Thursday, July 12, 2012

Empty cars and wise drivers

Some time ago, I met a gentleman, who is reasonably high up in one of our defense organizations. Being the gentleman he is, he asked me to join him for lunch. He had one of those nice cars, that I have always found very impressive -- with a military license plate, a red beacon on top, and a chauffeur in front.

As the chauffeur drove us through the various gates in the controlled facility, they swung wide open for us, at the mere sight of the car, and there were salutes galore. Now that, was more impressive, let's say, about two times over,  than the car itself.

Later in the day, the gentleman had to send me somewhere quickly, and so, I traveled alone in the back seat of his car, and as usual, there were salutes galore, at every gate that we drove by. As I always like to strike up conversations with drivers and chauffeurs, I asked  the man behind the wheel if he ever got salutes when he drove by with an unoccupied back seat.

"To be frank sir, I sometimes do. But those salutes are mainly at night, when people can't quite make out if someone is in the back."

"So, is it fair to say that the car itself is getting salutes, for being an important looking car?" I asked him with a chuckle.

"That is not very uncommon in life sir," said my driver. "After all, many times, we salute politicians we don't like. But, we do that because we are paying respect to the chair, not the person occupying it. That is what many wise men have told me."

"So, technically, would you perhaps feel a little better saluting an empty chair, that is usually occupied by a politician?" I asked him.

"That will never happen sir, since none of of our politicians ever let a chair be empty. Even for a moment," pat came the reply.

Such wisdom.


  1. Drivers are usually very observant but nobody observes them..that makes their work of observation easy.

  2. Hehe. nice one. and the above comment is also so true..