It was half-past midnight. This Uber driver had just dropped his last passenger to its designated destination marked on his app. He was too tired for the day and wanted to pick his last passenger preferably on his route back to home. He could not believe his luck when he got a pickup call for a drop to a place that was in route to his home.
“Hi Rahul…can you please come to the corner street of Sterling Theatre”, instructed the lady in her husky voice.
A family of three was waiting at the corner street. Incidentally, he had a fond memory of that theatre as it served as the venue for his first date. His first reaction after seeing the family was that of immense pleasure as he was one of those unlucky ones not to have experienced that feeling of a family outing.
But as soon as he reached the spot to pick them up, the male in the late thirties with receding hairlines and expanding waistline who was accompanying the lady and the kid didn’t board the taxi. He was visibly emotional while hugging the kid tightly.
The man instructed him to drop them safely to their home. The lady in mid-thirties who presumably looked like the mother of that child seemed emotionally detached from the entire sequence of events. Whereas the kiddo was busy waving his hand from the backseat.
The kid said, “why can’t we do it more often? why is it have to be like this? why can’t we be like other families who have the luxury of recreating these magical moments on every weekend?”
The curt reply from the mother was “you are grown up enough to know the honest answers to all these queries. so please stop trying so hard to act so stupid.”
Mesmerized by the maturity of this conversation, the man on the wheels couldn’t resist himself by asking the lady if by any chance she happens to be a writer?
The lady whose name was Lavanya replied “of course I am”, but tell me Rahul how did you come to know?
Just when the driver was about to mentally pat himself for hitting the bull’s eye, Lavanya interjected and said “I am a writer but not your typical bestseller type, I would love to believe that I am writer of my own unfinished novel called “life”, it’s still a work in progress. But I don’t know why plots and subplots of this novel don’t seem to be scripted entirely by me.”
The kid was grossly engaged in his video games while this conversation was taking place.
Tell me Rahul “how did you manage to hazard a guess regarding my occupation of being a writer. Are you an avid reader yourself”? asked Lavanya.
Not much of reader my self. But my cousin brother Nilesh is a bibliophile. One of his favorite line that is worth sharing is “All of us do get an opportunity to build our unique perspective because of our differences in understandings and experiences. It ends up defining our identity as we tend to view and interact with the outside world from this perspective – unique to all of us.”
You would have definitely enjoyed a conversation with him. Despite being a computer engineer his love for books is quite phenomenal.
“I am sure I would have”, said Lavanya. “But you too are not that much of a disappointment either”.
Rahul can you do me a favour please…I have a flight to catch early in the morning. I was planning to drop my kid to my mother’s place in the morning. But I think it would be too much of a rush in the morning. So if you could please help me in first dropping him to my mother’s place.
“Absolutely no problem Ma’am”, said the driver.
“Thanks a lot Rahul, so kind of you”, said Lavanya.
After dropping the kid at the house of his maternal grandmother, as requested by Lavanya, he proceeded his journey to drop the lady at her designated destination.
“Ma’am by now you must have guessed it that my cousin Nilesh is a huge influence on my life. What about you? Do you have someone who has been a great influence on you?”, asked the driver.
“Well, there are many. But my elder sister has always proven to be my friend, philosopher and guide.” said Lavanya.
“And what has been the most important thing you learned from her”.
Well, being a teacher she just loved teaching or sharing words of wisdom. One of my favorite is “Nothing in life is permanent and just being aware of this fact makes you courageous. Knowing that flux is inevitable prepares you for the change that will come, regardless of how stable we believe our world is. Nothing remains constant and everything changes, in due course of time. This is the most defining law of nature and life.”
“So the right approach is – being prepared for change. What you have today will not be available tomorrow, including those you love and all your material possessions. Therefore by appreciating the temporal nature of life, you can be more courageous and resilient. The perspective helps you in detaching yourself from any clinging relationships that bring unhappiness or even misery, into your life.”
“Quite an amazing thought…if you do permit me I would like to record that piece of wisdom in your voice”, asked Rahul.
”Now you are embarrassing me”, said Lavanya.
After reaching the destination, Lavanya was visibly happy to realise that the entire journey felt like a breeze. Actually it’s been a while since she had any meaningful talk with someone.
“Thanks a lot Rahul for this nice little journey. And wish you all the very best for everything that you ever dreamed”, said Lavanya.
“And wish you the same Ma’am”.
After coming back, she got lost in her daily deluge of duties and responsibilities. But within a fortnight or so she was badly longing for a meaningful conversation with someone. There was this permanent void created by the sudden demise of her elder sister that was yet be filled even after a long gap of two years.
Then suddenly Lavanya recalled about that ride with Rahul. She started searching for his cell number in her call log. Thanks to the app based technology, she could locate his number. After initial hesitation, she gathered some courage to dial his number.
“Hello, this is Rahul speaking, how may I help you”
Lavanya just couldn’t muster any courage to speak and disconnected the call.
It was getting so embarrassing for her. But now if she didn’t call back, there is every chance that she might get a call from Rahul. So to avoid further embarrassment she redialed the number.
Rahul again…who is there?
I am sorry to bother you, Rahul. This is Lavanya, I don’t know whether you do have any recollection of this name. But exactly 18 days ago you dropped me and my kid from the corner of Sterling Theatre to Galaxy apartment.
“I am unable to recall anything. If you could please help me with exact date of the journey, then it might help me”, replied Rahul.
“It was 2nd of July and I had requested you to drop my kid to my mother’s place as I had to leave for airport early in the morning”, said Lavanya.
“Now I think I got it, on 2nd of July my mother was admitted to hospital so I was on leave, but my cousin volunteered to drive the cab for the day”, replied Rahul.
“Any message for him, asked Rahul”
“If you could share his name with me”, enquired Lavanya.
“Yes, of course. His name is Nilesh and he has gone back to USA”, shared Rahul.
“If anything urgent, I can ask him to call you ba…the call was disconnected…
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