Chance encounter with former MLA stumps auto driver

An elderly man anxiously walking on a road with an old shoe in his hand, having lost the other pair, caught the eye of N.D. Pandi, an autorickshaw driver. The man looked familiar to Mr. Pandi.

Taking a closer look, Mr. Pandi, 30, was shocked to find out that the man was none other than N. Nanmaran, a two-time former MLA from the Communist Party of India (Marxist). The driver made an immediate U-turn on Panagal Road here and stopped the auto. By then, Mr. Nanmaran had picked up the other shoe. It had fallen off his feet while he was travelling in another autorickshaw.

The former MLA from the Madurai East Assembly constituency asked Mr. Pandi if he could drop him at Karuppayoorani. Mr. Nanmaran told him that he only had ₹20 and could not pay more. “I said okay to him and took him in my auto,” Mr. Pandi said.

“Till the moment he got down from my vehicle, he did not identify himself as a former MLA,” Mr. Pandi added.

Impressed with his simplicity, the driver did not take the money offered to him. “I told him that I was proud to have been given an opportunity to help him. I asked him to keep the money for his return journey,” he said. The incident occurred on November 27. It came to light on Wednesday when Mr. Pandi shared a photo he had taken with Mr. Nanmaran on Facebook. The photo, with a small write-up of the incident, has gone viral on social media.

“Ideologically, I am on the other side,” said Mr. Pandi, who is also an office-bearer with the youth wing of the Pasumpon Desiya Kazhagam. “But I liked him for his simplicity, honesty and humaneness,” he added.

“When even ward secretaries from various political parties are travelling in swanky SUVs, it was really heartening to see such a former MLA,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 6:11:09 AM |

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