In my fight for love, I’ve experienced what life’s roller coaster can truly feel like, in the past 2 decades! As a young girl, brought up in a conservative household in Kerala, I saw my journey go topsy turvy with one just one decision- to marry the man of my heart’s desire.
And as young love would know it, we eloped as 19 year-olds, shifting to Coimbatore to start our lives afresh from scratch. There were contrasting emotions piling up in my head, for my destiny had brought me closer to the one I loved, while simultaneously ostracizing me from my family. Plus those initial years were incredibly testing, especially after the 1998 bomb blast, that suddenly also put a stop to our income.
Plus by then, I’d become a mother of two as well, roaming helpless in her best efforts to keep the family afloat. So, it was purely out of desperation that I became an auto driver subsequently, with the help of my brother who was residing in Chennai at that point. But there was a catch here too, and it required me to live separately, and try my luck with driving auto-rickshaws, while my husband was still in coimbatore, looking after the kids.
Now, as a young woman into this field, I don’t even have to explain the innumerable challenges that were there at every step. Right from the physical exhaustion of handling an auto-rickshaw, to constantly battling to be included as a female driver in a male-dominated industry to, of course, struggling in a new city, trying to make ends meet, the odds were fully stacked up against me!
Nevertheless, with the most supportive husband there as a constant cheerleader, I’ve somehow been able to navigate through these tides and happily so in all these twenty three years! With our hearts in the right place, and pure intentions, we’ve today not only managed to improve our status but proudly so, with all the recognition I’ve been getting lately!
That again, was a random act of kindness that eventually helped me feel content on so many levels. On one of my rides, assisting a sick foreigner, I’d requested if she would be ok, in accommodating a few school girls who were walking barefoot under the hot sun. And that was it! It had always been my ritual to drop off the kids in my area, especially girls, to school free of cost, for most of them would be walking in scorching heat. But that specific day, when the traveller observed my actions, she went ahead and left a commendable review on a popular travel website!
And since then, my work has been recognized even more with awards piling up by the day. But amidst all these positives, the best one has to be my entire clan respecting me for my choices, and finally understanding the essence of my service. I guess, in the end it pays to be a good person , regardless of how anomalous your choices can be!”