A truck hauling a coffin on a busy highway in Hyderabadi city is not just about the driver, but also the driver himself.
The driver is none other than Naseem, a 20-year-old truck driver who says he wants to help people who are in distress.
“When I was in school I used to take people to the hospital, and they used to come and say ‘Dad, Dad, you are not getting better’,” he says.
“But I was a little scared of that.
I think if people don’t want to be there, I will do my best to help them.”
“But I am not doing it to make a lot of money,” he adds, and his smile fades as he remembers how his family’s situation started.
“They were poor and had no savings.
My father was not rich either, so I used my father’s money to send money to them.”
The journey started in 2013 when Nasee was 16.
He says his father was a regular driver.
“He would always bring my brother to work and when he went to his home, he would always make sure I was there.
I was always worried because I was scared,” he says, sitting in the car as it drives past the toll plaza on a rainy day.
“I used to get into the car when I was younger and tell my father to come home whenever he went away.
But I was still scared.”
The driver’s father also used to work in a trucking business.
After Nasees brother, Ramesh, died, Naseee had to start a new life.
“My father got married, and I was about to start school.
My mother got married and I had to get married too,” he explains.
But he was not able to go back to his old life.
Instead, he decided to start his own trucking company, Nadeem.
He was working in the business and his son was still working in it.
“I started working from home, so my family was not aware of me.
I could only come and go from home when I wanted,” he recalls.
Now, he has taken on a role of caretaker for the trucking services.
“Every day, I do what I need to do to make sure the truck is running, so it doesn’t take a toll.
But it is not easy,” he clarifies.
It is a role he is keen to fulfil, even if it is a short-term one.
“As a truck driver, I don’t have any savings,” he acknowledges.
“It is not a big business, but I am doing it for the benefit of the people who need it.”
The truck drivers are not the only ones who want to help.
In 2014, a 16-year old girl named Aravindan was travelling in the same truck with her mother when a collision with a vehicle stopped her.
Aravinder Singh, who was driving the truck, said his mother asked him to help the girl.
“She asked me to help her, so she was able to get her vehicle fixed,” says Singh, a truck mechanic who has worked in Hyderbadi for more than five years.
Aravind was rushed to a hospital where she died the next day.
Naseeram, the truck driver’s son, has been helping Aravinders family to rebuild their lives.
Naseem says that although he does not have any cash in his bank account, he is willing to lend a hand.
At the time, Naseram had just returned from a five-day trek through the jungles of Bangladesh, with a truck carrying a bag of gold to his village in Hyderaland.
“The driver was very worried about the family, so he asked me if I could take them on a truck journey.
I agreed, and the driver gave me Rs 5 lakh to take the family to the village,” he said.
On that day, the family’s truck was on the highway for about seven hours.
The next day, they had a short rest, and then they took the truck to the temple.
They had to travel for nearly three hours.
“We had to stop several times and ask God for help.
When we reached the temple, the driver asked us to leave immediately.
We got out of the truck.
The truck driver said ‘It’s just a truck’, and the family started walking away,” says Aravit Singh.
That day, Aravint Singh was one of the many people who had to walk away.
“On the way back, I had a heart attack.
I had been feeling really bad, so at the time I asked my father for help, but he didn’t understand what I was asking him for,”