Not On Assignment

A journo's jottings under no deadline pressure (since Jan 1, 2010)

Story in a cab

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Morning Newspaper Headline: 39 city pilgrims die in Nashik bus plunge
“Come sahab. Yes, I will take you to Byculla station. I will drop you to your destination and then go to Nair Hospital. I have just been informed that a relative was one of those injured in the Nashik bus tragedy. I don’t know how serious he is or if at this moment he is alive at all.
“All accidents are a result of human negligence. Look at me. I have been driving a cab in Bombay for the last 26 years but have not been involved in a single accident. If someone wants to overtake me from the left, I don’t lose my cool and allow him to go ahead. I must be the safest cabbie in Bombay. I drive slowly and very, very carefully.
“Twelve years ago, Uttam Xxxxxx (surname withheld), a corporator from a central Bombay ward, offered me a job to drive his vehicle to Pune three times a week. On the very first trip he rebuked me saying I drove very slowly. When we returned to Bombay I handed him his car keys saying I didn’t want his job.
“A week later, another driver was taking the corporator’s family to Pune. At Panvel, the car ploughed into a water tanker. In two seconds flat, Uttam’s entire family was wiped out.
“When I met him, I shouted ‘You are a chutiya!’ He didn’t get angry. Instead, he started crying loudly.
Sahab, you rarely hear of ST or BEST bus drivers involved in serious accidents. That’s because they don’t work for a minute more than eight hours. But the Nashik pilgrim bus belonged to a private contractor. The driver had been at the wheel for three days non-stop, with a few small halts in between.
“The tragedy was just waiting to happen.
Sahab, we have reached your destination. You must have had a long day at the office. Have a safe journey home and a good night’s sleep.”

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Written by Raju Bist

January 8, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

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