The Driver

Hi everybody,

It’s been a while since I have written anything, got in touch with you.

From today onwards I will be sharing a piece of my life, my journey on a daily basis with you.

I don’t know if that will interest you but I would love you to be a part of my life.

Recently, we visited Mamallapuram, it’s a temple city on the bank of Bay of Bengal near Bengaluru, we were staying amidst the ancient temples. The town is popular for stone statues. So while coming back we thought of buying one as a memoir. We asked our driver to stop by at a shop near the ancient temples. He suggested that the statues will be expensive in the shops situated closer to temples as the shopkeeper will try taking advantage of the unaware tourists. So he recommended another shop at a distance.

We stopped at another shop and got down to buy a statue. They were made of different kind of stones and were very heavy. The shopkeeper spoke Kannada and Telugu, we knew none of the languages. I was banking upon the driver to negotiate with him as I was unable to communicate. After I told my price to driver, the driver spoke to him for couple of seconds and told me that the guy is not ready to negotiate as the statute is made of green sand stone, which is rare. Negotiation is a part of any deal in India, so it was difficult to believe that there was no scope of negotiation on that statue.

I chose a different, smaller statue and negotiated myself, without knowing the language, I brought down the cost by 20 percent.

Meanwhile, my daughter was playing in the shop with a frog made of stone. She insisted on buying it but I saw no value in it, so I kept it back. We took our package and came back to our car.

In the rear view mirror, I saw the driver talking to the shopkeeper.

The first thought which came to my mind was that he was taking his part of the deal since he brought us to this shop, kick back for the statue. I was really angry and agitated as he brought us to his preferred shop, did not negotiate and on the top of it, he was making money out of the deal. I thought of taking it up with him.

He came towards the car, took his seat on the steering wheel, turned around and handed the stone frog to my daughter.

I was surprised and ashamed of myself. In that moment, he rose so much above me.

How tainted are our brain, that we refuse to see good in people. We are so consumed by our own negativity that we perceive the world to be negative. We see, what we want to see. We believe, what we want to believe. How often, we are far from the truth.

The driver, whom we have never met before this trip and whom we will never see again, chose to make my daughter smile. I, well learned, well-educated, chose to see negative in a positive situation. Such are human beings!

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