that my young driver not only survives such an atmosphere but also remains sane while displaying a great positive outlook to life.

Published in: on December 20, 2015 at 12:33 am  Leave a Comment  

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