I met Ali in the Leh airport,he drove us in our hotel. The very next morning we went for sightseeing. He used to drive very fast. I repeatedly told him to drive slow, he followed for a short time; again continued in his own speed.
On the way to Nubra valley the road was very stiff and the altitude was very high. As I was sick before our tour it was difficult for me to bear that fast ride.After coming back I complained our tour operator for his driving and asked for another driver.
|Where I am, dogs are as well|
Our tour operator assured me that he would tell him to drive comfortably.The next day Ali came drove the car and I enjoyed my entire remaining trip.
Sometimes he used to push the accelerator and I just told "Ali.....ahista"...he became consous. We used to chat during this long drive. I asked him "How old are you Ali?he replied "22years mam."He told me "At the age of 16 I started driving without lisence,I used to drive big vehicles ,now I drive tourist cars during the season and other time I drive for military 's " ,he addled "now I have lisence also."I kept mum,at the age of 16this boy drove the vehicles such a difficult road!!! Slowly we became friends.
In the next few days it came to know that he had lost his father at the age of 12. He is from Kargil. He has two sisters and one brother. They are staying in the village with his mother. His brother is studying in Pune in a residential school, his one sister is in class 4 and other is in class 6 and he is the only earning member of the family. I was so touched that it was difficult for me to control my tears, my throat choked and I stared at him. This boy is driving with a smile, sometimes singing with the music of the sound system of the car.
In the meantime three incidents happened.
One evening in a remote place my younger son had gone for a stroll and time passed by he did not return. I was scared. Ali went to find him and both came back .The next day my son insisted to climb a hill top, guessing my anxiety he accompanied my son and the last but not the least my husband had a leg injury. He drove us to the hospital and guided as our guardian because it was not a known place for us and we didn't know the language, Ladhakhi.The last day I advised him to buy a car of his own with a bank loan, I saw his eyes were sparkling with joy and full of dreams.
In the airport I gave him tips shook his hand but I know from my heart I hugged him, kept my palm on his head wished him prosperity and as the mother within me started to love him unconditionally. Ali I will remember you forever.