Thursday, October 6, 2011


I stood in the blazing afternoon sun opposite Jaslok hospital,Pedder road,Mumbai waitng suitcases in hand for the famous black and yellow taxi,to take me to my destination.But just my luck no one seemed interested in stopping, and the few that did seemed to have to think that the Chattrapati Shivaji domestic airport was a bad idea. So I stood there hand out,sweating like a pig.
Finally because someone felt sad for me somewhere up there a taxi stopped right beside me.I smiled and asked him to take me to the airport because I really couldn't afford to miss my flight.He smiled,got out of the taxi and placed my suitcase in the trunk.I sat inside,relieved.
It was during this journey to the airport that I ended up meeting one of the most interesting people.
Ravi, a middle aged man kept me entertained the entire ride there,telling me about his life and decisions he had made.
Ravi an educated graduate of law,quit his job in a firm and started driving taxis around.He felt it was a better job for him,because he knew he'd make more money and experience something new everyday.Sitting in that office the whole day,made him feel like he had nothing left to live for.His wife who has her post graduate degree,is a stay-at- mother.
What interested me about Ravi was the fact that his family in spite of their educated background picked a career that would not make him rich and famous,because in today's world that is what we're all chasing.He picked an occupation that suited his mental and physical needs as well as family's.All they want is to live a good happy life.
Another interesting thing about Ravi was his views on his wife's choice to stay at home.
He explained to me about how today an independent woman is considered one that is educated and out making a living for herself.Women who prefer to stay at home and manage the family are looked down upon as the regressed and respect for them? Ha! its lost the moment they hear"house-wife". According to him, an independent woman is one who isn't afraid to make her own decisions about how she wants to live her life,be it staying at home or out there on the field in some job.
Ravi,the lawyer turned taxi driver,opened my eyes to something that I had really never thought of.A different perspective of a topic I've grown up listening too.
Rajiv, a native of Andhra Pradesh with a heart of gold and a personality as fiery as the hot sun that beat down on me that afternoon.
The auto drivers of Gilchrist Avenue,Harrington road,Chetpet,Chennai crowd the end of the street gossiping about something or the other.These are the guys who I grew up seeing everyday ever since the fourth standard.They are the nicest to me and the residents of the street but everyone knows that they are the biggest crooks of Harrington road looting people dry with their insane auto rates,but no one says anything.why?
Because believe it or not these guys are also the kindest people on the street.
They combined their daily wages to buy two bowls for a street dog they befriended,who is now a resident of Gilchrist avenue as well,guarding the street at night.'Karpaa'(black in Tamil) has lived at the beginning of the street longer than I have and all thanks to these auto drivers Karpaa always has good food and water and lots of love.
The fact that these guys decided to take Karpaa, the black street dog under their wing and make it their responsibility to feed him everyday and shower him with love,sometimes they even play catch with him.
The biggest "crooks" ended up being the biggest animal lovers protecting Karpaa and the other street dogs on the road from the pound by feeding them at least once everyday,preventing them from being a nuisance and making them people friendly.
Incredible People.Incredible India.
The people of this country are so different from the stereotypical personality you expect them to be,their souls,our souls are what makes this country the beautiful,diverse country it is.

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