Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I am sitting in my office cab. The driver who has been ferrying me to work and back for the last 2 years is sitting next to me. He is in the midst of a career crisis. All that he learnt in his 32 year old life is to drive. He can drive anything which can ply on a road and has wheels. His employer is a thick headed jat whose only purpose in life is to  earn money. Whith his limited fleet he attempts to cater a 24/7 business. He has got 2 cars and 2 drivers who are well aware of their masters limitation. With hope for a better tomorrow, the two man army sweat it out week after week. But now this hectic life was catching up with Shivdutt. The guy sitting next .


Ajay Sir….what should I do?


What happened Shivdutt??


Ajay sir…I am completely wasted now. He said with a sad expression. You have known me for 2 years now and the way we work is not hidden from you. Remember I had told you that Sanjeev had promised to get a new driver who would take some load off our shoulders?


Yes…but wasn’t that  3 months back?…I asked.


Well….. yes and he kept his promise.


So what’s the problem? I asked.


He also bought a new car and signed a contract with VLC call center.


Oops….that’s not a good news  I thought.


VLC callcenter was one of the biggest call centres in Gurgaon and signing a contract with them meant more work for Shivdutt and Anil(the other driver). Although the signature meant a sign of more business and eventually more money for Sanjeev. And Sanjeev’s growth was directly proportional to Shivdutt’s salary. But like me he was grounded by the monotony of the vocation. His never changing schedule behind the driving wheel left him with no scope for innovation. There were certain challenges driving a cab. One of them was the number of hours one has to go without sleeping. He broke his own record by staying awake and driving around for 73 hours in a go. With the VLC contract he was on his way for an ALL INDIA RECORD if not a WORLD RECORD. He clearly didn’t enjoy his job but dropping out of school and getting married early could only take a man to a certain point in life(Or at least I thought so then). There was nothing much I could do to his cause rather than just give a patient ear to his story. And most importantly inject hope and confidence. I am an eternal optimist and this is a known fact(It surfaces regularly when India or Barcelona is loosing in cricket and football respectively). I always believe in a way “out”. Staying in Delhi, my interactions with babus and cops has only strengthened my optimism.


Don’t worry it will all be fine…. Like all other things in life this shall pass too.

I told him.


But he wasn’t listening. He had been quiet and depressed all evening. And my cheering up was evidently not helping.


Ajay sir….i want to do something in life…..i just don’t know what. The day I realize that I’ll leave everyting and work for it..he said.


This was this glint  of hope in his eyes which meant a lot. The glint was marred with confusion and the cloud of materialism. It just needed a drop of opportunity to wipe the blemish and the eyes to shine. I could easily relate to that glint because I felt the same. An excuse for opportunity was all that held me back. The day I saw an opportunity I will grab it and wont let it go. In anticipation of a prospect, this too shall pass I thought. But for Shivdutt it came soon in green floral shirt and beige half pants.

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