Friday, July 31, 2009

Ridiculous Retribution

Sometimes a sudden anger leads us to an action we don’t approve of later. But, unable to lid our emotions, we perform it anyway.

Our company provides us with ‘pick-up and drop’ cab service because of our unconventional working hours aligned to US time zone as they are. Ours is an outsourcing company.

Although we spend a few hours in cabs during commuting, the cab becomes a world of its own with its characteristics and uniqueness.

You make new cab mates, a mix of employees from various departments, and the cab becomes a host to a mini social unit.

A part of this small and mobile social circle is the cab drivers. Some drivers participate in small talks with employees and become a part of the circle while others just stick to driving.

But travelling in office cab isn’t always about camaraderie.

There are two types of vehicles in service, Tata Sumo and Tavera. The latter is a heavier one, and because of its studier built one needs to be very careful while shutting its doors.

While closing a door, you have to bring it close to the vehicle’s body and then give a gentle push; otherwise, the door will shut with a bang, shaking the whole body of the vehicle.

Unmindful, I forgot to follow the door-shutting ritual twice. And each time the driver snapped at me. Although I apologized each time, the driver’s insolent bursts left me feeling a little uneasy.

The chauffeurs keep changing every two days or so, and there is an army of them. So each time a chauffeur replaces an old one, you don’t see the earlier chauffeur for sometime. The moody driver was withdrawn from our cab and I didn’t see him for a while and somewhat forgot the incident.

Yesterday it was his turn to drive us back home again. As I was stepping into the cab, I heard a blast of brazen laughter behind me. There was a cluster of drivers sharing a joke.

After a while, in the cab, it occurred to me that maybe the driver was bragging about the snubs he administered to me; I tried dismissing the thought as petty concern about something whose veracity I wasn’t sure of.

But, strangely, the more I tried to wriggle out of the grip of the thought, the more firmly it gripped me, until it led to a dull anger, seeking an outlet.

As the cab stopped in front of my house, I swung the door wide open. I got down, but held the door at a distance. Then I slammed it into its frame. Bang! As the driver burst into a garrulous roar, I coolly walked to my house’s main gate.

Even as I walked out of the scene, his loud verbal onslaught continued, and reluctant to be outdone, I first asked him to shut up and then dared him to come and stand before me.

He rushed to the spot and a full-blown remonstration followed. I used harsh words in English and Hindi, he used some in Kannada. We didn’t follow each other.

PS: Probably my ridiculous retribution, clumsy outburst - or whatever you may like to call it – had to do with the fact that I tried too hard to divert my attention from the incident and the harder I tried, the more focused I became. Maybe sometimes we should just relax and let a concern die its own death and not try hard to stamp it out.


Kram said...

Hmmm it seems that your vitriolic temper always seems to get the better of you. I am sure there are many other recipients who have had the opportunity of getting a full blast of this anger. I personally thinking jumping in to a jimmy every now and then is not good for health :) But anyways most cab drivers behave like hoodlums and dont know their limits especially in the battle of the intelligentsia versus the cabbies.

indrablog said...

Hi Kram,
Yes, I do have this problem of brooding over something until it leads to a rage and then eruption and then I regret. Although I felt a little relieved after the outburst, I felt it was coarse of me to get into a tiff like that.

Ellen said...

Hi Indrasish,

I will not touch on the sensitive subject of 'temper'. That is something you have to deal with yourself, or anyone for that matter. :-) Although rude drivers are also found in our shores. lol!

What I'd like to say rather is -- I love the way you wrote this piece. Simple, no frills, but just plain telling. Somebody once told me that "the best writing (or writer) is that which is effortless." I think what he meant was that the mind and eyes of the reader should simply glide down the printed pages --- Fluid, flowing. Easily achieved by the writer when writing from the heart.

By the way, thank you for dropping by my blog and leaving such a wonderful message. That was nice and kind. I am humbled and honored by your words. Thank you.

You write well. I have read your blog page. Have seen in those pieces your desire to improve your craft each time. Don't stop writing cos the only way to be good in it is to keep writing. And always...always... write from the heart.

Take care and I hope that you are having a good week. May our God bless you and your loved ones.


indrablog said...

Oh...thanks Elen. You just made my day.

I write whatever comes to my mind and it is great to see that you thought so highly of my skills.

pranav said...

these cab drivers are horrible...i had a cab driver run over me in, phone smashed in 2011..five days leave and treatment for three months.i could not note down the number as it was 930pm in night.i was also carrying sizeable cash in my bag...had received clearance from the previous company in cash. finally called up my boss and landlord and was taken to hospital. accident insurance was refused due to one missing signature of a deptt i could not go to at gets unfair at times.

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