Thursday, April 27, 2006
1.45 am, Wednesday 26th April 26, 2006
(On a taxi from Santa Cruz Airport to Churchgate)
Atticus: Aap kahan se ho, bhaiyya?
Taxi Driver: UP se hoon Sirji… Banares district…
Yet another taxi… Yet another late night return… Floating southward through empty mercury-lit roads of Mumbai as if they were a fading dream… I strike yet another of my numerous conversations with Mumbai's taxi-drivers. We share a strange kinship – I and these skilled jockeys of black-and-yellow warhorse Fiats! We have left families far behind – a loving mother in Chennai, kids in Bulandshar, parents in Jharkand, a nine-year old daughter in Varanasi, love in Bangalore… And here in Mumbai, we ride the streets in search of a brighter tomorrow where our suns will rise on togetherness and love. Though theirs is a tougher battle fought sans premier MBAs and six-figure salaries, we are warriors nevertheless and love to discuss our life and times in the course of these long rides home.
2.15 am, Wednesday 26th April 26, 2006
(As the cab speeds through Worli and conversation turns to family)
Taxi Driver: Daughter is nine, Sir. Very bright… She has won competitions and all. All this is for her – all this 7 pm to 7 am life is only so that she can study well…
He tells me he visits home once in six months. He tells me how he himself was an above-average student before circumstances forced him to quit. I urge him keep fighting hard for his daughter's sake. I tell him about how my own mother weathered unlikely odds to take us where we are today. Suddenly from the sidestreet, another drunkard-driven South Bombay SUV screeches onto our path like a blood-thirsty succubus and drove away with its red eyes blinking to the seeping remnants of some wild rhythm from within. We brake abruptly. We exchange exasperated glances. Then I urge him to be careful and patient during his nocturnal sojourns.
2.50 am, Wednesday 26th April 26, 2006
(At New Marine Lines, Churchgate)
Taxi Driver: You have been so kind and friendly Sir. We have had such a nice conversation. How can I take money from you?
I insist that he take his regular fare – Rs.270 on a night-fare meter while most cabs will run a Rs.350 tab! And then I push an extra Rs.200 into his hands and ask him to buy books for his daughter. I smile. He smiles back through misty eyes. I pause a while and walk towards my guest-house gate. He rides slowly away into the night like some benevolent medieval knight in his trusted steed. And somewhere in both our minds is a little girl in UP, skipping around and enjoying her summer vacation.
Ricky Fitts to Jane Burnham in American Beauty, as they watch a paper-bag being tossed around in the breeze:
"Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in."
May 10, 2006 12:55 AM PDT
Hey, good to see you here :)
Am in NJ now... landed last evening :)
May 10, 2006 12:54 AM PDT
Welcome here buddy..
And you got Joka connections yourself??
May 10, 2006 12:48 AM PDT
Thanx buddy :)
May 9, 2006 05:32 PM PDT
Very interesting and great literary pleasure in reading all your posts.
May 9, 2006 01:32 AM PDT
first time exploring your world and quite interesting macha.
i could not do anything but blogroll you.
keep filling your pages.
i have been reading a lot of blogs routed around the IIM jokaland?
quite an addict now.
May 7, 2006 10:32 PM PDT
May 4, 2006 02:37 PM PDT
May 4, 2006 12:05 PM PDT
boss! you are too good....
May 2, 2006 03:49 PM PDT
it is me. :)) if u dont blv me chk the post. u'll know its me :D
May 2, 2006 02:54 PM PDT
:o another move?
Is this really you or a pretender?
May 2, 2006 02:53 PM PDT
And indeed, cabies are an interesting kind... especially the ever talkative Mumbai ones.
May 2, 2006 11:28 AM PDT
Please feel free... :)
May 1, 2006 11:10 PM PDT
Nice post. Taxi drivers..often the pulse of a nation and a society. It's a tough job that they do not to mention other rude drivers the noise and the pollution.
|Bombay Addict |
May 1, 2006 06:13 PM PDT
Hey Atticus - I'm linking up to this post on mine as part of an attempt to blogroll Bombay and people's experiences. Hope you don't mind. Thanks a lot.
April 29, 2006 12:31 PM PDT
April 29, 2006 12:12 AM PDT
beautiful as always. your posts have always brought peace to me. thanks for sharing. btw, will mail you my current blog url soon. chk your atticusdiaries gmail account for that :)
April 28, 2006 10:57 AM PDT
Hey mate... Howdy? How's consultdom treating you?
April 28, 2006 10:56 AM PDT
Youd dint quite wait for the permission did you?
and Thanks buddy :)
April 28, 2006 10:11 AM PDT
Felt good reading the post ... reminded me of a similar incident not too long ago :)
April 27, 2006 10:54 PM PDT
can others too post comments or is this jus for the two of ye :D
nice post as always...
April 27, 2006 08:54 PM PDT
Hmmm.... guess it's always good to remember a face for the right reasons... :):)
April 27, 2006 08:22 PM PDT
I can still see his face ...
and for a moment tried seeing his daughter in the eyes of kids who were here today..