Drive away fears

Not all drivers break every rule in the book, insists Meena R. Shankar in her ode to trustworthy men at the wheel

The man may be boss at office, and she, at home. But on the road, both are under the complete control of the chauffer, as he takes charge. It’s a highly responsible and accountable job, where the mind and body have to be on a constant alert. The contribution of dedicated drivers is admirable and thanks to them, we are safe.

When there was a blast in Delhi’s Govindpuri area, it was the bus driver who saved hundreds of lives, risking his own life. A decade ago when my husband and I went to Almora by a night bus from Delhi, we were fascinated by the driver’s attitude. He enjoyed his work, drove carefully and said a silent prayer before he started. At Meerut, he even told us about the specialty of the natural spring water there. As night approached he played soft music for himself, took a tea break and made sure he was invigorated for the night drive in mountainous terrain. At dawn he woke passengers to the strains of devotional music.

As we were in the front seat, we observed him and appreciated him for the wonderful job. We took his photograph, noted his address and sent it to him by post.

He was so overwhelmed, he started writing to us regularly. He blessed us with kids assuming we were honeymooners, as we were travelling alone on that journey.

When we told him we had two kids, he wanted us to send him our family photo. We did, and he continues to keep in touch. Two years ago he even invited us for his daughter’s wedding in his village in Almora. There was much joy when our entire family went there and stayed overnight at his place to attend the wedding.

Frequently we come across reckless driving, drunken driving, signal jumpers, instances of road rage and dangerous drivers. But we should not forget those drivers that are dedicated, honest and cautious. Their contribution can’t be measured monetarily.

Our driver Selva is a gem of a person. He takes great care while driving and regards the car as his personal property. I am completely relaxed when he drives me around. I am sure there are many more people like him who go unnoticed.

I take this opportunity to acknowledge his superb skill, tact and spirit.

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