IndiaLifestyleSocial Issues

Experience on wheels : Talk with a cab driver

Each and every moment of the morning hours is precious, especially when we are up for some early morning work or travel. Practical experience of this is gained when we have to catch an early morning train. Recently, I encountered an incident which lead me to gain this experience for one more time and also to know yet another definition of “Experience”.

Didn’t know when that five-minutes additional nap, expanded to twenty minutes in one go. It got revealed when I woke up some twenty odd minutes later than the pre decided time. It was the day when I was to catch an early morning train to my hometown (Jodhpur) from Jaipur (where my law school is situated).

I got ready in the fastest way possible, and then got to book the cab. Thanks to the cab services! we don’t have to hunt for an auto rickshaw on the main road, anymore. The cab comes directly to our home and it’s a great convenience now.

Fortunately the cab was 2-minutes drive away to my home, which meant I might be able to reach the railway station on time. The cab reached the home on time, but the regret of waking up late was still there, as there was a possibility that I might not catch the train.

“Sir, you look worried. Is everything well?” – The cab driver asked. He might have sensed that I was worried, through my face. He looked like in his 50’s.

“Yes. Everything is fine. I got up late today, so I am uncertain whether I will catch the train on time or not.” – I revealed the true reason.

“What is the time of departure, sir?” – He asked.

“Exactly at 6 AM.” – I replied almost immediately.

“No problem sir. I am sure, you will reach by 5.45 AM.” – He said, after looking at his mobile’s clock app.

“Thank you so much. That’s really great.” – I replied.

It came as a relief to me, and I was happy with a calm face as a result. He then started to talk. He told about a passenger he just dropped, and told that she was not ready to pay him the exact change as tried to give Rs.10 less, but he strictly told that he can’t give a discount of this amount as it will be a cut from his cost.

I agreed to him. Then he talked about himself, how he opted for driving as he had learnt driving immediately after turning 18. (the legal age to drive vehicle in India)

“I was operating a dairy shop earlier. Then I thought of driving a cab, when the cab services were introduced in the city. I always wanted to monetize my skills and so opted for it. I gave the responsibility of the dairy shop to my wife and she operates it presently.” – He said, which impressed me a lot.

“Learning a skill is always useful and one should always identify the skills one is good at.” – I replied. Now the discussion started to become interesting.

He told that driving a cab made him to learn more and more in life. As a cab driver, he gets to learn a lot by interacting with a variety of people who commute daily in his cab.

“Through this I was able to meet new people daily and to know about new things, which was not possible when I was operating the shop. It was somehow a monotonous task, as the majority of customers were the same, those from the nearby houses.” – he said.

I was impressed at his explanation and the way, he enjoyed his job. In fact, he was right as we get to learn when we interact with more people and throughout this process, we grow in life.

Then we got to discuss things like crimes. He told that these days the majority of crimes being committed is done by youths and this is due to the fact that parents these days are less aware that to whom their child is interacting with. It usually leads to their child getting in bad company, which was the main reason of crime.

I agreed to him, as being a law student and a regular viewer of crime series on the television, the youths normally are inducted to crime through bad company, so here the parent’s role to prevent it is important, till the youth himself gains the understanding of the right and wrong.

As the talk was going, on social issues and or issues of my interest, it didn’t take much time, till I realized that the destination was almost reached. It was around 5.42 AM and here, the cab was about to enter the drop-off zone of the railway station.

“Look sir. These people are still walking in the drop off zone, even as the policeman is telling them to walk in through the pedestrian zone.” – He said.

“Exactly. When there is a separate entry for pedestrians, they should use it to enter the railway station.” – I replied.

Then he concluded that people blame the government whatsoever for everything that goes wrong, but people don’t follow rules themselves, even when they are strictly told to do so. He was absolutely right in the context as being a post-graduate in public administration, I definitely agree that citizen’s participation is vital for the effective implementation of government policies and rules.

I was amazed at the understanding of the cab driver, which he must have got from what he learned from experiences and his interpretations of the same. By the time he promised, he dropped me at the railway station, and I was able to board the train on time. I thanked him for the same and for the quality conversation we had throughout the journey.

I was happy to know that my country’s general public understands the importance of skill management, inter-personal skills, citizen participation in governance, combating crime, etc. Though much is needed to achieve as of now, but still the journey has started towards the destination. Jai Hind

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