Driving Dreams

Pooja Kumari

20-year-old Pooja Kumari hails from Kunwarpur district, Hathras. Born to truck driver Rajveer Singh and Gayatri devi, she aspires to be a better citizen, a dancer and a singer. Currently she is doing her Bachelor in Arts degree from K.S. Mahavidyalay in Ramgarh, Hathras.

Before I was born, our family was going through a crisis. To fight back such problems my father decided to learn driving. Job opportunities in other sectors seemed bleak because he had only studied till class-12th. He wasn’t qualified for better jobs.

When he went on his first road journey, he was nervous about leaving his family alone. There was no certain time for him to return, as the roads are unpredictable and the goods need to be dispatched safely. I was born after my father was able to take responsibility of our family’s critical financial problems. His driving solved many problems for the family, but it also brought its own share of uncertainties. My father has met many accidents on duty. One was such a terrific accident, my father got serious injuries. His legs were badly injured, including his head. When my mother got to know, she started weeping, saying, “I didn’t want money and other things, I only want you to be fit and healthy.” But the family’s poverty is such that even injuries can’t demotivate a person from returning to work. He was not in the condition to go back to driving immediately. After almost a year of taking rest, he was again ready to hit the road.

I have heard my father discussing how difficult it is to drive a truck in the night. Nobody has the ability to stay awake all night and keep driving constantly. So many natural calamities affect a driver’s job. Often drivers are not able to come home, for festivals and special days like wedding anniversaries, or his child’s birthday or other such occasions in the family. Sometimes my father has to travel for very long distances, carrying goods from one place to another. He remains out of touch for a long time. My mother has to manage all necessary needs at home, including our study, expenses and everything else. Though the earnings of the family is very humble, my father always ensures that my studies aren’t compromised. He wants his children to seek better education for the future. But as I always do, I suggest my father not to worry about my future. I don’t want my father to take that extra stress thinking about me. It is very important for us to know each other’s problems and help him to face them as we do in our own families.

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