Last evening when Fr Sudhakar invited me to come along to pick up the new four-wheeler from the showroom at Malakpet, I agreed immediately... I wanted to know where on earth was this place called 'Malakpet'. After reaching the place (the route I didn't learn, for I slept sometime halfway through!!) and finalising the formalities, it was a question of who would drive the new vehicle back home. There was Fr Thathi, Nagaraj (driver) and myself. Fr Sudhakar and Thathi offered me the keys, I bluntly refused. I really wanted Nagaraj to drive the vehicle. But since Thathi was there, I didn't want to state that Nagaraj ought to drive. After all, it was Fr Sudhakar's vehicle and he had the sole privilege of deciding.
My logic to let Nagaraj drive the new vehicle was simple. Driving that new vehicle home would mean nothing to me... absolutely nothing! But for him it would be an honour far beyond his imagination. For the driver to drive a new vehicle from the showroom to the house, for its maiden drive, .... Wow!! That's how it is among the drivers fraternity. Add to that the zing that he did it in spite of two of us (you could call us "owners") who could drive - but didn't!!
I drove back the old vehicle and to my joy, Thathi joined me, leaving Nagaraj to drive the new vehicle with Fr Sudhakar. I had a great surprise for me back at home when Nagaraj would not put off the engine of the new vehicle, without me taking at least a short drive with that!! I guess it was his way of expressing his gratitude for this privilege.
(Photo: The new vehicle was blessed today by Fr Noel. Nagaraj is on the far left of the photo.)