As a traveler, I have spent a lot of time on the road. I have moved from one car to another; one bus to another; one mode of transportation to another with friends, family or simply on my own; nevertheless, even when I was traveling alone, was I ever truly on my own?
The plane landed on a tiny airport on a North-eastern state of India, Nagaland. A gust of fresh air, green surroundings and a car welcomed me. As the view of the airport slowly disappeared and was replaced by marketplaces, people and eventually trees, “Perfect! This is the break I needed,” I thought to myself — just I, me and myself.
After about an hour’s drive, he points out, “This is a stadium built by the chief minister. It’s really huge”. He speaks a little more apologizing for the bumpy ride and the unmade roads. “A lot of people drive rashly and get into accidents because of the roads here,” he said. “But I drive carefully. Do not worry.” He was the driver.
Drivers, What in the world will we do without them? They drive all night while we sit at the back seat snoring away to glory; they put our needs first before theirs. Have you ever met a driver who made a stop because he/she was hungry? I have never.
A friend of mine narrated a story of a taxi driver he encountered on a travel to Kerala. First day, the driver was wonderful; he was on time; the car was clean and filled with the sweet aroma of Jasmine flowers hung on the rear view mirror. The second day however, the driver seemed a little preoccupied. After a while, the driver excused himself and made a stop by the roadside. Upon his return, he had a fresh set of Jasmine flowers, which he quickly placed on the rear view mirror replacing the old one — he calmed down right after. Baffled, my friend asked him about his actions, “The freshness of the flowers had disappeared. I want to share with you the beautiful scent of the Jasmine flower while you’re traveling through my country,” the driver replied.
Overly amused by this narration, I quickly wrote to a couple of friends asking them about their road experiences with drivers, and most of them had fond memories. One driver taught his passengers basic Hindi, the other did not sleep or shower because he wanted to be on time for his next client’s arrival at the airport and the pleasant experiences could go on and on.
There are some terrible experiences – sadly, they’re the ones highlighted – there are also beautiful moments. Drivers are our best friends while traveling.