Monday, October 10, 2011

A Simple Man

He was the Driver at the small village hospital where my dad was posted as a Doctor.
His job was to drive the Ambulance, the Government Hospital Jeep and every feasible/available vehicle at the hospital.

When I was a kid he was my best friend, as who else to run to but the “Driver Uncle”.

The Uncle who can take you for free joy rides around the village, drop you off to school occasionally when you are running late (which was very often). 
Take you to the sweet shop to get Samosa-Jalebi in the evenings.
Come to pick you up at the small village bus-stand when you get back from your journeys.

He was a simple man, with a simple small family. 
One son and one daughter, who were both elder to me. (My playmates)
He was very resolute about their education and extremely strict when it came to their homework or exam.

Being a kid I never understood the reason behind this. For me he was dragging away my friends from the playground when we were just getting into the final part of the silly games that kids play.
For me it was an enigma as to why Driver Uncle would be so strict on small kids for their homework.

Years passed. I moved away to a bigger cities for my own education with occasional visits to the village where dad was still posted.
Driver Uncle would still be there at the Bus-Stand with a smile on his face and ready to buy and share a plate of Samosa’s from the vendor.

I would sheepishly say a formal hello to him, enquire about his family and then commence an awkard silent journey to home.

This continued for many years, until the time I last went home before I had to leave to join my new job.
I spent a couple of weeks at home and when it was time for me to leave. Driver Uncle was again there to drop me off at the Bus-Stand.

This time around, the journey was not a silent one. He asked me a simple question: “आप क्या बनने वाले हो ?
(Translation: So what are you going to become now?)

I was intrigued and confused at the same time as to how to explain to a simple village man what a Software Enginner is.
I tried to dumb down things and mumble something like: “मैं दिन भर कंप्यूटर में बैठ के काम करने वाला हूँ . वैसा कंप्यूटर जैसा की अपने हॉस्पिटल के ऑफिस में रखा है.”

(Translation: “I am going to be working on computers all day long.A similar kind of machine what is present in our hospital’s office”)

To this he asked me the name of the Company where I would be working. I was again baffled as to how to tell him the name of my company and would he even know of it.

He said: “मेरे दोनों बच्चे भी बैंगलोर में काम करते है , इन्फोसिस में , हो सके तो आप उनसे मिल लेना .”

(Translation: Both my kids are working at Bangalore in Infosys; If possible do meet up with them)

He continued: “बहुत अच्छी बात है की आप लोग सब पढ़ लीख के अच्छा काम करने जा रहे हो . बहुत ज़रूरी है ज़िन्दगी में बड़ा सोचने की. 

हर कोई बचपन में  सोचता है , मैं डॉक्टर बनूँगा, मैं इंजिनियर बनूँगा .

और एक मैं था . मैं बचपन से ही सोचता था, मुझे गाड़ियां पसंद थी . मैं बचपन से ही सोचता था मैं बड़ा होके ड्राईवर बनूँगा.”. 

(Translation: “It’s really good that all of you are going to do good jobs after getting your education. It’s very important in life to think big. 

Everyone when they are kids think about becoming a Doctor, or an Engineer when they grow up. 

But me, I loved automobiles since I was a kid. I always wanted to be a Driver when I grow up.”)

बस यही ख़ुशी है की अपने बच्चे अच्छी जगह पहुच गए.”

(Translation: “I am happy that all the kids have ended up in good positions in life.”)

I was tounge tied as to what to reply to this Simple Man, who never thought for a Big Goal for himself. Had simple wants and needs for his own life. 

And ended up acheviecing his goal of what he wanted to become in life. 

But it was this same simple man who understood that his kids should achieve far more then he did and strived to accomplish what he envisoned for them.

A Simple Man who realized what he set out to become and got his kids to the position in life where he envisoned them to be.

A Simple Man who was through with running the rat race which we all are a part of everyday. We who always want more and are never satisfied with what we have.

I hope that someday I can be in the same position as the Simple Man, at peace with my life and content with what I have done with the small amount of time I have.



Unknown said...

A much as we say we want a simple life- we actually run away from it. We are addicted to the pain, the drama and the stress this life brings.

Ganga Bharani (GB) said...

"Simple Life" is something even i want :( but i always complicate things, desire more and end up with nothing :-/
nice post!

Sahana Rao said...

Live simple, dream big. Your Driver uncle is a man of action and a role model father!
Though I do not know him, I have a lot of respect for him!
Loved this post! Best way to start a Saturday!

cosmic_wanderer said...


Hmm.. I know buddy.. A sad but bitter truth ..


cosmic_wanderer said...


That's the human way for all of us. We are never satisfied with what we have and always strive for much more.

But then again, come to think of it. If we are satisfied with what we have, wouldn't it bring a stagnation to the human race, ?

If everyone was content, we would never strive to achieve more and invent and discover.

I had shared some of my thoughts about this some time ago here:


Anonymous said...

Awesome post dude :) that man's simple expression says quite a lot...

cosmic_wanderer said...

"Live simple, dream big. "

Great principle to live by :) .. Hope we can all do that someday..


P.S. Hope You meant Monday and not Saturday.. The weekend is long gone :(

cosmic_wanderer said...

@Ende anniyethi

Thanks :)

Neeraj Kumar said...

Ur driver uncle was fortunate enough to have such kids who could materialise his dreams.

everyone is not as luck as he is.

Despite sincere efforts many children fail to translate dreams of their parents.

Anyways a good post about a fighting personality.

cosmic_wanderer said...


True, But even then, the ones who do get the opportunities are luckier then the ones who never got a chance.

As the cliché goes. Its better to have fought and lost then have never fought at all.


Chuck said...

Nice one Shri, didnt expect anything like this from u.

cosmic_wanderer said...

Thanks ...err... Chuck.. ??

Aakriti said...

Nice post Shrijeet..encounters like these are very touching and to share with you I have had many..long time bk in school when we would go to the village which was adopted by our school where we would meet grannies whom their children had left to provide them with all the rashan...and recently I had some in the face experiences that hit me when I interacted with homeless girls, who were now in an NGO. I kind of agree with Shady( its true.. that no matter such experiences touch us and bring us closer to what we might wish, but there is also 'truth' in the fact that our upbringings make us what we are...habitual to the comforts of life.~ Aakriti

Murali Mohan Rath said...

Good write up Shrijeet!

Sahana Rao said...

Lol.. Bad me! I was still having the weekend hangover.
Ofcourse, I meant Monday!

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