Saturday, November 28, 2009

May be Tomorrow

Candle Light

Recently, I was abroad and traveling in a taxi, driven by a Pakistani. I asked him since how long he has been here and driving ( usual question that everybody hopping in his taxi would have asked him), to which he said three years. And my next obvious ( mostly asked again) question was that how much he earned and to which he replied something approximately Rs. 80,000 – 100,000 a month. Again a stupid question from me that how much he spent on him and how much he sent back home? Very coolly he replied, “ I sent almost 60-760% of my savings back home and barely survive on what is left ( which included for his shared room with some seven others and his daily food).” I then asked how often he visits back home to which he said that since he wanted his children to get educated and have a nice home, he visited after every three years. Feeling sorry for a man living far away from his near and dear ones, I then again asked him that he must be looking after his parents as well as his own family. He said partly yes as his father expired a few years back. I asked how (just to keep the conversation alive but never knowing that his answer would make me write this blog of mine today)? He said that his father was also a taxi driver in the same country there and lived all his life there until he died and was then his body flown back home.

This was hair raising – although I wished him long life and health, I just started thinking that how much a man works to ensure a better living for his wards by even staying away from them for years altogether – sacrificing his youth (and that of his wife waiting back home ) and his entire life. And then suddenly one day we hear that so and so expired and his body will be flown back soon – bringing an end to a man’s life, who had had so many plans for himself on his return and for his children. For a better tomorrow, how many perish away – but do those who live back home, ever really care for such expatriates to be back and live with them or just wait for a cheque to arrive so that they live on in a better future?

PS: My friend SAJS (Doodh Patti fame) shared his experience as: "What you wrote is a fact of life. Sad fact of life. Once I was in Saudia (during Desert Storm War 1992, a soldier used to get 302 Rials per month as an honorarium. He used to send 300 back home. Once I asked why you keep those two Rials? He replied, "sir we get every thing free here except Sarsoon Ka Teyl (Mastered Oil) which I need to apply on my hairs. I keep 2 Rials to buy that". I have never forgotten that ever since. "


Asghar Javed said...

These are the hard facts of life. These are there and we all face similar choices in different settings.

S A J Shirazi said...

I always take this story in a lighter vein but I do feel the deeper "to do more" desire for family and kids...