A Great Story, Made in India

I was in a terrible, terrible mood. I had just stepped out of the office with serious doubts on my career choices, and wanted to go home.

I skipped the usual auto-rickshaw ride that day, and instead hailed a cab from one of the top app-based services in Delhi. A white Tata Indigo rolled in within 10 minutes.

I greeted the driver as I sat in the car, asked him to adjust the A/C temperature and slowly got lost in the passing traffic on the road.

Bhaiyya, how long do you drive through the day?” I asked Lokesh Singh, the driver, my eyes still glazed to the windowpanes. “Sir, I start at 6 AM and drive till 12 in the night,”came the reply.

I bolted out of my lazy slump and turned towards him. I found his eyes in the rear-view mirror. His eyes were squinted, with creases at the ends that told me he was smiling. I kept looking at him. He sensed my interest and started his story.

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Lokesh Singh, the man who’s definitely #madeofgreat

“I came to Delhi around 20 years ago. I was 10-year-old, and actually ran away from my home near Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh. You know Faizabad? That’s where I grew up but was never able to find happiness”

“Why?”

“Because my father wanted me to study. He pushed me to go further and study more, but I thought I have learnt enough. Sir, you know, I was beaten black and blue by my father for not getting good grades. I don’t know if somebody got punished more than me, by anyone, anywhere”

“So, till what class have you studied?”

“I managed to reach class 9, but that was it. I started bunking classes and went to watch movies with a friend whose father had a car repair shop. He often picked me up in those cars and off we used to go. In hindsight, I looked forward to those class bunks more for the car rides than the movies. Yes, I loved cars.

I have two brothers – one elder and one younger. The elder brother is based in Chandigarh and I wanted to move to his place from the village. My parents refused to give permission. They wanted me to drown under a set of book and get a government job. You see, because that’s what stability is for them, and I respect that. But, I chose to run away to Delhi. I wanted to drive, and the urge was driving me crazy.

I traveled to Delhi in a general class coach, and I landed in a cold, wintry night. I knew nobody so stayed in a night-shelter near the station. Daily struggles happened. I worked as a cleaner, waiter, newspaper-seller and then got to do something closer to my dreams – I was hired as a private driver. I felt pleasure at the steering wheel.”

“Don’t you get irritated with the traffic in the city? I find it really inconvenient to drive”

“Sir, the fear and stress happened initially. Now I know this city and its roads. I have a sense of relationship with all of it. I know my sense would never cheat me, and even if it does and I hit somebody else’s bumper, I would know I have erred, and would immediately apologize. So, there’s little to put me off road. 

So, where was I? Yes, after driving for a few years as a private driver, I earned enough to buy myself a house in this city, a land in my village, and now have two cars in my fleet. The second car was added last month. I am also paying for its EMI, and send some money to parents as well.”

“How much do you save then,” I asked, which was a better than asking how much do you make.

“Enough to survive the city sir. I also have a loving wife who makes the survival easier. Also, it’s not about how much I have in my bank, but how happy I could be with the resources I get. I think have managed well, just driving what drives me. What do you think?”

I smiled and nodded towards the rear-view mirror. Lokesh’s eyes even more squinted now. I started looking forward to the next day at the office.

Dreams are surely realized by people who dare to make it happen, and are themselves #MadeofGreat resilience, and dedication.

– – – – – – –

Thank you Tata Motors for helping this man drive his passion. Thank you for making him great. (madeofgreat.tatamotors.com)

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2 thoughts on “A Great Story, Made in India

  1. Indeed a nicely written post. I wish you good luck for the contest
    Here is my answer
    The association of Tata Motors with Lionel Messi is that of two greats. Lionel Messi has been exceptionally talented who with his hard work, determination and sacrifices has got better and tougher in his chosen sport so is the Image, reputation and quality of TATA Motors that have transformed brilliant ideas into masterpieces of engineering and created a brand and products that we are so proud of as Indians. Lionel Messi has transformed his body and the mind body co-ordination into a masterpiece of precision and excellence it would not be wrong to say that Lionel Messi is the TATA Motors of sports where as TATA Motors is the Lionel Messi of vehicles both giants in their own spheres driven by the drive to excel and lead by example. So Lionel Messi is the best choice for becoming the brand Ambassador for TATA Motors
    aaloke19@gmail.com

  2. The story of a Legend in himself – that’s how I will describe it in a short sentence. Very well written with words and pics which enhance the simplicity yet greatness of the person. Salutations and very happy for you to have got inspired and bringing out your best in life.

    My answer: Tata is a name which any and every person can rely on for its honesty, commitment and perseverance. Lionel Messi is a legend who has carved his name in history books with total dedication to the game, simple living and improvisation which is seen with each game he plays. The association of Tata Motors and Lionel Messi as their Brand Ambassador will definitely give an edge to the Tata group over its competitors solely because the brand Ambassador also holds the same reputation of not letting his fans down ever, like Tata Motors who have given the best to the world over the decades. Its an exemplary association par excellence.

    You can choose my answer as the Voucher winning comment if you feel I described it all well.. 🙂 Please remember to post it on the Indiblogger contest page today as soon as you have 3 comments here..

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