The strange episode of the driver who ran wild- Apr 22, 2012

My family has been through a strange experience this past week. We’ve had the same driver for near on five years. He’s from Pataudi, a tall, wiry young man, always smiling and enthusiastic, resourceful and agile. He started working for us as a bachelor and we’ve seen his ups and downs and shared them, in a sense- his marriage, two kids, run-ins with his parents and his brother, the usual travails of life! Just as he has seen ours, my daughter’s birth, moving house, panicky drives to hospitals, birthday celebrations and the like. It’s been a relationship. We’ve always trusted him, even with our children, and to be fair, he’s never really broken that trust.

Why am I telling you all this? Because one fine day, about a week ago, things changed all of a sudden. He had an altercation with a security person in the apartment complex. There were fisticuffs, I had to intervene and talk to the security supervisor, who agreed to sort the matter out if the driver apologized. Well, he simply refused to do so!

Not just that. He lay outside the gate in wait and, aided by some friends, beat up the opponent after working hours the same evening! We heard of all this the next morning and of course, we had to consider him fired, since there was no way he would be allowed to work in our complex again.

If you thought the matter ended there, you’re wrong. While we were trying to make sense of his unexpected behavior (we actually thought he staged all this to escape paying us back the money we had loaned him; someone even told us he had landed a better job with Reliance and had nothing to lose, etc), he did the even more unexpected. He stole a bike from a neighboring apartment complex and tried to frame someone else by entering a faux name and number in the register. Unfortunately for him, CCTV cameras caught him in the act of driving out the bike and now he is on the run from the police!

Of course, we are carrying on as usual. There is a new driver in place and life goes on, but it shakes me up to think someone I trusted so much and who played a significant role in our lives ended up being a criminal! What had driven him to do this, I wonder? A fit of madness, a vendetta of some some sort, desperate need for money….could be anything! And us? We’re getting visits from the police, we’re being told to be careful..of what, I have no idea!

I wonder if the guy had been a friend or colleague and not a driver, would I so easily have dropped him from my life, not called, not tried to find out what drove him to this? ‘Don’t mess with the locals’, they say, here in Gurgaon, Haryana. This is a city where a 16-year old boy got kidnapped and sodomized in broad daylight two days ago! Where women get raped and assaulted and the police make absurd statements about their character instead of making the city safer. This is a city where its hard to trust…Yet, I feel bad for giving up on him…yet, I know there is precious little I can do here, but let things go…..and forget he existed.

And you know what, we do not have a single picture of him…after knowing him for five years…such are the manifestations of the class divides we practice, knowingly and unknowingly every day…..

About ramblinginthecity

I am an architect and urban planner, a writer and an aspiring artist. I love expressing myself and feel strongly that cities should have spaces for everyone--rich, poor, young, old, healthy and sick, happy or depressed--we all need to work towards making our cities liveable and lovable communities.

Posted on April 22, 2012, in Personal and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I know how it feels coz I had a similar incident while running the dairy … We had a driver who we trusted like hell and though he never caused us any harm was one fine day arrested for being part of this big gang of car thieves and thats when he was fired . After that I moved to gurgaon and recently I opened the newspaper to read about an incident in some mall in Gurgaon where one guy was shot at in his neck , and guess what — it was the same guy .

    Ive learnt that its impossible to have full trust in these guys ….. !!

  2. Btw … be ready , restarting the dairy and 1st Aug hopefully we should be restarting delivery 🙂 !! Similar except its gonna be way more expensive … all due to inflation 😦 !!

    • that is awesome news Saazid…was worried about you. somewhere at the back of my head, i could not picture you being a full-time gambler 🙂

      • Hahaha … its a fun career profession and keeps one mind on its toes 🙂 !!

        But yeah … eventually got bored so deciding to keep it a part time hobby and get back to doing something I really loved but was forced to stop for reasons beyond my control . Hoping to work on it in a way more organized manner and hopefully the milk will be welcomed by the ppl of Gurgaon .

  3. Same guy who took us for all our shopping for Jalti Jhopdi??? You have got to be kidding? How did this happen. He was so wonderful. I’m sure if you dig deeper there must be a lot more going on that would have prompted this kind of behaviour.

  4. Very strange,I remember he has dropped me at the Airport,seemed nice fellow and drove carefully.I think a lot has to do with their personal lives,lots of them family forces them to get married when they are much happier single,then pressure to have kids,then taking care of kids,wife complaining about money etc,parents,in laws,I guess they just snap.

  5. I think its the different social system and set of values they have. We don’t even begin to understand their lives and use our standards to judge them or make sense of what they do. I had a somewhat similar possibility on hand a few months back with an employee, and he clearly told me that much as he respected me and would do almost anything for me, there were areas in his life where I or my family or the society we were a part of could have no say as far as he was concerned. he went so far as to say he was not afraid of the law or the police if it came to that, where honor and respect were concerned. And all this while he was not personally involved, but he was standing up for a wrongly accused fellow worker, who had been abused and hit by member of our strata of society for no fault of his. The RWA in its misplaced wisdom spoiled matters by suggesting to the employers that they should sack the man in question ! Because he had retaliated and this would set a bad precedent to other workers!! Never mind that he did so in self-defence in the face of an unprovoked attack.
    And the reason he was sharing all this was so as to warn me or keep me up to date on possibilities. Thank god he didn’t actually have to take the steps he warned me about ! I don’t know what i could have done if it came to that. ?And this is not the only time such an issue has come up. So clearly we inhabit different world and most of the time do not acknwedge it in enough depth and tend to gloss over it. Then when something happens we are shocked and forced to cut off all ties.

    • I agree Kiran. And my point is the same as yours. I simply did not understand the bit about stealing the bike, in this case. And there is no way I can clarify. His phones are off, he is untraceable apparently!
      I also fundamentally disagree with the use of violence as a way to settle scores. I would say that to anyone from any strata of society, even verbal violence is unacceptable. Whatever their value systems are, they do need to understand that there needs to be a sense of responsibility towards yourself, your family your employer, etc. That hitting back and revenge is not the answer to everything.
      In my driver’s case, it was not a personal enmity that led to this, or we would have known of it earlier. He was a blabbermouth. Would tell us all sorts of stuff. I feel he got embroiled in a larger vendetta scenario…anyway, I have no idea where we can even begin to bridge the gap!
      Btw, do you know if there are any uran designers or planners involved in the safety analysis Jagori is doing for Gurgaon?

  6. Life outside of work can have this kind of a face too!

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