Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Hurtling through traffic this morning on the way to the Hilton, Nariman Point. Was supposed to pick a client up at 8. 15 am for an interview, and I woke up at 7.39 am, so you can understand my panic. The little yellow-and-black cab is shaking on all four wheels, but my cabbie is a gem - silent and strong and forceful on the pedal, as I like my cabbies to be.
As we take the turn behind Azad Maidan, he twists around in his seat, and says: "Sir, today you came very early in the morning, na? Your regular driver, Patel, hadn't arrived yet."
I mumble something, a grin as well - it feels heartening to know that taxi drivers stalk my moves when I leave my buiilding. I didn't even know I had a 'regular' driver.
He continues: "You must be a in big rush, eh? I see you leave every day in the morning. You know this area well, eh? I'm not very sure about the hotel you mentioned - I know there's a big hotel in Nariman Point - don't know it's name, though."
Yes, yes, I'm in a rush, yes I come to this area regularly, I reply in my broken shards of Hindi.
That spurs him on further: "So, you look like you're from UP - are you from Lucknow, sir?"
Having never been mistaken for an UPite before - though I've had my share of being labelled Marwari, Bangalorean, Konkani, Tamil, even Sri Lankan - I decide to take it in my stride, and hasten to inform him that I hail from good ole Calcutta - whereupon he doesn't have much to say.
Until - "Your regular driver, Patel, is from Kanpur."
Ignorant? Your subterfuge will get you no where. I'm reporting you to the authorities.
ppl dont make much sense any more - and the scary part is, dat de cabbies are among the smarter lot. lol
i luuved the b'bay fiat cabs! old world charm..
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