Total Pageviews

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Taxi Driver


It’s a story of a taxi driver whom I met while commuting from Bandra terminus to Kurla Railway Station in Mumbai (I still call it Bombay sometimes). After my train Ranakpur Express left me at Bandra   Terminus I was in a hurry to reach Kurla Railway Station for my onward journey to Bangalore (namma bengaluru) my home.  As I moved to the exit way on the Bandra terminus I saw him in a crowd vying for his customers amongst his peers. Unlike others he wasn’t loud and audacious. He was subtle, contend and cheerful. I made my way towards him. We settled for an appropriate fare and he parked my luggage with oblige. On a smooth day it’s a half an hour drive with moderate traffic as I know very less of Mumbai.  As we started moving from Bandra terminus he started with a conversation and asked me questions about my profession and salary. I briefly answered him and changed the topic as I normally do on such occasions.  I don’t know what vibe of mine convinced him to talk about his most treasured possessions, his daughter. He pointed at a photograph of a little girl, pasted at the dash board of his taxi car. It was of his daughter mun-mun. That is what he and his wife call her. With that mention he talked for the remaining journey. And I simply did not interrupt him because it fascinated me to the core. I m sure it would do to you as well. My narration would steal the magic of this monologue so I prefer to write in his own words to give you a vicarious experience.

                   "I am Qashif and I have a daughter 7 yrs old named Naaz (meaning pride in Urdu). But I and my wife call her munmun at home. She changed my life the day she was born. I and my wife see a million dreams for her when she has slept beside us. We know all of those dreams would come true as it has been for the past 7 years. She is the key to our happiness. An illustrated purpose for us to live and work hard. We spend a very little for our needs because all we want is a good education for Naaz. She is very intelligent and good at studies. She doesn't like toys and scared of big mustaches. We went to her school on her Annual day function and trust me all her teachers had words of appreciation for her. My wife almost had tears of pride and warm emotions. Its beautiful to have a daughter and dream for her and her future. One day she would grow up and become a doctor. Then we will never have to worry about diseases or falling sick. I leave for work after she has left for the school and come back by late evening. She waits for me and I love that. That’s why I never get late back home. She is an enough dream and a meaning in life.”

Suddenly I saw Lokmanya  Tilak Railway station Landmark and recovered from his story that almost rapt my attention and thought. I was moved by this man and the relationship that he shared with his folk. A little later he stopped at the entrance of the railway station and I left him but carried his hangover.

                                                     I loved his love for his daughter and the commitment that he had for her. Hardly do I find people in our country who are fully convinced with daughters and never dream of sons. Even the most educated people are examples of this plight. Amidst of all these people there is this Qashif who never measured her daughter on the scale of a girl or a boy but only showered fatherly love. Though he may not be educated enough to have this commendable attitude but he has still learnt his lessons right. He is no less than an inspiration to me and so many people around.  As I got down his taxi I did not exchange words of good bye, probably because we both were lost at different realms. Me in his love for his daughter and he obviously for reaching home on time to catch up with her.

 Months passed and it was again a similar situation. I was making the same journey after almost a year. As I got down at Bandra and searched for the Taxi suddenly my eyes searched for him unknowingly. And to my surprise he was there calling to me “ saab pehchana’’ ( do you remember me ?). Without a second thought I reached to him and boarded his taxi. There was no settlement of fare and we just continued from the time we left a year back. He instantly started with her latest photograph on the dash board and asked me “Sir ! Do you remember her ?” to which I politely replied – Naaz. How could I forget the only thing I know about him; his daughter Naaz. His pride was the same as before. She was doing great at studies and he had saved some money for her future education. He spoke to me about some child education plan and I was impressed by that. He loved his job because he loved his daughter and his job made him to realize the dreams that he had for her. This time when he parked his taxi near my destination railway station I had a chocolate to gift Naaz and I promptly gave it to Qashif to reach her finally. He was too moved by this gesture but not as much as I was moved by him a year back. He had a lot to teach all of us.   Qashif remains one of the most memorable persons I met on my journeys. I think Am blessed to travel all my life and learn from people and places. So wanted to share this experience and spread the message that god sent to us through a common man. I believe someday years after, I would meet Qashif again with all his dreams fulfilled. Someday all good will happen and all honest efforts will be answered.

  This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda
Enhanced by Zemanta