In the few short weeks we spent in India, I got lot of updates on Kumaresan Driver as to how he had helped Papa in many ways and in turn Mom too. In fact even on Papa's last trip to and from the hospital, Kumaresan Driver was all along, never leaving sight, I heard. Since then I developed a special kind of affinity towards Kumaresan Driver. Though he calls me 'Akka' I would like to call him 'Annan' as he is very much like an elder brother in the family.
All matters big and small that needs running around, we need Kumaresan driver for. Not just driving, he helps us with everything that a household runs on. Okay, not the simple stuff like grocery shopping but major shopping like real estate. Yes, he is our representative in local government offices, paying taxes, why not even our signatory at the land exchange office. He takes care of a lot of things before we show up to sign the papers.
The rarest quality among human, which is honesty, is found in abundance in Kumaresan Driver. He will never charge you more than what he needs to pay at these different offices. He charges only the right amount for his driving services. He keeps an account of his services and if we pay him extra, he will discuss and return it.
He is warmly welcome in all places he travels with us. In-laws and extended family also treat him as one of our own. I was surprised recently when I visited places without him, (as he was not available due to his Mom's passing away), many inquired of him. It shows how much he is valued and associated with us.
I have to share with you an incident that happened once; not sure if I even told Mom about this. Once when we visited my in-law's place, I had an argument with Israel for something or other and was returning to Mom's place alone to attend a lunch get together at my friend's place; kids were already at Mom's I guess. Israel refused to join me.
As the car left Israel's home, I started crying and crying and when I paused for a minute to yawn or something, Kumaresan Driver inquired what happened. He listened to the whole story as I narrated it to him. In the end with a big sigh he said, "Sir is very good Akka! He will have to behave certain way in front of his people otherwise it is only bad name for you. So please don't cry". With that my tears stopped for the rest of the way and I could instantly forgive Israel. I don't think any other words would have comforted me that very moment. Not only then, many times after that also these words helped me smooth out the differences.
Anytime we land in India or leave for America, the first & last familiar face we see is that of Kumaresan Driver as he manages to come all the way in front of the crowd waving cheerfully at us. He would have given up sleep to drive us around places, would have missed meals trying to keep up with our schedule, still he showed no remorse of any kind. Willingly he will help with the luggage, stop for tender coconuts, quickly run and get the basket or something our children get attracted to in the road side shop, little little things but which comes from a very big heart!
Kumaresan Driver is happily married and has two precious daughters. I wish and pray only the best for him & his. Once again, here's someone whose affinity to our family is priceless...
P.S.: So, what's stopping you guys from sharing about your Influential Elders? Trust me, you will feel so good once you write! Email me your posts at email@example.com if you would like for me to publish it here as part of the ongoing series... Thank you!