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When I was in Hyderabad a few months ago, I was fortunate enough to have at my disposal a car and a driver. The driver’s name is Muni and he hails from the sister city of Hyderabad called Secunderabad.

I took a day off and had some downtime so he suggested that I do the standard tourist stuff of Golconda Fort, Charminar, some Shah’s tomb, and a famous temple, among others. I had already done the Golconda Fort and I didn’t want to visit the temple so we were done rather quickly.

My Hindi was virtually non-existent and his English, though better than my Hindi, was stilted at best. However, I managed to communicate that I wanted to visit some churches in Hyderabad/Secunderabad. He was thrilled.

I realized why he was thrilled during our conversation as we were traveling around. He was born to a Hindu family and he decided to convert to Christianity and married a Christian lady. While that may not be exceptional to some of us, you have to understand the context of his culture. It was a huge deal for him. He was basically disowned by his family. He has no regrets though and he’s happily married with three kids in tow.

I too, come from a community where it is highly unusual to be a Christian. However, I have been blessed with parents who accepted my decision without direct objection. But I know that if some members of my community were to make the same choice as I have, all hell would have broken loose (pardon the pun). Probably less than 1% of my community would be Christians.

Back to Muni the Driver. He originally hails from Tamil Nadu which is south of Andhra Pradesh which is the state which the twin city of Hyderabad and Secunderabad is located. He was apparently a boxer in his youth. He certainly looked like he could have been.

Anyway, had a great couple of days with him. He certainly took good care of me. I have his number so if I head down to Hyderabad again, I’ll give him a buzz. If any of you are heading down there and need a driver, you can get his contact from me. Not highly conversant in English but for simple directional stuff, no problem. However, he is highly reliable in terms of timing and a fairly safe driver (by Indian standards).