RAINBOW STORIES 8
FROM THE CITY AFTER MY HEART, GUWAHATI!
BY TINAT ATIFA MASOOD
Coming back to Guwahati exudes so many different emotions! Happiness is one of them!
And I become so hopeful for my Axom when I meet people like Abani Chandra Das, in whose car, I had the fortune of driving home. Abani is in the rolls of Uber. He wears a contented smile but Abani’s life was not always this easy.
His first battle with life was at the age of 18 when he decided to get married to his love, his girlfriend, who came from an extremely poor family. Abani ran from pillar to post trying to put at least one meal a day between his wife and himself, but to no avail. He was turned down by every other person he approached, who said he was too young to be employed for any work.
Abani was at a loss but didn’t lose heart. That was the exact same time when his first son was born. Now, he was in a fix! He tried getting into some contracts. But he realised soon enough after returning home late for almost every night that he couldn’t afford to risk his life, not when he has a child to look after.
He remembers ‘those four months’, those ‘four excruciatingly painful months’ when he, his wife and child had to eat bread, just plain bread, soaked in water, for every meal. His wife however, did an exercise to allay any doubts the neighbours might have harboured about their poverty stricken condition; every night, she would go to the common waterhole and wash the pots and pans, to create an impression that she had cooked a hearty meal for the family. When the son asked his father if the aroma wafting in from the neighbours home was meat being cooked, Abani explained that the time has still not arrived for them to eat meat. But the day is not too far when they too, will do so, surely!
Now, Abani is the owner of a Maruti Alto and has attached his car to Uber. He also owns a van which supplies water to most of the areas of the city.
Abani’s mantra in life is to be honest to his customers, no matter what!
A down-to-earth, shy, soft-spoken Abani, while dropping me home said, “Baidew, this is the first time I have spoken my heart out ’cause I feel I have met my elder sister.” Abani, tell me, who wouldn’t love to have a brother like you? I am blessed to welcome you to my family! I wish that the next time I meet you, you would have planned to start your own car rental agency. More power to you, my brother Abani! Reach for the stars as you deserve more in life than you have dreamt of!
***** Abani has a five-star rating on the Uber App and can be reached at 9085295791!