I have been on a run of poor luck with cabbies for close to 3weeks;I had a nightmare of a driver for the morning pick-up,ugh!! This guy comes in a dilapidated Sumo/Mahindra?Bolero ramshackle, very very late, surpasses records of all girls who do cakes and pancakes for make-up and denting/wenting! He never informs us that he has arrived and worse still, he is on the phone eternally!So, if we try to call him to find out if he has arrived we actually have to take the lift on the 3rd floor, in the meanwhile, keep trying his phone and still try from others' phones as well and reach the ground floor and run up to the road and look left, right and away, oh there you are! Sometimes, we are early, yes after 8am, all of us are early and sometimes we are on time, coz it's 8am anyway and he is there.
"Bhaiyya, missed call kyun nahin diya?"
"Madam, ek minute, please, phone mein... "
Aaaargh!! Kya hua, gaadi kharab ho gaya..aa raha hain..
Oh gesse!!Now what!!
On the road, he imagines we are in some action sequence, drives abominably fast, touches 60km/hr and on more than one occasion, he has tried to throw/toss all the occupants!! I believe in Zen philosophy, ask him to calm down, we are in no hurry, if that helps,if at all!!
No, he screeches frightfully and is always on the phone, one hand trying to dramatically steer,drive and what not!
We all ended up shouting, the phone dropped from his hand,mind you dropped,not slipped.A mail and a couple of follow-ups and calls ensured HE was not coming/showing his face ever again.The next sequence if he was around was an accident, battered faces with pieces of glass smithereens dangling and a broken limb or probably lives lost and no insurance against those lives, even those left behind do not benefit in any paltry form, sad na...
We got a new cabbie who does not know half the roads of where we stay. He dropped us some 10mins late,but never mind,safe and in a single piece.We played guide to him today, now he has learnt by heart the road that leads to home and office in optimum less time.He does not take calls while driving, rejects all incoming calls(maybe because I was watching him or he was stringently instructed not to take calls by the Transport Supervisor, whatever), makes us listen to 91.1FM and is very docile in mannerism.
Ok, so coming back to the "ji madam" one, he took off, asked me where exactly I need to be dropped, they all do, it's part of their job. I say what needs to be told and realise, I am the only occupant. Not that, I was scared but yeah, some weird feeling of having no one to talk to for the next 15mins, I can't live without talking!Either I talk or someone else, so I asked him if his car stereo has a radio also, "nai madam, naya gaadi hai, install nahi kiya" "oh, ok, koi baat nahin, chaliye"
So thoughtful of him, he struggled while driving very slowly and got his earphones attached to his Nokia phone and put on the radio for me on loudspeaker and asked me,"madam, radio..."
I was genuinely pleased, Thank you, sir, smiled and I was going home, we laughed at a couple of jokes on air and I enjoyed the songs as much as he did. I thanked him after I reached home and wished him good night.
The next morning, I got a call from my weekend cabbie, spoke to me in decent English, boy, was I amazed and pleasantly surprised!I gave him the buffer time to go do his work/errands if he had any from home and I asked him to come in the evening!Again, I was travelling alone but we dropped a guest at some guest-house.The guest lacked some basic civil etiquette, 1st he gets a lift, it was a request from the Transport supervisor, I could not say no, coz the guest house was on the way, and 2nd, I can totally understand what it is not to have a cab for yourself, and you depend on the goodwill of others.He gets very hyper when his right turn came.
Driver intervenes and says, "madam ko drop karte hain, fir sir aapko..."
I interject, "koi baat nahin, chaliye sir ko drop kijiye, zyada durr nahin hain."Guest is all smiles and blushes, nervous that he is!Not well kept or lit roads, after dropping the guest, we make small talk, roads are bad and all that, hmm and kinds, where do you stay, did you eat anything,blah blah??Radio City was our noisy companion and we did not have to struggle much to maintain status quo.I finally signed the log book and before I could thank and him, he said, "good night madam!"
Ah, that's something!