The Way of Life


J.Nithyaa, born in December 1996, is the daughter of the truck driver M. Jeevanantham and his wife J. Tamilselvi. The family hails from Thottipatti village in Namakkal district of Tamilnadu.  She is pursuing B. E Computer Sc. and Engineering literature from Anna University, Chennai. She is determined to excel as an engineering professional in future.

My father is a good driver with an experience of over 25 years. Our family has five members. I am eldest child of my parents. I have one younger brother and a younger sister. They are also studying in school and college respectively. My mother is a housewife. She is prone to allergic problems. My father has to feed the family on his meager income, bear all the costs of our studies as well as my mother’s treatment. He is a hard working person. We often miss our father as he frequently stays away from home to meet the demand of his job. Sometimes we have to wait for long to see daddy at home.

He faced many unfortunate incidents during his journeys. He had to solve different kinds of troubles on the road; had to face tragedies as well. I can mention one road accident which could lead to catastrophic crash if he was not an experienced driver.  That day, he was heading to Maharashtra. He had heard about the poor conditions of the road from his fellow drivers before. The road was infamous as accident prone. While driving, he noticed the damaged condition of the road. He continued driving but understood the extent of the damage when water flowing from cracked drainage pipes on one side of the road came into his sight.  He had no other option but to drive extra-cautious and somehow cross the bad patch. But luck didn’t help him. Irrespective of his careful efforts, he lost control over the vehicle at one place. His presence of mind did alert him and he jumped out of the moving vehicle. He suffered some bruises but saved himself from crashing against a roadside tree.  

My father faced several attempts of road robbery on his way to deliver goods. Cargo theft is main target of highway robbers. But he was physically attacked by violent robbers a couple of times. He had suffered injuries as a result.

Traffic chaos due to blocked roads creates intolerable situation on the road. In some cases, natural calamities like landslide or violent storms are the reason behind blocked roads and then sometimes, protesters who block roads to fulfill their demands wreak havoc. Whatever the reason is, ra blocked road ahead makes him wait for long periods. Needless to say, facilities like taking bath or washing clothes cannot be reached in such cases.  He has to cope with lack of food and drinking water too if stuck in such a situation. During one of his journeys, he found driving impossible on a flooded highway. He parked the vehicle at one side of the road. Only thing he could do was to wait patiently for days inside his vehicle cabin.  I remember another similar incident. A heavy rainfall caused roadblock during his trip to Punjab. He tried his best to carry on but at the end, found driving impossible. Finally he stopped the vehicle. Here too, he had to wait several days for the flooding to reduce.

He told me that the road to Delhi is simply superb. It is completely safe and properly maintained. He enjoys driving on that road.

My father has experience of driving both in day and night. Driving is comparatively easier in the day but driving at night is actually troublesome. Feeling  sleepy is one of the small issues drivers face at night. He parks the vehicle and takes a nap if he feels drowsy. Sleep-deprived driving is avoidable at any cost as it increases risk of accident. I remember how one of his long absence from home became painful to the family. He went to Jammu and Kashmir. It takes a long time to reach the state from our home state. Moreover, he worked for the whole week after reaching there. Our family started facing financial issues as a result. We didn’t have money to buy essentials for home. Money was also needed to pay fees for my college and for my sibling’s tuitions. That time we realized how managing hardships becomes even more difficult without him.

I love my father; miss him when he is not with us. He is the super-dad for me. A truck driver’s life is difficult on the road. Being born as children of a truck driver, we also go though plenty of bad times. Fighting bad times gives us strength and courage. That helps us survive and achieve our dreams.

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