Sunday, September 17, 2006

Extraordinary lives

Many years ago, in Readers Digest, I had read a short essay by Richard Nixon on ‘Extraordinary lives of Ordinary people’. He talked about the struggle and sacrifice of ordinary people through tremendous adversities with a single cherished dream of making their family to lead a better life. I couldnt lay my hands on this essay but every time I took Dubai or Shrajah taxi and chat with Indian or Pakistani driver, I think of that essay.

Today, after giving my car for servicing, I took taxi run by Edison. He appeared about the age of 28 but turned out to be 34 year old . His being from Kerala was no surprise that his coming to Dubai at so late in his life was unexpected. His coming to Dubai wasn’t pre planned life time mission as other Keralites. In Cochin, he was fairly established in his stationary business but when municipal authorities , in order to widen the road, razed his shop, he had no means to survive. Being rental premises, he didn’t get any compensation. All the proceeds went to the landowner. That’s when he saw the advertisement for recruitment of Drivers for Dubai Taxi. The only qualification they needed was English language. His studies in convent school helped to get a job as a driver but he had to pay an agent Rs 100K and agent provided 4 months stay in Dubai with food and paid for driving licence school fees. Now he drives 12 hours a day to give a minimum business of 300 Dirham business a day (US$ 80.00) to make him qualify for 25% commission that would his emoluments. From this, Dubai Taxi deducts money towards his house. He makes net Rs20, 000 p.m.

He is happy with the money he is making and invests his spare time in learning Arabic and Hindi. He still regrets of not completing his gradutation after his father passing away at the age of 17 . But he is keen to make a difference in the life of his wife, mother and child through his hard work in Dubai. I am sure in few years; with language skills and driving ability, he would be soon be a qualified salesman for FMCG companies and fulfil his cherished dream of graduation through his child.


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