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The Sleepless Mornings

After a tiring day at work, Roy reclined, as if it were a couch, in his cab which would drop him home. He closed his eyes with a sense of relief that he doesn’t have to work for the next 12 hours. He was immensely satisfied with work but the fact that the weekend was 5 days away made him sad. http://i1.wp.com/2.bp.blogspot.com/-2NfduEs-MAg/TmcBHkpFokI/AAAAAAAAAEg/qK_6CjkQM_Q/s1600/Illiteracy-in-India.jpg

The driver, after having a chat with his colleagues came inside and greeted him. The whistle blew and we were past the company gate. Still 23 kms to go and that equals a good 30 minutes drive home. Roy didn’t want to doze off as that may affect the driver as well. It was around 11:35pm. He tried to have a conversation with the driver. He knew that the driver didn’t understand Hindi and the best way was to start speaking in Marathi.
Roy never saw the driver pick him up during the daytime. It was just the nights. “Do you have drops after this?” The driver replied,”Well I have drops until 5 in the morning.” That didn’t surprise him. He further asked,” That’s fine, you can do pickups the next week right.”

“No Sir, I never do pick-ups as I cannot read.”

For pick-ups the driver is given a printed paper with the address of the employee and a contact number. It doesn’t matter during a drop as the employee is already there in the cab.

The driver was in his late fifties, probably with his spectacles, Roy doubted it must be the eye-sight. How does he drive then? Roy asked himself. Roy had the answer for his own question. Further questioning, the driver informed that he never went to school. His mother was widowed when he was just 4 years old. Well let’s not go into that bit because it’s the cliched story of illiteracy.

He has his own family. A daughter and a son. The daughter is married and his son is busy wasting his dad’s money on alcohol. He further says that he has been doing these night jobs just because the only thing he knows is driving and the one thing he curses himself of not knowing is reading. He has been doing this since 12 years. He has the option of going for a different driving job but that won’t pay him well.

This is just one amongst the many cases of a person working during the night just because he is illiterate. Now we realize the fact that sleepless nights are way better than sleepless mornings. If we have a sleepless night, we have the rest of the day to get that lost sleep.

If he has a sleepless morning he cannot compromise by sleeping through the night as that would steal some money from his wages to support the lavish lifestyle of his son.



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13 thoughts on “The Sleepless Mornings

  1. Kamini Kamthe

    After that horrifying archaic previous post of yours, here comes the great comeback. That last line, goosebumps all over. This is probably seen by people everyday but the attention you give to the minutest things in life is outstanding. Very good topic to ponder upon..Illiteracy.

  2. Bernadette Patrickson

    Again something really positive about something so grave and disturbing. You are one amazing human. Even if you find a man who has been dead for more than a day, you’ll still go and pump his heart. You are that positive and hopeful. I have never seen any writers or rather human beings with such an attitude towards life. You are an inspiration. That ending line. Hats off.

  3. harini malhotra

    Your site is one good proof that females are well read. Look at the female hits and reaction you get. This scenario is something I see everyday. tens and thousands of people see this everyday. Have they ever thought about it, asked about it? No. Why? They are probably not as sensible as you. There is a reason you write and you have avid readers to your wonderful writing. The above post is ust one amongst the many reason. Good Job.

    1. Marcos Menezes

      Who is more well read? That is such a feminist statement. Males read but they do not take the pain of commenting or leaving their thoughts. Gokul, I just forgot the name of this piece, good that you rewrote this again. Beautiful brother.

  4. Sulochana Achary

    For the first time ever I have seen illiteracy posted in such a fashion. I mean it requires sheer talent to write about such a sensitive topic in such a fashion. I could see the cab driver. I could look into his eyes. I could see him search for alphabets. How could you portray the man in so splendidly? I am sorry if the appreciation is going a little too high but you know you switch on these channels and all you see is negative news. Even the news channels have no hope and they instill no hope into the minds of its viewers. And here you have one Back Punch who is portraying all this negative aspects of our country with so much hope and optimism that people like us should salute you. This is real good writing. Real good. The last few lines just made me go AWE!!!!

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