We are a big family, our family includes me, my little sister ( yes though married and 27 for me she will always be my lil sister), mom, dad, our respective husbands, my naughty toddler, our always dirty sometimes clean dog Tyson, then there are these amazing, loyal people who helped us with our household and other work. They are the army and also the backbone of our house. They have been with us since years and we consider them as part of our family. I don’t think they consider our house as a job cause with so much love they work for us.
One such person is our driver Kersing bhai, he has been working with us for 37 years….yes 37 years…he tells me most of his life he has been with us, he has witnesses my parents marriage, my birth, then my marriage and now my son’s birth…. When I was little he would make funny faces to make we laugh when I was crying or would not eat, today he does the same for my son, actually he has forgotten that he is ageing, for my son he does the bonus jumping around dance, he has never failed to make him laugh. Through all our happy and some sad times he would be driving the car to and fro, running around coordinating things which we don’t even realise cause they are managed by him.
My primary school was in the old city, during those times it was a sensitive area to communal riots. If he heard from his sources riots might start even if it’s a rumour, he would not wait to inform my parents from where ever he would be he would rush to school just barge into our class pick up me and my cousin and bring us home. If the teachers argue he will say ” do what u want to, if I know there is trouble in the city, I m not leaving the girls her.”
During the same time we would have a lunch break, he would bring us lunch from home, our mom’s would send us a 3 course meal with roti, dal, rice, sabji, salad and butter milk, he would plead us, insist and continuously talk to me and my cousin to make sure we ate that extra roti and finish everything send to us, he was not signed up for that still he did it.
He is also extremely moody, short-tempered and bossy. When I was in high school, me and my friend would hang around after school talking for a few extra minutes, irritated with the heat he would just rush to us shout at us and tell us “school time is over, get in the car” oh I would get so embarrassed at that age but I had to listen to him, with a long face would sit in the car, not one word to protest.
In my teens he was more like my bodyguard, no boy could come near me, mom dad trusted him so if it was some inter school get together or late night parties or movies he would drive me and like Cinderella ( ok I won’t call this spoilt self of mine Cindrella..) when my limit was up no matter where I was he would come up to me and tell me it was time up, I do remember in a school party, he came right inside and told me it’s time to go home, everyone were shocked to see him in the party…I just wanted to hide my face. He would even fire boys teasing me or following home….most of the time it worked in my favour.
I remember this one time, during my chartered accountant exams I would take him so I could study on the way, in panic I forgot my water bottle in the car. Exam started papers were getting distributed, suddenly I hear a familiar voice shouting outside the classroom, it was him running towards the classes looking for me, to give me my water bottle, he was requesting the examiner to give me the water bottle, lucky me the examiner did not throw me out with the bottle…after the exam I requested him not to disturb classrooms like this. He would assertively tell me, ” what option do I have when you forget the bottle, after studying so hard for the exams if you get distracted cause you are thirsty..and the exams do not go well then?” So I rolling my eyes told him,” they do give water during the exams.” So he counter argues, ” what if that water is not hygienic and you drink that fall sick and then you cannot give the next exams?” I had no answer to that…I just had to let it go..
Such is our driver Kersing bhai, lots of memories and many more to come, he tells me soon he will be driving my son to play school, he says he will take us to the zoo, circus just as he would drive mom and me…
Few days back we had his dal batti brunch. The kitchen was hi-jacked by him, he is very attached to my parents and for him it is a matter to responsibility and pride that the food has to be top-notch, thus he was multitasking, running from one corner to another, re tasting the food several times, making us taste his dal for suggestions, in fact this time the dal was so delicious just tasting it I must have eaten 3 cups of it…
This dal is full of flavours of white garlic, green garlic, ghee, chilli and a combination of lentils. The battis that looks somewhat like donuts are baked in a tandoor. What amazing flavours but very heavy food.
The only problem with me that day was after over eating, I wanted to take a nap but my son was up and playing, so when the whole house was napping I decided to walk my son on his stroller and burn some calories instead, the walk felt very hard after such rich food….every step was an effort but for the taste of it the feeling was totally worth it.