I went on work to Kochi,
The work output was disastrous which more a material for a soul searching blog.
But it also meant I was out of work earlier than schedule, just as I was figuring out something to do, I wanted to go to Mattancherry the Jewish quarter, there was a rather loud alteration going on, I do know Malayalam is kind of louder than Kannada, yet one does not anticipate an auto-rickshaw at a place like the Crowne plaza and still less loud voices.
It turned out, that the auto-driver was someone who came in regularly to drop people and this time round there were two foreigners who were intrigued and wanted to converse with the driver and that kind of offended the gate man.
The driver intrigued me too.
The smart young man at the travel desk was quick on the uptake, he figured my interest too. he signaled a mutual settlement, spoke to the auto driver and told me, I could get into the auto just outside the gate.
Now if you are wondering what is so amazing about this driver she was woman.
She told me she would charge me 200/- for the morning, she would take me round the Kochi spice market, then to another site, after which she said she would take me to the Thevada folklore museum, and pick me up after two hours since, ”madama..rendu…hour..nokaano..” I assumed that it was Malayalam to tell me I would need 2hrs to see the museum.
To me she was very intriguing, and we had a conversation, me speaking a mixture of Tulu-Tamil-English, and she a mixture of Malayalam-Tamil-English, we had chai at the “cutting chaya” picked up “aluve-varthakai” .(banana halwa and chips)
Ranjita that was her name had the rather familiar story of being cheated after couple of marriage. Her husband told her he was going to the gulf and she never saw him again, to bring her two children up, she decided to drive the auto, initially she said she did only school trips because the income was steady and she felt respectable.
That kind of hurt, she said, somehow being a driver for hire it was a huge challenge for the mentally, one day she said, she talked to a woman who was working as domestic help, it then struck to her that the domestic help was also hired, so did not have to feel polluted she was actually in a better position because she had an investment to her name that is her auto, she owned a vehicle.
She says office going women, hire her on monthly basis then there were two elderly ladies who she would take to doctor on weekly basis.
She was proud of children who went to school and studied, that they did well in their exams, Ranjita’s daughter is very proud of the fact that Ranjita dared to be different.
The day was really fruitful, and Ranjita dropped me to the folklore museum where I discovered another wonderful woman.