11 ‘O clock in the night, said good night to my colleagues who were with me for the office get together party at the Brigade road, Bangalore and I started walking towards the bus stop hoping to get a bus to Electronic city. It had rained that evening and the breeze carried the freshness of the first rains, I walked to the bus stop admiring the breeze at every step with a big smile on my face. As I enjoyed my walk I arrived at the bus stop in no time and saw many people waiting for the bus. I sat at the bus stop looking towards my right hoping to see a G3 bus which takes me home. I saw a couple of buses but they were not the ones which I was looking for. I stopped worrying about the bus and started looking at the people around, I saw a group of teenage boys having their fun time while they waited for the bus which reminded me of my college days and my fun time at college. I saw a lady with her daughter who seemed like a middle-class house wife speaking to the auto rickshaw drivers wherein every auto driver asked for 1.5 times the meter which the lady refused and moved to the next auto rickshaw. It was a tough luck for the lady since all the auto rickshaw drivers offered her the same deal of 1.5 times the meter which the lady did not want to pay. She finally gave up and sat towards my left in the bus stop with her daughter waiting for the bus. I felt pity for the lady and was angry at the auto rickshaw drivers. The boys at my right were making fun of whatever they see on the road and the lady at my left is looking worried since there was no bus from a long time and the auto rickshaw drivers were ruthless in their pricing, finally the lady gave up and decided to pay 1.5 times the meter and left with her daughter. The boys at my right hand side were making a lot of noise and were trying to mock a man who was weirdly clapping on the road while he walked, I felt a little uncomfortable to stay close to them, and I got up and moved towards my left making sure that I keep distance from them. While I was irritated with the behavior of the boys suddenly a person with a red t-shirt walked towards me and asked if we can get a bus at this time, I told him I am hoping for the same but the next moment I felt I need make an alternative arrangement to reach home.
I picked up my phone and clicked on the OLA cabs mobile app, it loaded the navigator which showed the entire world and then zoomed in to the Brigade road bus stop where I was sitting. I clicked on ride now and I see that only auto rickshaws were available to book which I was not interested since I was irritated with all the auto drivers standing there for the attitude they showed when the lady approached them to get a drop. While I was refreshing the OLA app, even the auto rickshaws were not available and I could only see a prime cab available. I was hesitant to book a prime cab since it is obviously costly but somewhere deep inside my heart I felt I need to enjoy the prime ride too and there are no other cabs available. I just followed my heart and booked the prime cab and I got a confirmation that an Innova is booked for me and the driver’s photo and phone number popped up following with his call to confirm my location, I asked him to come to Iris hotel. I was tracking the cab through the navigator and I walked towards the Iris hotel which was at round 100 mts from the bus stop while the auto rickshaw guys on the way started offering rides which I refused in their own attitude and stood in front of hotel Iris. The moment I stood there my cab arrived and I was flabbergasted to see an Innova coming to pick me up and I happily got inside, set the seat to my comfort and laid back.
Well, this was the first time I boarded an Innova, I was looking at its interiors and I was quite impressed. There was an LCD screen at the center of the dash board which caught my eyes since it was displaying the image of Lord Venkateshwara, Thirupati and I asked the driver “do you visit Thirupati frequently?” and he said with a low tone of voice, “No, not that often. I visit only when I have a trip booked by clients”. I was a bit surprised by his answer because both his phone and his music player was displaying the majestic image of Lord Venky, but he seemed like he is not interested to visit Thirupati. Whilemy mind was wondering about this, the driver suddenly said “I had a couple of wishes which were not fulfilled even after going to Thirupati, so I do not go there as often as I used to go. I am a sincere devotee of Shiradi Sai Baba now and my life has been fantastic after I started offering prayers to Shiradi Sai Baba”. From his words I could just infer that most of the people worship god only to get their wishes fulfilled. The god will be changed or retained to be prayed depending upon his/her performance in fulfilling man’s wishes. I thought Lord Venky has the highest retention rate but for the first time I saw someone who was a little negative. Nevertheless I had a divine experience when I visited Tirumala which I explained it to him and he soon showed Lord Venky’s real photograph (Tirumala idol) which was the wallpaper on his smartphone.
You should have guessed by now, me and the cab driver were getting along well with the conversation and suddenly he said “I was completely broke in my life, I was a zero and today I have bounced back to this level of owning an Innova which is helping me to lead a respectable life with my wife and three children”. Suddenly his phone rang and he started speaking to one of his customer’s on his Bluetooth headset.
While the cab driver was talking to his customer he was assuring the party on the other side that he shall arrange a cab for a long distance trip next day and also mentioned that he is driving now and shall call back after 30 minutes. He assured the customer on phone again by telling not to worry and he shall take care of arranging the cab for the next day and he disconnected the call.
I was observing the way he was speaking to his customer and I liked the kindness and professional behavior compared to the auto rickshaw drivers who seemed so negative while they rejected to come to a particular place or offer an unfair price. I had a sense of relief since I felt I am paying the right person though I may pay a little extra, I liked the comfort of the vehicle and the professional behavior of the driver made it even more better.
Soon the driver finished the conversation on phone, he got back to our conversation and he said “I was broke big time in my life, I used to party hard and once I met with a major accident which changed my life”.
The story around his accident and his determination to be successful struck a chord in my mind and I am sure that you will be astounded too. -To be continued