Owning a BMW is quite an expensive proposition. I am realizing it in the fifth year of owning one. Yesterday, my car started flashing a warning signal that tyres have been deflated, though tyres seemed to be OK. But my wife got deflated more because of this warning flashing on the dash-board and so I went to the BMW workshop to check. There was this bombshell waiting for me! They told me that all the four tyres need to be replaced as they are more than four years old or there is risk of tyres bursting due to extreme hot weather of Doha. That replacement does come with pretty hefty bill! But I had no choice and I would rather pay than risk some tyre burst! So I had to leave my car at the workshop for a day.
Without my car, I had to rely on a taxi to ferry me from home to office and back for one day. I called up Karwa Taxi booking hotline and was surprised to get connected to a call centre agent without any waiting (On all previous occasions, I had to wait for 10 to 15 minutes before any call agent attended me). This instant service from hotline is might be due to reduced calls during this Ramadaan Holiday period or may be due to competition from recently started rival Taxi service! I booked taxies for the trips, one from home to office in the morning and one from office to home in the evening.
My morning trip to Office went off without any hitch as the taxi was on time and I reached office well in time. But the return trip was interesting!
At two in the afternoon, I came out of the office and did not find any taxi, though their call centre had told me that taxi is waiting in front of my office building! I called them up and asked where is the taxi and call centre told me that it is waiting in front of building 1 (incidentally, my office block has four buildings). I told them that I am waiting in front of building 1 but there is no taxi. Then taxi driver came on line and told me that there might be some confusion and he will take a round of entire complex and find me. I waited and finally he found me and I got into taxi and I was a bit disturbed as I had to wait for him in the hot afternoon of Doha. While passing other buildings of my office complex, the taxi driver gently showed me that where I was standing was building 4 and not building 1. Then I realized my mistake. Thus we started our conversation.
The taxi driver was initially speaking in broken English. Then I asked him whether he is comfortable in Hindi, as he was of Nepali origin. He was happy and we started conversing in Hindi (his Hindi was heavy with Nepali accent which was a bit difficult for me to understand clearly). He told me that his name is Bharath (same as India, he told me). He is in Doha for the last three years. When I asked whether he likes Doha, he just smiled!
Bharath is from Dolakha Town of Nepal which borders China (Saina, as he says). It takes about 10 hours by bus from Kathmandu to reach his place. He has studied up to 10th class. I asked him whether he is married and he told me that he will be visiting his place this year to get married. Then I asked him how will he find his bride? He told me that there no such need as he was in love with a girl since his childhood i.e., since he was in class 6! Our conversation after this information was more interesting.
His lady love, let us call her ‘Ms D’, has now completed her graduation. Bharath felt that she will be able to get a better groom than him and he told her so. But she will have none of it. Moreover, her parents are economically better off than Bharath’s family and did start searching for a groom for her. But Ms D stopped them from doing so.
Bharath also tried to dissuade her by telling her that he is labourer in Doha with very little income. She was not deterred by that.
Bharath told me that in his three years in Doha, he has been able to save and remit about Twenty Lakh Nepali Rupees (i.e., two million Nepali Rupees) and now is confident of leading a good life in Nepal. He told me how difficult it was to arrange for funds for his mother’s treatment and ultimately he lost his mother due to that. But now onwards, no such thing will happen in his family. He told me that he is also helping his villagers financially for their medical treatment.
Once he gets married to Ms D, he will ask her about her preference – whether to come back to Doha, where Ms D can also get some employment or stay back in Nepal. He has a plan ready for his career in Nepal. He will buy three taxies in Kathmandu and will drive one himself and remaining two will have drivers employed by him.
I was impressed in many ways. With his plans, his savings and above all, the determination and undying love of Ms D. I wished him all the best, as I got off in front of my residence!
One more thing to note here is that Middle-east, especially Doha has made many people like Bharath to realize their dreams of leading a better life back home!