Thursday, April 4, 2013

D---Driving me crazy


                                                            
My mother in law once remarked that most housemaids in Mumbai are called Laxmi and most of the drivers call themselves Raju. Well, I did have four Rajus out of a sizeable number of   drivers that have worked for me over the years.
Obviously I don't drive so I have to depend on Rajus and over the years I have employed  many of them and each one has been an eclectic personality in his own right. While I take pride in being able to  retain the oldest of clinic and home staff from the time I made Mumbai my home,this  driving  force has been an ever changing aspect of my life and a frustrating one at that.
Read about a few particularly interesting ones we can never forget...
Raju no. 1- Lasted one year.
 Pet peeve-sleeping on duty,body odour,absconding to his village every now and then for months together.He killed imaginary family members one by one,some of them even twice to find an excuse to abscond to his village. 
Good natured fellow,but would sleep through duty hours thanks to his night duty as a watchman elsewhere. BO was taken care of by my son by gifting him a stock of deodorants. We could however do nothing about  his favourite chameli ka tel (a very strong smelling Jasmine oil ) which he so generously applied in his hair .He finally went back to his family in the village ,and I am sure must be sleeping on duty somewhere in Moradabad .
Raju no.2 -Lasted 4 years
 Pet peeve-none
Fiercely loyal,extremely skilled ,he was the best of the lot.He would somehow manage to  make an appearance in our family photographs! All the snaps during that period have him in a far corner with a corner of his 'rumaal'( handkerchief) pressed between his teeth.Mumbai weather took a toll on his health and he relocated to Hyderabad. Family misses him in the photographs now.
Raju no.3-Lasted 2 days
pet peeve-too short a time to register
He was a parking lot driver who turned overconfident a little too soon.My cars have bruised bums thanks to him reversing right into the wall ,any wall !
 Saw him at a mall a few days later...reversing an unsuspecting shopper's car .
Raju no.4-Lasted for a month
 pet peeve-Forgetting his way around.He had this uncanny ability to get lost on his way back. I tried very hard to understand how and why,but gave up eventually as he would keep forgetting the way to my house. One day,when he overshot the last turn to my lane,I thought he was dreaming,but no... he couldn't recognize the lane because ,in his own words -"Woh eent,patthar kahan gaye?Road saaf ho gaya to pehchaan nahin aaya."(What happened to the construction material on the road ? I could not recognize the turn because of that) Fixed landmarks were obviously of no importance to him.
He just could not remember the landmarks,the roads,nothing at all.My phone bill was the highest in that month and my hairpulling reached its peak during his tenure.
Raju no.5-Lasted a month
 pet peeve-impatience and his reluctance to park the car anywhereelse but the building garage!
This one made us the laughing stock of friends,family and staff.He would drive us to our destination,but on our return there was no guarantee that he would be around waiting for us.He would drive all the way back home and park the car back in the garage.He refused to wait  if the mall was not to his liking, or it was too hot for his liking,or he couldn't find a parking slot close by or any other reason that he fancied.So after being left in the lurch twice, we let him go. Wonder where he is now? Someone ,somewhere must be pulling his  own hair in frustration .
Raju no.6-Lasted 3 days,
                                                           

 Speciality- Death personified ,extremely dangerous to all living beings on the road and off it!
Again a parking lot product,he was danger unleashed on the road!!
Day one ,my heart was in my mouth when I reached home after an hour of being in the back seat clutching the door handle.
Day two, my head was hanging in shame due to the choicest abuses that were hurled at us all day on the road .No one, I repeat,no one spared us.Car drivers,Rickshaw drivers,scooter, motorbike drivers,they all glared and abused.I was witness to the world's worst road rage that day.Driver saab though, was unruffled. He sat like Buddha in meditation,concentrating on the road ahead ( whatever that meant to him!)
Day three ,people saw me escape a near death situation when suddenly Raju 6 decided to enter at full speed between two speeding trucks jostling for space on the narrow road ahead  .Fraction of a second and there I was, all shaken up as if my arms were cut off from my body. Reality soon dawned on me that I was unscathed but my car had lost both  side rear-view mirrors as it emerged from in between the two giant trucks.I took a cab home and didn't see his face again.
More recently,the last Raju we employed, refused pick ups and drops to and from the airport.Some kind of superstition, according to his friend. Before he could refuse to drive down to and from more such sites on his list ,we let him go.
Why don't I  drive ? Now that is a very good question ! 
I have a reputation of bringing danger to the roads and to myself,when I drive.
I am not good at it...driving is not my forte - there ...I said it !!


This is for A to Z April challenge.




images-courtesy,Google images.

41 comments:

  1. Hilarious!! What a bunch of Rajus you have had!! The best were Raju No. 4 and 5! :D

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  2. Raju no 6 must be related to Rajnikanth :-) Had me in splits.
    Laxmi Addanki.

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    1. Now, why didn't I think of that !? That explains it :D

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  3. This is so funny...am laughing so loud cos' they are all the same aren't they. Ya...your MIL was right...my driver's name is also Raju.

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    1. One fine day you will find out his true name..they just call themselves 'Raju' .Try asking,and tell me about it :)

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  4. Thoroughly enjoyed your post and the escapades of each Raju.

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  5. A cheeky post :D

    Raju no 4 & 5 were too much :D

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    1. Weren't they ? If only my reflexes were a little faster on the road..

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  6. Ha ha ha! I miss Bombay and its quirks through your post. In Chennai, I have resigned to totally random on-call drivers, but I had a specimen who bumped off members of his family, including his mom (who called me a few days after her death as her son was not reachable!) and slept at signals, AND refused to carry any bags because he was ONLY a driver. Needless to say, he lasted a mere 2 weeks. His name you ask me? Well, Raju of course!

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    1. This driver would lie with a straight face ,every time he reported death to me and asked for leave. I see that I am not the only one troubled by Raju drivers .

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  7. gee- the 5th raju had me in splits. sharmila the last lines were as if written by me - driving is simply not my forte. thanks for the morning smiles :)

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    1. Thank you Priya.I swallowed a lot more than my pride before I stated that ,believe me !

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  8. Hilarious to the core.

    Raju 4 & 5 are unbelievable. :D

    and you dared to keep Raju 6 for 3 days!! OMG!!

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    1. Yes,three days felt like three years.

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  9. LMAO !!

    every one has bad driver experiences
    My dad changed 6 drivers tooo similar traits all of them
    may b i shud write a blog post too :D
    thoroughly enjoyed this sharmila
    IMAGINED every bit of it . LOL

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    1. Please do Afshan,would love to hear about them.

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  10. My ! you really scared the daylights out of me wih Raju#1 . Killing family memebers hheee heee :)) Hope you've got Raju #7 :)

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    1. Oh ..I have lost count Sridevi.The one we have now is just five days old on the job.Keeping my fingers crossed.

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  11. ROFL ! Everyone drives in my family so I don't have any Raju tales but I can tell you loads about our cab drivers at work !
    Loved this post !

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    1. Would love to hear about them Ruchira.Glad you liked the post :)

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  12. Driving might not be your forte but remembering and writing about your 'driving forces' sure is. Amazingly paced post interesting right till the end. Mazza as Gaya padhkar

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    1. Oh i remember reading this post earlier! Visiting again with that tuesday thingy!

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  13. Thoroughly enjoyed this hilariously written post. Sharing :)

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    1. Hey, thank you so much Shail,means a lot..:))

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  14. The tales of Raju Ban Gaya Driver had me and Jose in splits, Sharmila! Absolutely brilliant.

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    1. :D Thank you Corinne. Happy that you liked it.

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  15. This is hilarious!! We did have Raju #1 for several years and my mom finally got fed up! Driving duties are now done alternately by my dad or a rental agency!

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    1. Drivers in my area are in high demand.How I wish I was good at driving and could put my driving license to use.

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  16. You post had me in splits. (I had to type that thrice before I got it right!). I read the post title as Driving Ms.Daisy. :D I must be feeling the strain! Giggle!

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    1. Thank you Vidya ...Actually this was my feeble attempt at trying to rhyme the title with Driving Ms Daisy :)

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  17. I too had a Raju who used to sleep a lot and run off to the village every few months. His final excuse I hope is a lie, his mother had cancer, according to him.

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    1. Oh sleeping is dangerous ..we are actually putting our lives in danger by trusting these men.

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  18. I am glad you lived to tell the tale of Rajus. Hilarious to the hilt!

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    1. Thank you USP.Glad to be alive still, for sure..

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  19. Hahhaah! This was brilliant! I have had the pleasure of observing another kind of Raju as well. Mr Short Cut. This fellow claims to know of a short cut to any place you can think of. And he would insist on subjecting your poor car to the heaviest of rickshaw traffic in the narrowest of lanes possible to achieve it!

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    1. Thank you Rickie.I know these short cut guys too,they leave your car open to damage from the close traffic while you sit twiddling your thumbs inside!

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  20. I forwarded this link to so many, thought I commented as well. Lol! This needs to go to the RTO as a mandate. They can check for skills based on this and then decide if licenses should be given at all. Mazaa aa gaya padh kar!

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  21. OMG!! still rolling over laughing!! what a delightful read!

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