Oct 8, 2009

The travails of a Cab User

The long suffering Lumbar muscles finally collapsed thanks to Delhi's treacherous roads and after having a look at the groaning shuffling me the doctor asked me to stop driving altogether if I wanted to salvage what was left of my back. And so it was with great regret that I handed over the car keys to my parents and resigned myself to using the office cab. And using the cab dear readers is not that simple. One would think that just instructing the driver about the pick up point and writing official mails on the subject should be enough. Well not really.
Day 1- Morning.
I am at the designated pick up point and have been waiting there for a good 15 minutes. My phone rings.
Cabby – Madam aap kaha hai?
Me- xyz jagah ke saamne. cab ka wait kar rahi hoon
Cabby – madam aap main road pe aa jaao na. Main kab se waha khada hoon.
(Main rd is a good 10 minutes walk)
Me – Kyun bhaiya? Aapko to main rd se andar ana than na. Maine bataya tha phone pe.
Cabby – madam main bhool gaya.
Me – toh ab aa jao
Cabby –Aap main road pe aa jao
Me – mujhe main road tak walk karne mein 10 minute lagenge aur aapko 2-3 min.
Cabby- madam reverse karke back lena padega na.
Me – (very sarcastically) Kyun bhaiya reverse gear kharab hai kya ?
Finally he arrives and we start off – a good half hour late.Other users of the cab are not amused at being kept waiting at their respective stops for so long. The new joinee in the cab (me!) does not exactly get a very heart warming welcome.
Day 1 Evening
After a hard days slog everyone is waiting to just sit back in the cab and sleep all the way home. The cab starts, the AC does not. Apparently the AC is not working and there is no other cab available. So we endure a 2 hour journey by the end of which we all know what a tandoori chicken feels like.
Day 2
I am picked up on time and so is everyone else. The cab today is a rickety old vehicle but as long as it’s on time and the AC is working no one is complaining. Good spirits prevail. But at the Ashram red light, the engine coughs and sputters and then promptly dies on us. The driver makes valiant efforts to revive the engine as we wait with bated breath. Finally he gives up, gets down cursing, opens the bonnet and starts fiddling inside.
An auto stops at the red light and the sight of four people sitting in the cab while the driver is tinkering and banging about the engine is too much for the curious auto driver.
"Kya hua madam?" – he asks an already harried occupant of the cab. "Kya gadi kharaab ho gayi?".
"Nahi bhaiya hamein beech sadak mein gaadi rokna accha lagta hai" she replies.
Apparently the sarcasm is lost on him because he then proceeds to ask our driver the same question. Then they both have a very animated discussion and the auto guy brings forth a tool from his auto and our man proceeds to bang about the engine with it and curse some more.

Finally we call office and are told a replacement cab is on the way. The cab reaches us after an hour and by that time we are too tired and wilted to care about anything.
Tomorrow – Day 3.
Wish me luck !


  1. I know its not funny. But you made me laugh. And all the best for tomorrow....

    Keep writing :-)

  2. I guess that is reality of India...which you can only experience..!

  3. @Peter- well humour helps you survive these things better !!

    @Vinoo - yeah this happens only in India !

  4. Gosh! I tolerated the cab from Delhi to Gurgaon for 2 weeks. Then I put my foot down. Arranged for an apartment and moved within 2km of the workplace!
    These cans are crazy!

  5. @Meira - Ive sort of adjusted to it now ! luckily the other guys in the cab are a lot of fun. So time passes quickly :-)



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