“I first came to Bombay from Allahabad to visit my sister. I was in high school at the time, but the cost of my education was pinching my parents everyday to the point where we were compromising on food — so I decided to get a job here. I also wanted to be close to my sister, who’s the only real friend I’ve had growing up. I started driving this cab since 1990, and in all these years, I’ve grown to love the people of Bombay and all that they’ve given me over the years.
To tell you a little bit more, my wife wasn’t able to conceive for many years and just like you, I began to speak with a passenger about it. This girl tells me that her mama is a doctor and might be able to help me– she took down my details, got in touch and long story short…after years of trying, my wife was able to conceive a baby boy thanks to that girl and her mama who cared to help. I don’t think there has been a happier moment in my life and I made a promise to myself to be kinder in my own little way.”
“Has there been an occasion where you have been kind?”
“I don’t know if you will think this is big enough but a few months ago at around 1:30 in the morning, I stopped for two teenage boys who were very drunk. They got into my cab and in their drunken state began to talk in English about how they didn’t have enough money to cover my cab fare. At that time, I thought of my own son, and how I would be worried sick if he was out on the street, drunk. I dropped these two boys right to their door step in Dharavi and when they got off and told me that they were 100 Rupees short, I told them it was ok and to not drink so much. I know 100 Rupees is not such a big amount, but I dropped them home only because I actually did care about their safety. Since then, I often drive around at night looking for people who may not have a way or money to get home and drop them to safety no matter how long it takes — it’s the least I can do, for a city that’s given me so much.”
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