…is officially, and finally, on order. We’re told that it should only be a couple of weeks for delivery; but to be honest I’d be surprised if it’s less than a month. From there it’ll need to be registered. I have no idea how long that process takes or what is involved; I guess we’ll find out. Of course we’ll then need to hire a driver, but someone in Paul’s office is already working on it. Apparently he knows someone, who knows someone else that has a friend, who comes from a family of drivers that will be able to recommend someone.
In the meantime, I’ve been having Paul’s rickshaw driver, Vikram, pick me up about once a week and take me to the mall. Yesterday he was half an hour late:
Him: “Sorry. So sorry Mrs. Boss.”
Me: “It’s okay….”
Him: “So sorry.”
Me: “It’s okay. No problem.”
Him: “Thank you.”
Yes, he actually calls me Mrs. Boss. It’s weird for me, but he does it out of respect. Not only has Paul been his main source of income for over a year; he’s also been his benefactor. Whether Vikram needs money because one of his children is sick, his rickshaw needs new tires or he’s just having a hard time; Paul has been there. Very soon, he will not be. Getting our own car brings mixed feelings.
Now a friend of mine has asked, and you may be wondering also, if we really need a car. Let me answer that with a question. If you lived in the suburbs would you have your own car or would you pay to get around in a golf cart half the time and a taxi the other half? Keep in mind that the golf cart would only take you short distances and any time you’d need a taxi the driver may not speak English, making it near to impossible to explain where you need to go. Unless, of course, you know exactly how to get there and can instruct him:
Seedhey jaaey! (Go straight!)
Phir bānyae mudiye. (Then turn left)
Phir dānyae mudiye. (Then turn right)
My friend then suggested that Vikram could drive our car for us. First of all, there’s a very good chance that he has never driven one before, let alone have a license to do so. Second, he’s only familiar with a small area of Navi Mumbai. Third, he speaks very little English. We need a driver that knows his way around, both in Navi Mumbai and Mumbai. Someone that we can easily communicate with, as opposed to being limited to a few simple words combined with exaggerated hand gestures.
So the bottom line is we have to do what is practical for us living here, knowing it will inevitably affect the lives of a man and his family. In this situation I think the only thing that helps set the world back in balance a bit, is knowing that we’ll be giving someone else a job.