Thursday, May 02, 2013

2008 : The language of the kingdom

This is one of my freakiest experiences in recent times. I have to share this in some form or shape.

Picture this.

Yesterday, I booked a cab to the airport. When he finally arrived, my wife spoke to him, and told me, “bada hi suede hain”!!, which means he seems far too polished for the job.

I get into the car, and the guy starts chatting up, and quick big time. I usually avoid these chats, not because I dont talk to drivers, more so, because during a drive I try and focus on the road and meditate – I quite literally do.

But he seemed more than eager for a chat.

The coupe de grace was his English. If I had taken him and put him in a different uniform and made him enter my office lobby, he could easily pass off as an Investment Banker, just based on the kind of English he spoke. It was impeccable and he used avant garde phrases, which he could only know if he was well read, or he was an expert with the gab.

He indeed did have the gift of gab. He asked me all kind of personal questions, which I deftly avoided, and he offered me a range of opinions, from national politics, to what is wrong with Dubai. And he spoke intelligently on these topics.

He also told me a lot about himself. Here is a summary. His name is K*****, he is originally from Rampur in UP. He has been working for 19 years, 10 in a call center and later  9 as a driver. He lost his two sons 10 years ago. One to a brain tumor, and the other to a still birth. This also caused him to lose his call center job.  That shattered his wife completely. They then adopted two labradors. He has 2 brothers and a sister both living in Bangalore. He loves to indulge his loved ones in mango. His labs are the love of his wife. He thinks of the labs as his family.

He is 10th failed and English he picked up, entirely on his own. He is self taught in that sense. He also spoke immaculate Hindi (Rampur!!), Tamil and Kannada.

He also shared Dalai Lamaish wisdom on how he learnt to cope with loss of a job and two sons, and recouped his life as a driver. He loves his current job, though it is tough financially.

Did I tip him more?  Yes double of what I usually do…but I told him to buy something for the labs.

Why did I trust him? I dont necessarily do. Either he is the most authentic story teller I know of, or he is just telling his life in plain speak.

Either ways, he deserves more in life. He gave me a memory which I shall remember for years to come. I dont think I could have asked more from a driver conversation.

I did feel he is intelligent, witty, thoughtful and precise. What more should you expect from a conversation companion?

Thank you K

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