She was in a chauffeur-driven car. The clock was inching toward midnight and she wanted to be home before it hit 12.

But the chauffeur had other ideas. Far from home, without his wife, with no alcohol in his system and loneliness, he had a lot to say. Driving at 20 kilometers per hour, he let loose.

23 years old, forcefully married a year ago, he carried his wife in his arms on the wedding day because she had broken her foot & couldn’t walk the seven circles around the sacred fire. He started with a career as a soldier in the Assam Rifles. Emotionally blackmailed his mother to get him called back to the village because he couldn’t eat dogs. A deserter at 19, he decided to study some more. At 21 he joined Hero Honda as a low level engineer with a screw driver in his hand. One motorcycle an hour, his job was 25 minutes in that hour. He delivered multiple stab wounds to the alcoholic Bihari boss who was verbally abusive.

He hid. Then his cousin got him a job as a security guard. Went from a 17,000 Rupees per month salary to 1,500 per month. Frustrated. He now drives a car for the family of a business-man who is soon moving to China, lock stock and barrel. The business-man has promised 40,000 Rupees per month to his family exclusive of the drivers expenses.

The wife urges him to go ahead and pursue this career path. The old fart of a father in the village thinks it would be demeaning if he left his wife of one year behind. What would the hookah-smoking village-folk say? So he turns down the China job and drives the business-man’s friend home on New Year’s Eve so she can be with her family.

Happy New Year, 2011.