Have you ever done something for an admiring audience? Something mundane that you brilliantly execute in front of your admirers? You feel pretty good that you consider it mundane and therefore a little embarrassed at all the rosy-eyed attention, but a trifle pleased with yourself that what for you is simple, is so inspirational in others.
I am sure that is pretty much how the truck driver felt. A little embarrassed at the amount of attention his job was drawing and then a tiny glow of satisfaction at the admiring audience. The truck-driver was able-bodied enough though his stomach was beginning to look prosperous. He looked reasonably happy. In other words, a person one might have passed on the street without stopping to remember. Like a wet umbrella on a rainy day.
I need to set a context I see: The day was cloudy and the son was strapped in a stroller slightly against his will. But once the stroller started rolling, he sat back for a merry ride and what an experience it turned out to be! We had not really expected such a huge truck to come rolling on the road. As far as trucks go, this one was an eel and a whale all rolled together. It had at least 18 wheels, painted a brilliant green and had two huge containers strapped on its back, with another motorized lift at the end of the carrier of the truck. The truck driver was to drop off the huge containers to some building and we were walking right in front of that building. The truck stopped on the island in the middle of the road, and the operations began. The truck driver (it seems wrong to not give him an exalted title, maybe THE TRUCKER) got down and then lowered the machinery at the back of the truck single-handedly, fork-lifted the huge container onto the machinery and made off to deliver the thing.
The operation lasted less than twenty minutes and he obstructed three cars for a period of 30 seconds during the whole operation. THE TRUCKER then gave us a friendly wave with a sheepish grin that made the little feller in the stroller grin shyly too and he was off.
I had to sizzle back to the operation of unloading a few sacks in New Delhi a few years ago (Please refer to point #4 in the post: https://nourishncherish.wordpress.com/2008/03/05/traffic-absolutely-rules-in-delhi/) .
The truck driver there was not able-bodied enough, and his stomach looked like it could have done with another few parathas; but he looked like a man ready to wreak havoc on a busy interstate road.
He first parked his vehicle diagonally across the road. This enabled him to obstruct traffic flowing in both directions. The traffic was comprised of fellow trucks, cars, motorbikes, cycles, vans and buses. Not to mention some buffaloes and dogs.
Then, two helpers of his jumped down to aid things along.
What a fine mess the fellows made! They shouted at each other, shouted at folks walking past, shouted at folks trying to get to work in the morning and preened themselves in a mirror when they saw some girls staring to watch. All this while, folks are doing all they can to ease the flow. Motorcycles honked their way through and tried getting onto the dirt stretch on one side of the road to navigate the temporary bottleneck.
Finally, after about 32 minutes of a lot of shouting and yelling and cross-fighting and air-punching, three bags of potatoes were carried off by the helpers. How do I know they were potatoes? Because in all the melee of combing their hair for the girls, they had forgotten to fasten the string around the potato-sacks. The moment they carried one sack, it flopped and fell spectacularly in the middle of the road. The three fellows, aided by the restauranteur and his four helpers scrambled after all the potatoes, leaping under cars and running after poor children who managed to secure a few for their home, and finally got the potato delivery done.
I still don’t understand why, but the driver beamed with pride at the end of the delivery and made off.
The same job a different day………and so it goes. Fascinating deliveries both.