“Stop the bloody car”. I yelled at my driver. He was slightly taken aback for we were more like friends chatting everyday while returning back from work. We discussed everything under the sun. Our day to day discussions varied from politics to mid-life crisis. But that particular day was different. I had actually switched on the rant mode but he stopped me. I guess he knew me a little too well. And then he revealed an unknown facet of his own life.
His day starts off in the restroom. No don’t get me wrong he doesn’t have a place a to stay so he sleeps in the cab and uses the restroom for dressing up. It’s a tiny space. I asked him why he can’t afford a room. He told me his family was in debt and the amount he quoted stumped me. It was Rs. 20,000. I have known people who go on a spending spree once they lay their hands on the month’s salary and here was someone who lived only on bare necessities to feed his family.
Can you tell me your daily eating routine ? I queried further. I have Ragi Porridge for breakfast for breakfast. How about lunch ? No Sir a single bowl of Porridge is enough to keep me going for an entire day. He surprised me further.
Can I pay off your debts? I can afford it. I was relentless but he refused. No Sir I want to do it on my own but it was very kind of you to ask. “Stop the bloody car”. I yelled. He was slightly taken aback. Let’s eat together. He was about to refuse but this time I was a little too determined and he relented.
We ate together in one of the prominent restaurants. It was one of the most fulfilling dining experiences in my entire life. We drove through the rest of the journey in silence. While getting down he thanked me for the meal. “Don’t fool me by saying thank you. You had told me before that a movie ticket in your native costs only Rs 20. Take me there once and I will feel happy”. He left me with a promise.
As he was about to re-start the car I teased him yet again ” Please learn to fly through the traffic it is just unbearable”. Lovely pearls of laughter adorned his faced and we parted for the day.
Little did he know that the dinner was my way of saying thank you. Our life is filled with so many blessings yet we never fully attain a feeling of fulfilment. Here was someone who was struggling through his day to day life. Yet he wasn’t flustered. Maybe we can all learn from him. Perhaps it’s time for us to look within and live life the way it ought to be lived. A life filled with love and fulfilment.