Sunday, October 12, 2008

Taken from a Taxi on Marine Drive

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Taken leaning out of a cab at Marine Drive. The Cabby said "God made all people different with a purpose"

Cabbie’s Lesson: God Created People different with Purpose

Yesterday: time: evening: was driving a cab with a cabby from Illahabad, huh, we say, and he says, “Amitabh’s town,” and we talk of the situation in the country, inflation and the like. We say we are sorry Amitabh is not well, and we say we will pray for him. We connect. And he is a good talker, says he is a Baniya, the trading class, and eats meat, “Veggies don’t know what they are missing,” and makes around five hundred rupees a day, which isn’t bad. But driving a cab is tough work, what with the October heat!

He says in Illahabad, farm labour is difficult to get because all the labourers are in cities like Delhi doing house painting, carpentry and other skilled work. So he has to go all the way back to his village to cultivate his field, or it will become fallow, and the soil would leach from not being used. That’s his worry. Yes, that’s his worry in this buzzing city of Bombay where deals are struck every moment for millions, no, crores.

He says God made people different, “Hindi, Chini, African, Angrez (English)” with a purpose. God wanted people to be different, wanted the animals to be different, like black and white so people are in a constant state of surprise, as “see that dog, its nose is flat,” he says pointing to a bull terrier. We laugh.

Yeah people are different, they behave in their own cultural milieus, social fashions, they behave strangely all the time, and looking at a person you cannot make out who is what. We like to chat with cabbies just to keep our jaws working, and to ease the tension. And we lean a bit out of the taxi and take a picture of Marine Drive (see above).

Yes, people are different and we should not discriminate because they are different. We do that all the time. And we are told we are different, and that we have a strange walk, as if we were doing the “goose steps.” Yes our steps go wonky once we start walking and we guess that’s a gift of our being shy. Yes Prince Charles also walks that way. Every beautiful person has something different, something which isn’t normal, such as our walk isn’t normal. I saw a guy today, good body, good walk, good face, good dress sense, but then my eyes travelled to his hand, it was bent quite wrong. Aaaaaaah, we exclaim, what an aberration, what a disappointment. But then nobody is made perfect, we guess.

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