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Return of the Roadie

About Swapna B

Born in February 1995, Swapna Bala hails from Kethepally, Nalgonda district, Telengana. She is pursuing her MA in literature. Born to truck driver, Mr. Raju and Mrs. Fathima Mary, Swapna has two sisters. Swapna wants to complete her post graduation and enrol for doctoral studies in English Literature.


As I write this, I think of the busy world around. Fast and ruthless. Easy and comfortable. How much are we bothered about others? Technology has brought us closer, and has simultaneously taken us very far from each other. Only the other day I found a boy driving his vehicle while checking his sms. I wanted to stop him and give him a piece of mind. He was not a friend or a relative. But still, why do I bother? I do because these are the irresponsible people who adversely affect the safety of my father and security of my family.

How?

Well. My father is a truck driver. Many a times his life has been in danger. It was sheer luck that he could avoid some accidents when someone else was using the mobile while driving or was not following traffic rules. Accidents often happen because of others behaving erratically while driving on the same road.  Irrespective of who was at fault, the one who suffers more becomes the victim and the other person becomes a villain.

And then, the problems with police! Even though my father is very particular about carrying his licence and all required papers, the police would ask for money. A poor man, my father, would have to pay them, often for no reason. Every day when my father leaves home, I pray to God to bring him back safely. Sometimes my prayers work; sometimes I don’t know what to prey. I only thank God for not making things worse.

One monsoon my father went to Maharashtra to unload the rice. Rains were heavy and bad that season. The roads became slippery and dangerous to drive back. He waited for the rains to subside. Much to his shock, he was stuck in the floods for 3 days. He did not have anything to eat. In due time the government dropped food packets from the helicopter. My father had to catch those packets and eat. At times he had to starve.

Those days there were no mobile phones. We had no idea what was happening. For those few days that my father went missing, we were scared for life fearing the worst. Memories of those days still haunt us. Till date when my father goes for a long journey, sometimes it takes almost 10-15 days, tension hovers at the back of our minds. I and my family miss him a lot. He reciprocates, but can’t do much about it. When I was a child, I used to cry when my father would not be there to attend our special festivals or school functions. I used to ask my mother, “When will papa come back?” Mom would hide her own tears and assure, “Papa will be coming soon.” This is a common story not only with my family but all families where the father is a truck driver have such tales to tell.


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Swapna B

Intro :
Born in February 1995, Swapna Bala hails from Kethepally, Nalgonda district, Telengana. She is pursuing her MA in literature. Born to truck driver, Mr. Raju and Mrs. Fathima Mary, Swapna has two sisters. Swapna wants to complete her post graduation and enrol for doctoral studies in English Literature.

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