Friday, February 20, 2009


The driver that drove me from Chennai to Vellore was named K-7. Before we dropped off my mom at the airport he spoke little. My mom and I were in the backseat and he was upfront driving. After we dropped her off, though, I moved up front. We began to talk and he told me a bit about his life.

He is 25 and has been working as a driver since he was 19. The same age I am right now. He was a small guy. Probably only weighed 110 lbs. He seemed kind, although his eyes looked hard and unhappy.

He told me that he has two younger siblings. One brother and one sister. Both are in university studying computer science (can't get much more cliché than that). He was obviously very proud of them. I asked about his parents. He said his mom was a stay at home mom and his dad worked construction. But then he told me his dad hadn't worked in the last month. I, naively, asked why.

His dad is an alcoholic. In India this means he takes all the family money he can get his hands on and goes on a month long binge. Then he sobers up, goes back to work and earns enough money to do it again. Add some domestic violence and you've got the makings of a good old fashioned Indian alcoholic.

So, K-7 dropped out of school in 10th grade and started working to support his family. Now, his taxi driving job is putting both his siblings through university and supporting his mother and father. He makes rs 3,000 a month. That is about 60 U.S. Dollars. Split between five people.

K-7 said he doesn't drink. His only vice is smoking the occasional cigarette. He doesn't have a house or apartment. He sleeps in the car that he drives for his boss. He doesn't get a day off. If there is a job he takes it.

1 comment:

andrew ford said...

Whenever you think your getting kicked out of home/school/getting dumped/losing your job whatever situation is "the worst thing ever..."

Pretty resourcesful and driven dude.

Good for him. Hopefully he can follow his dreams once his family gets through school.