Sometime we forget to thank them thinking its their job...but sometime their job is not just their "Job"...!!!
It’s a real-life experience.
It was our first trip to Shiridi after our son was born who was that time barely one and half year old. Three friends of my husband and we three (Me, my son and my husband) along with our Mausi (the care taker of my son) booked an innova for that.
The program was scheduled to be like this. We would start in the afternoon of Saturday, would reach Shirdi by the night. We would stay in a hotel for the night halt so that we could attend “Early Morning Aarti - the first one” at Shirdi. Then we would go for Shani Shingnapur, Trimbakeshwar and then we would return to Mumbai in the Sunday Night. Everything was perfectly planned.
We started our journey with a highly decibel Hip Hip Hurray!!!
Things turned out to be completely as per our program. We reached Shirdi on time. Next day, we were in the long queue to attend the First Prayer. We had our breakfast after the Darshan. Then we headed towards Shani Shingnapur. After having performed the rituals (only for men that time) we headed towards Trimbakeswar. It was almost Afternoon by then. We finished our Darshan and returned Nashik by the evening.
All over these journeys, we had lots of fun as boys had their spontaneous cracking of “***” jokes. In between my toddler had been a perfect entertainer as well. So it was quite a “Fun Trip” by then.
We decided that we would have an early dinner and then straight Mumbai without any stop in between.
It was around 7.30 pm.
We entered into a Restaurant and ordered our dinner. In between boys had their phone calls with their friends. Suddenly one of them declared that the NH has been at halt since few hours as a terrible accident had taken place between two heavy weight trucks. Perhaps a head on collision.
We thought, as it was already more than two hours so in an hour or so the traffic will be cleared. But it never happened that way. So there was no way we can return to Mumbai that night. All the men enquired about other routes.
Someone in the restaurant said, yes there was another route, bit interior one. But looking at us (Women and the child) he said, it wasn’t advisable to go in that road as it wasn’t only in bad shape but it also goes through jungles and not at all safe.
Even the Taxi driver (Mr.Rao) expressed his resistance especially after getting a permission of a night halt from his employer.
Men were worried because one of the guys had a very important HR interview next morning which he couldn’t miss. He had come to take blessings from BABA for the success in that interview only. He was prepared to hire another vehicle and go all alone in that road.
After going through lots of dilemma, some of them said, they would try that “interior route” and asked us to stay in a hotel. But as my Husband was the one who had planned that trip, so at last he decided to take up the journey along with them.
We started at 9.30 pm.
As our vehicle entered into that road, slowly it felt like we were driven to a deep forest though a narrow and occasionally bumpy rorad. Men had decided to have turns to remain awake at least one of them with the hesitant Driver.
I must say, all the fun gone. We were already in the clutch of anxiety along with unknown fear. For me it was one of the scariest journeys given to those ghost stories and “Aahat” kind of serials.
We were quite tired and feeling sleepy. Still we decided to stay awake for few hours.
One cannot imagine the kind of fright we all had that night.
At a point, two three men appeared on the road and we had our hearts sunken into horror. We thought, we wouldn’t stop there. But one of them had already in the middle of the road.
Our vehicle stopped. One of them tapped the window. My husband was seating in the front seat. He opened glass at last.
They seemed to be surprised looking at a vehicle at “Night” in that road with family inside in it. However, Thank God they’re not bad people. They said that the road was blocked ahead due to a falling tree. So we should take the diversion before that.
A cold night in mid-December, dense fog and a “SUN SAN Rasta” in the jungle with no sign of human habitat in the sight…and we were having a journey there. The worst thing was it started drizzling as well (I would say unseasonal rain)
We were quite exhausted, drained out of fear. After few kilometers we fall asleep thinking that men would manage.
I had to wake up as they had stopped the vehicle spotting a “Chai wala” near a village. It was almost 3.30 by then. I heard them talking that they had lost the route towards Mumbai as well. They should have taken a turn before 60 kilometers. It was after all an unknown route and we cannot expect road marker’s there.
After few moments, again we began the backward journey. I fall asleep immediately.
I woke up when my husband called me. It was almost dawn. Around 6.45 a.m. He had dropped other guys in their homes and we were the last.
OHH!! Finally home sweet home…!!
He asked the Driver to come to our house and to have that rest at our place for few hours because he was supposed to go to his employer’s place first to handover the Vehicle and then would board a local train to his home.
He was glad. We freshened up and directly fall asleep. After around three hours we all woke up. The horror of last night’s journey was still afresh. My husband said, after that “tea refreshment” all men were slumbering and nobody was wakeful for the driver’s shake. It was only He (the driver) who drove all night only to let us reach safely at our homes without a nap all the way.
He got up and freshened up, had the breakfast we had ordered from our favorite Idliwala and then before he left for his employer’s place We Thanked him saying we were really grateful to him for his last night's diligent driving.
he smiled!! his hollow and sunken eyes had a spark!!
he smiled!! his hollow and sunken eyes had a spark!!
Mr.Rao was a frail looking man in his mid 50s. He was a taxi driver by profession. We learnt that he had sleepless nights before our trip as well. Another driver was supposed to accompany us. But as he didn’t turn up, his employer asked Mr.Rao to drive our vehicle.
Many may say that as he was a driver so habituated to sleepless nights and driving in stretch. But there is a human limit….right! He could have easily asked for a snooze by parking the vehicle somewhere in the between by the road side. Nobody would have forced him to drive…right!!