“I will be on road for the entire night,” he said again.
“The entire night!” I blurted out. The swiftness of my words betraying the surprise. In the rear mirror, I saw the driver’s face still calm and composed.
“Maybe he always takes night shifts,” I thought. It made me feel a little better. The clouds of gloom that were hanging over my head from the moment I entered the cab finally drifted away. I smiled.
“Do you always drive night-shift?” I asked
“No, only in such weather,” he replied.
“Only in such weather!” Now I was confused. “Why?”
The driver lets out a contented sigh. The signal had turned green. He slowly accelerated the car and then started saying.
“It rains, most of the drivers stop driving in the night. I drive thinking there might be someone who might need me. In morning, everyone drives, and even I also drive. But since last year when I picked up a passenger who was stranded for four hours in the night at the airport, I make it a point to drive in a weather like this. It makes me feel like I’m making some difference. The smile on the customer’s face is priceless. I feel fulfilled through this“
The driver’s words left me speechless.
“It’s good,” I managed to say.
Never had I imagined, in the wildest of my dreams that I will hear something like this from a driver. I remembered my pre-MBA days when I was preparing for college interviews. “I want to make a difference,” was one of the standard answers we prepared for why MBA. Three years working post-MBA and making endless Presentations and excels not once I got this feeling of making a difference. We crib about little things, the canteen in our office not good, the ac not working fine, and here was the man who had found meaning in something we don’t even regard as a work with a purpose. The driver had found a calling in taxi driving, a profession we consider mundane, hardly without a purpose.
The late hours of the night had cleared the traffic off the road and we covered the rest of the distance very quickly. When I got out of the cab I saw a gleaming smile on his face. “One more person helped,” he must be thinking. He considers his job much more than just taxing around the city.
As I was waiting in the elevator lobby, I took out my mobile, and for the first time left an appreciation comment on the Drivers’ feedback.