The Money Game

Reshma Dinkar Dhat

Reshma Dinkar Dhat is the daughter of the truck driver Mr. Dinkar Uttam Dhat and Mrs. Janabai Dhat. Born in August 1995, Reshma hails from Pune, Maharashtra. She is doing graduation and wants to fulfil her father’s dreams.

One day, when my father was driving a truck, a two-wheeler was trying to overtake his truck.   A luxury bus was coming from the opposite direction. As the bus was approaching with a great speed, it was not possible for the biker to overtake my father’s vehicle and it was apparent that the bus would hit the bike.  Father hurriedly applied the brakes and turned his truck e to the left side. This way, he saved life of the biker. That is what real drivers are. A good driver watches others too while driving. People commit mistakes but, if a slight effort from someone can save them from the consequences of that mistakes, it would be good for everyone.

My father sees many such incidences while driving his truck. No one likes to drive on bad roads especially when someone has to drive for long distances, like a truck driver. Roads with potholes not only tire a driver but, also damage the vehicle. There are a few places in India, where the climate is friendly for drivers. Too much cold or too much heat troubles the long distance drivers. But, untimely rains are always a threat.

A truck driver can’t relax even for a second. His work is mentally and physically tiring. As if, all these are not enough, the loneliness that this job brings kills a driver. I know how badly my father misses home. He has expressed his sadness for staying away for so long. World is mean. Every interaction is for some barter. Nobody entertains anybody for charity. When a driver lives among such people for long, he gets weary of their bizarre behaviour and craves for the homeliness. The warmth and love of his family nurtures him. That is when we realize that he is a father first and then, he is a truck driver.

In spite of so many problems, drivers are not well-to-do people. Money remains a big constraint. They and their families are emotionally and economically deprived. I have tried to sum up the life of a truck driver father in my poem below.

FATHER O’ God! Please tell me what is the crime of my ‘father’?

He frugally lived his life,

O’ God! Please tell me what his crime is?

He always laboured for others, but never lived for himself.

Everyone betrayed him.

O’ God! Please tell me what his crime is?

He never ever troubled anyone in his life,

He mutely tolerated if anyone troubled him.

His relatives fought with him.

O’ God! Please tell me what his crime is?

He wears shoddy clothes,

Goes to work at dawn,

But still, he remains poor,

O’ God! Tell me, what is his crime?

He earns every penny for me,

But many a times, he does not have money left to buy food..

Tally of his money is always in minus,

O’ God! Please tell me what his crime is?

Even in utter poverty he educated me,

Though he was dying he nurtured me,

But I did not fulfil my duty,

O’ God! Please tell me what his crime is?

Is being a truck driver his crime?

Or, being a father is his crime?

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