On a blaring hot summer morning, I woke up to my boss’s text. “Where are you?”
Shit….. I forgot about the quarterly meet. Within 30 mins, I rushed out of home checking for an Uber. The surge price almost gave me a heart attack. Just then a yellow taxi stopped by. Since the app based cabs have taken over the market, the iconic ambassadors of Kolkata have lost their business. We usually blame the drivers for always asking for a 100 bucks more but end up paying five times of the rate in an Uber.
Seeing that I had no other option in hand, I smartly just sat inside the cab. The cab was decorated with different deity stickers, two pots of identical plastic white flowers, and he had a good luck charm hanging by the mirror. I asked him to get to Salt Lake and he happily agreed. Smooth – I thought. Usually I love to chat but since the heat took all my energy away, I decided to use my headphones. I took out a smoke and instantly realised that I had nothing to light it with. We were at the signal and I asked the driver to pass me a match. This scenario has occurred multiple times, and the drivers have always judged. But he smiled and handed me the box. A little later he asked me if I had a spare cigarette. And the conversations began!
My stereotyped head thought he was a Bihari, as are most of the taxi drivers here in Kolkata. But Shubhroto Ghosh – hailed from the heart of the city. He is a videographer by profession and drives his taxi for an extra income. He believes that no job is small or big. You just need to have the passion to go for it. The reason I connected with him instantly was because he too like me dreamed of getting a certification from the ever famous Satyajit Ray Film Institute (SRFTI). But due to money and family pressures, we both ended up not doing it. I wondered how much of a coincidence this was. He showed me his work and I immediately became a fan. The concept and the way he thought was surreal. I asked him why did he choose to drive a taxi wherein he could have chosen anything else to make money. He replied, the yellow taxi isn’t just a mode of transport, it is his source of stories. Every passenger that gets on makes his day a little bit more exciting. Most of the times, people just put on their headphones and dont bother. Otherwise, he has people like me with whom he can strike up a conversation with. He typically hates couples that get on to just make out in the cab. Why can’t they get a room? Kids these days, he said. I had no idea where time had flown and I reached office. He charged me exactly by the meter. I was even more impressed by his honesty.
Meeting new people have always left me with new stories to be inspired from. No matter how shitty you think your life is… remember that there are people happily striving to live their passion!