How many times has this happened to you? You’ve had a long, hard day at work (complete with your boss giving you exotic gaalis which you didn’t even know existed and your PC doing more nakhras than your gullphraand). Being magnanimous as you are, you decide to take the higher road and spare both the boss and the PC (just like the guy in Bajaj Avenger ad). You think to yourself, Bas kisi tarah station pahuch jaoon, Fir home going, feet putting on table and chillaxing! Ahh yes, the very thought feels so good, na? You set out with a spring in your step…taxi after taxi passes you by, yet you remain unfazed. Bas kisi tarah ghar pahuch jaoon, you think again. You walk a bit ahead, chalo evening walk hi sahi. No success even still. Determined not to lose your patience you walk on and on and on…and then you finally snap and yell at the top your voice “Arrey, where the hell are all the taxis?”
You frantically gesticulate to every passing cabbie but to no avail. You beg, plead and wonder, kis janam ka badla they are taking…Tch tch, sounds familiar, na?
This is exactly what happened to me when I was once making my way back home after a movie screening in Mahalaxmi. The cabbies outside the venue said they were all looking for lamba bhaadaas and suggested that I head to the next signal and try my luck. Taking their advice, I walked on but the ones at the next signal wanted even more lamba bhaadaas! In fact they didn’t bother listening to anyone except those who wanted to go all the way to Bandra! Like a poor aam aadmi at a government office, I walked from taxi stand to taxi stand only to be told that I should try my luck at the next one.
So there I was, in the middle of the busy Worli Naka, with khali cab after khali cab passing me by without even a regard. I soon came across another marooned ‘office se ghar pe’ goer who shared his dukhi dastaan with me saying that he had spent over half an hour looking for a cab to Lower Parel station. Remembering the moral of the ‘Ek Titli Anek Titaliyan’ cartoon, I decided that it’s best that we unite forces. Plus the other guy wanted to Lower Parel Station, which was a slightly more lamba bhaada than Mahalaxmi station. It all seemed foolproof. In no time, we’d find a cab, I thought. Soon the pleasant images of my couch flashed before my eyes…but they disappeared like a mirage ten minutes later. Realizing that our joint venture was going nowhere, I being the modest innovator that I am, came up with another brilliant idea! Why not take the help of kanoon’s lamba arms to tackle the lamba bhaadaa hungry cabbies? Muhaha, now I’d teach them a lesson. Couple of gaalis in chaste marathi, a few Harbhjan-style tight slaps and a challan later they’d even drop me till Dadar station for free! With renewed gusto I recalled whatever I could from the Marathi lessons in school and gallantly marched to the first Pandu I saw. “Ahem, Saheb, Hay taxi-wallay…er…Mahalaxmi la jaayla…ready..I mean…taiyar navhte. Tyanna kharcha paani dya” I winked at him.
But the potbellied Pandu simply yawned in my face like a hungry hippo! He didn’t bother wielding his danda, and didn’t even a ‘Cha Mailaa’ was hurled at the evil taxi-wallahs! Instead he suggested that I walk ‘saral’ and gheo a 154 number chi bus to the taishann! What the F! (As my beloved MTV VJ Bani J would say.)
By now I had retraced nearly 3/4ths of my path (which was a 40 buck cab ride!) and was tired, weary and not to mention super-pissed off!
Finally after an unnecessary 45 minute evening walk, I came across a friendly taxi-wallah who took me to my destination! I paid him an extra 5 bucks for not being bhukkad like the others (see bhalai ka zamana is still here!)
Though by the end of it I was convinced that 99% of our cabbies are excessively money-hungry I must say that all in all, it was a very memorable…Oh what the hell, screw the paanchvi pass essay writing style happy ending!