Yesterday evening, I wanted to rush to my rehearsals and was looking for an auto. I saw one vacant auto. The driver was sitting on the footpath and doing something, scribbling. When I approached him, he looked pretty aged. He was writing some figures which I noticed to be his expenses on petrol, food etc during the day. I waited for a moment or two for his arithmetics to stop and then asked him if he was interested in adding something to the credit side. He smiled, got up with effort and took his seat. I sat behind and told him the destination. I was worried on one hand. I always fear age .. I mean, being or getting old is not the problem .. people doing physical or heavy physical activity or skills keeps me insecure till that scene ends.
To make things better for me I started a conversation.
The auto driver was 87 years old (according to him .. anyway above 80 for sure)When I asked him about his work and no retirement even at this age, he said, 'everything was nice at home. Two children. Six Grandchildren, own home and son staying with him and daughter the next door. The auto was bought by him 12 years back and there were two more autos owned by them all. He had been a 'taangawaallah' for several years! Thereafter with autos taking over the business scene .. migrated to being an autowallah!
Huge transition reflected through his eyes. I asked him about why would he not retire even after being in apparently good condition. His answer was clear. He said he worked for identity as 'productive' or 'valid' individual of the family.
His skills and reflexes for driving were too good at that age. Never in the journey did he make me scare except for the last line he uttered ...
We exchanged money and he said .. '' I am waiting for the 'final' retirement .. it should come while I am working!''