Conversation with Cabbies

Cabbies according to me are the most interesting people, they meet a wide variety of folks from the prestigious to the bizarre. They see things that professional policy analysts cannot, and make better sociologists than a PhD in the domain atleast in terms of feildwork. A Singaporean cabbie will analyse the Hougang By Election better or on par as Cherian George! Today I was driven home by a hindi speaking migrant from Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh who is a former farmer, graduate turned cabbie when things turned economically sour back home in his village. He is educating a son in an engineering college in Bhopal which is costing him a phenomenal amount in comparison to what he earns. He has three more children and wishes to direct his younger son to write the civil services exam to become a IAS Officer; the ultimate symbol of success and power. This is what emerging India is, a cabbie’s son studying in an engineering college, unthinkable a generation ago. He dissects Yadav-Dalit political dynamics with a biased scalpel although precise as a surgeon. He asks me, why dont i attempt to write the civil services exam and i tell him that i am a freelance writer by night, and normalcy is what i wish to attain. The zest for growth was infectious. Singaporean cabbies are better news sources than Temasek Times and Straits Times put together. They make for enlightening conversation from Politics to which place makes Roti Prata the best lah! I have met many a cabbie in Singapore whose children study in NTU and NUS and have met a NUS Sociology Grad who drives a cab!  Cabbies give me a reality check, a sense that there is more to attain. Certaily there is a lot to learn from the Taxi wala or the ‘Taxi Uncle’ in the Tiny Red Dot.


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