It is very easy to assume things about someone, and if they don't fit into that stereotype, it becomes surprising. Something similar happened with Nikita Iyer, a professional from Bangalore when she heard her auto driver speaking fluent English.
Iyer wrote in a LinkedIn post about how she was unable to book a cab in the middle of the highway. Seeing her worried expression, an auto driver stopped and asked her if she needed a lift.
Nikita told him she wanted to reach her office which was located on the other end of town, and that she was already late. He replied saying, "Please come in ma'am, you can pay what you want" in fluent English. Obviously surprised to hear him speak English so well, Nikita decided to dig in further and ask him how this came to be as they were on their way.
During the 45 minutes they were travelling, the two spoke to each other and Nikita's narration of the incident has gone viral on social media. Turns out, the driver, Pataabi Raman was quite qualified and worked as a professor before retiring and driving an auto. "Of course, as a Researcher, I couldn't contain my curiosity and asked him how he spoke such good English to which he said he was an English lecturer and has done his M.A and M.Ed!" Iyer writes in her post.
Raman spoke about how he had been driving an auto for the past 14 years. Before that, he worked as a lecturer in a college in Powai, Mumbai. He had tried to get a job in his hometown in Karnataka, but couldn't do so because of his caste.
Having worked at Powai for about 20 years, he retired at the age of 60. However, since he worked at a private college, he was not entitled to any pension. This is why, he decided to move back to Karnataka and start driving an auto. He currently lives in Kadugodi with his 72-year-old wife.
"My son helps pay the rent of 12,000/- but beyond that, we are not dependent on our children," Raman told Nikita.
The two run the household on their own through the money Raman earns. He claims to earn about Rs 700- Rs 1500 per day, which is more than what he would earn as a professor.
"I am the Raja of my road, I can take my auto out any time I want and work when I want," he adds.
The post has more than 74,000 likes and 1000 comments on it already, where users have applauded the man's spriti and have been amazed by his journey.