I feel random stories from life experiences are always very attractive ; whether they unfold in front of us or we unfolding them in front of someone. Either way it gives birth to a new thought, a new interpretation and of course a new understanding of the rhetoric. Sometimes certain meetings and events open up the flood gates of our imagination, they compel us to look at what’s behind the curtain and often they make people like me write stories like this.
on 18th of October 2014 as I was leaving for the airport, to catch the flight that will take me back home :
A surprisingly tall, good looking man with a heavy voice and a proper Punjabi accent steps out of the taxi I had hired. This Young man , probably in his later twenties; his friendly welcome made my doubt alarm ring louder than it ever did before, given the fact travelling with stranger’s in Delhi could be unsafe. With all these thoughts buzzing in my head I tried to console myself that nothing will go wrong. For all the evil reputation the people of Delhi enjoy, an outsider can never really give up this doubting shit. With much of faith and courage I eased out in sometime, however the doubts never completely left my mind.
He initiated a conversation confirming with me my destination and we started off with the journey to IGI. To add up more to my unrest was the fact that it was early morning hour and very less people were to be seen on the roads. Yes I did feel sceptical.
Mid way somewhere closer to the metro station, he suddenly pulled the brakes, kind of got lost on track but he soon managed to identify the correct route. Giving me a panic stroke and scaring me to the bone with this act , he laughs mildly and says “I am sorry” these flyover’s can be mind boggling sometimes; cursing him in my thoughts, I wondered “ isn’t a taxi driver suppose to know all routes to the airport ” ?
Few minutes of silence and early morning peace were suddenly broken by a question: madam aap kaha se ho? of course I wondered why he would want to know that? Doubting the intention, I answered him I am from Delhi; I work with ndtv, an intended reference.
“We outsiders” don’t really brave ourselves by mentioning “we are non locals” , at least not here in Delhi ; we rather play it smart.
The next comment that followed was rather kind of interesting. He says “madam ap logo ka job bahut mushkil haina , jitna easy tv pe dikhta hai utna hai nahi ? (Madam your job is really tough,it doesn’t seem to that easy as it looks on tv).
Surprised and impressed was I at how this man who is not well educated can actually understand the intricacy of a journalist’s job. He doesn’t even know what a journalist is or if that term even exists. I realized that maybe it’s not necessary to be well educated to have an understanding of things; Good observation works in exchange.
I later got to know that this man had observed a recruitment drive for some media company in a local mall because of which he had an insight to share.
Just when I was impressed with his intelligence, I was revealed his personal story which made me look beyond my own perfect life.
Life is not always smooth and it’s definitely not easy. For some people it offers lessons from mistakes, for others it waits the right time to spit back the venom they have fathered over time; “Karma “they call it. in whatever form it comes, life always reveals some of its ugliest truths; Just like it revealed its unfair self to this man I had just met.
The driver , lets call him “ Z “ , is from a small hill town in uttarakhand. His forefather’s were rich and affluent. They had a big house and farmlands nearby. A happy and well fed family , but not for too long.
Just like in Ekta Kapoor serials, a vicious neighbour (not a bhabhi or saas for a change ) who shares a portion of the big house; lives with the family for a good number of years and then usurps a major chunk of their property .
Z and his parents are not left with much of the ancestral wealth and therefore now live in a bigger city to earn a living. A car accident took away z’s expensive vehicle which he earlier drove as taxi. He cannot ask his parents for financial aid and so he somehow manages to arrange for the cost and buys a used car here in Delhi ; to work as a cabby.
His entire story had affected me greatly; in a flash of seconds I was shown so many faces and truths of life. I understood its brevity; every single moment is as precious as it will ever be. Deception is an ugly truth, it will somehow creep and crawl up to you; like succubus, it lures and attracts you and later destroys you. It’s like one of the foundation pillars of life; no one is spared its wrath. The conniving will always profit from the meekness of a pure heart; being insipid maybe good but that isn’t an advantage most of the time.
Money looks like the cause of all evil; whether you have it or not, you will still be in trouble. Life will throw you watermelons; those willing to manoeuvre a way out end up with happy faces. You will not always be as lucky as you are in this moment; an opportunity lost is a loss forever. Your family is the only thing that will never leave you alone; gratitude is the key to all abundance. And finally the biggest lesson learnt is to learn to trust the inner voice that is your best guidance.