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Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Diary Entries of a Taxi Driver


Dear Master,
It was a tiring day but I earned 700 rupees. I was half an hour late in leaving the house, and left around 5:30 instead. But by the time I came back home it was midnight and I was starving. I didn’t eat lunch today because the first half of the day brought me only 300, and I was not sure if luck would follow after sun-down. I picked up a passenger from Gariahat who wanted to go the airport, and back. And that trip did it all! I was so thrilled when the lady stopped me and said “airport.” Master, have you noticed people just say the name of the place now, and that becomes the question- “Airport jaiyega?”  I wonder why they’re so bent upon shortening things. How many additional seconds would be required to say an extra word? Anyway, as long as the amount of fare doesn’t get reduced, it’s alright.
The lady had gone to pick up her husband. I don’t know where he had come from, but he surely looked happy to see her. They looked newly married, and that reasoned as to why the wife was excited enough to surprise her husband at the airport. They were talking about Reliance. I think the man had got work in Reliance. They were very excited but they didn’t talk about phones. I wonder what work he will do; he might be the man who goes to people’s homes to fix the phones. But how can his wife afford a taxi and the man himself affords to travel in an airplane! She was talking about Mumbai repeatedly, so maybe they were shifting soon. I can’t understand why the man did not take a job in the Telephone Bhavan in Calcutta. It would’ve done him good if he is good with the wires.
As these thoughts played on my mind, I decided to let it pass. After all understanding every passenger’s life history is not in my capacity.
I hope that too many people don’t leave Calcutta. The more people that stay here, the better it will be for us. After all, the meter ticks the most in the traffic jams and signals in the over-crowded areas!
Ma has gone to sleep and I think I should go in too.
Dear God, Let tomorrow be a good day.


Dear Master,
I could earn only 500 today. I don’t know why God is not fair. Ma was so upset when I gave her the money. She counted three times and at last, I had to say yes Ma, it’s only this much. She turned to put the money away for tomorrow’s food. I think tomorrow I will come late even if I get no passengers. That way, I’ll be able to tell her that I’ve eaten outside. If I don’t lie then she will have to eat less because of me. Why should she suffer if I couldn’t earn enough!
The man who wanted to go to New Market paid me five rupees less, he said he had no change and just left! These people need to realize that for them its ‘only’ five rupees but for me it meant lunch. I could’ve eaten muri outside the market, with that money.
I have not got much to say today, Master because everything seems so sad. I don’t know how long we will have to live so uncertainly. It is as if my mother’s appetite has to change with people’s moods to step out of their homes. If they step out in more numbers, only then can she get more food!
Good Night.

To be continued.......

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