The headlight of the car was piercing through the utmost darkness of the deserted streets. My driver, Ravi was maneuvering the car cautiously since the road was inundated with potholes. I was visiting one of my company’s suburban branches due to an emergency that had occurred over there. I had to reach there by tomorrow morning. This car along with the driver was arranged by my company.
But I never imagined that the condition of the road would be so terrible. I realized that it was quite risky to travel through this rough stretch in the pitch darkness of the night. I then told Ravi, “The road is so terrible. I think it’s too risky to continue. We have not even reached halfway and its quite late already. Let us take rest for the night in a nearby lodge and resume our journey, early morning.” Ravi said, “Yes sir, the road has deteriorated due to the recent monsoon showers. We can take some rest, somewhere. Let me find a good place for you. I often used to travel here with my master.”
I replied, “Your master? But I knew, you are the owner of this car and driver rental center. Due to the dearth of any drivers today, you have come yourself’’ Ravi said with a smile, “Yes indeed, you have heard it, right, sir. But sir, things were quite different. I was an orphan and was raised by a wealthy widowed businessman. He was quite benevolent and had provided me with all the necessities including a good education. He employed me as his driver. But after his untimely death, I found out that he had left me with half of his property since he had no issues.
He donated the other half of his property to a charitable trust. It is only because of my master that I have been able to buy cars and hire drivers for my rental business. And by the grace of God and my master’s blessings, my business is running quite well, sir.’’ I was quite amazed and said, “Yes indeed, your master was a great human being.” Ravi, then said, “I can still feel his presence, sir. I feel as if he is always accompanying me and shielding me from all the dangers.’’
I felt as if he wanted to continue speaking but stopped on seeing a lodge at the side of the road. Soon we had our dinner and I went to sleep in a spacious room of the lodge on the first floor. I fell asleep since I was quite exhausted. But, I woke up since I felt quite thirsty. I noticed that the water jug of my room was almost empty. I remembered that there was a drinking water tap near the reception area of the lodge. I went downstairs with the jug.
The passage was dimly lit. I noticed that a middle-aged man was reading a Forbes magazine and was seated on the sofa near the reception table. He stood up and greeted me with a smile, “I believe you are thirsty. You can find water over there.”I said, “Oh, thank you. But it’s quite late. Have you arrived just now?’’The man said, “Yes, I have just arrived.”He again resumed his reading and he now lit up a Havana cigar. I smiled at him and went to my room.
The next morning we resumed our journey and reached the office on time. I quickly mitigated the problem. I had my lunch and was planning to return. I went towards the car. Ravi was reading a magazine. It was Forbes magazine and I instantly remembered the cover of the magazine. It was a six-year-old edition. I asked, “Ravi why are you reading this old magazine?’’ He brought out more such old Forbes magazines from the closet of the car and said, “These are my master’s favorite collections sir. I always keep them in this car. After all, this was his car. I never let other chauffeurs drive this car. And there is another thing that my master just loved. Let me show it to you, sir?’’
He reopened the closet and to my utter surprise brought out an old packet of Havana cigar. I was bewildered and narrated him the description of the man that I saw last night. He said with a resplendent smile, “Oh, sir, it’s certainly my master. But how did you know him?”