Today we lost a valuable member of our family. Our dear dear driver Ganapathy. Though he did drive our cars for a living, he was far more than a driver to us. He was like an uncle to my brother and me, a younger brother to my dad, a son to my grandparents. Today, he passed away at the age of 42 leaving behind a young wife, an infant child and 2 young children.
I remember Ganapathy as this warm young person who had an eternal smile and referred to me as "papa". He was around when I first learned to ride my bicycle and was around to take me to my first swimming lessons. He was ever happy to take my grandfather to the beach and my grandmother to her gazillion temples. But today, he isn't around to either teach his youngest child to ride a bike or to teach her the alphabet. He was so proud to drive me around everywhere and eventually taught me to drive. One day, on the pretense of taking me shopping, he actually took me to the beach to let me drive our car. I was but only 14- 15 then and did not have a license. Being a rather clumsy driver, I attracted a cop's attention by driving on the wrong side of the road. Ganapathy so tactfully got me out of the sticky situation by claiming that I was a lawyer's daughter and spared me a good spanking. He saved my skin more than once and today I am unable to even see his face as he is being buried in some far away town in India.
Our hearts bleed. Ganapathy, you were a part of our family. You were there to help my grandfather move during his last few years and you were there to carry our grandmother when she was dying. You so skillfully lifted my uncle when he was immobile and today we aren't around to pay our last respects. Sorry!! We miss you!!!