Posted by Sahil, 18 Mar 2014
I reached the address provided to me by the customer care on time. Though I was tired after travelling for the whole day I still had to attend the passenger who requested for the cab. It was around 10pm and this was supposed to be my last trip for the day.
I went to the house mentioned in the address and rung the bell. Somewhere in my mind I was praying that the customer must ask me to cancel the cab, but I heard a voice, “Just a minute...”
The voice sounded weak, sufficient for me to understand that the lady was very old.
I heard the voice of the door, an old lady nearly in her 80s stood in front of me. She was very well dressed with a yellow, green sari. She was trying to drag a small suitcase of her. I put forward myself and took the suitcase in my hand and gave the other to the old lady. She grabbed my hand and started towards the cab.
She thanked me repeatedly for the favour. I told her, “I want all my passengers to be treated as my own family."
To which the old lady said, “You are a good boy. God bless you dear!!!”
After sitting in the cab she handed over an address to me and asked me, “Can you drive through ABC?”
Without waiting for a second, I replied, “It will be long; I know the short routes as well”, as I am running auto and now cab in Pune for almost 10 years.
“Yes I know, but I am not in hurry to reach the place”
I restored the meter and started it. Now we were on the way to the destination. Suddenly she said, “There is no one in my family now.” Her voice was low while saying this. I saw her through the mirror. “Doctors told me that I don’t have more days left with me.”
I was unable to react to this. Still just to respond , I asked, “Should I take left or right from here?”
After this, we both drove through Pune for almost 3 hours. She was not aware that I had switched off the meter long ago.
At first we went through ABC – Appa Balwant Chauk in Pune, where she took darshan of Dagduseth Ganpati Temple.
Then she directed me through the roads and showed me a mall, which was a small shop 60 years ago, where she used to work. After sometime while roaming in Shaniwar Wada area, she showed me a small building where she had spent her first 20 years after her marriage.
She stopped the cab at some places in between, and was staring them as she was saying good bye to them. She was calm and silent, but her eyes where glossy; expressing her feelings.
And finally after roaming almost all Pune, she told me, “I am tired, let’s go to the address, with the route you know”
We reached the address and it was kind of a small old age home and hospital. Two ladies came out of the building, as they were expecting us to come.
I stopped, and opened the door. The two ladies came forward; held her hand and helped her sit on a wheelchair. I took out her suitcase and handed it over to her.
She tried to open her purse, “How much do I have to pay to you?”
“Nothing”, I said.
“You have to make a living”, she responded.
“I will make it from some other passengers and you can pay me back in the form of blessings”, I added and bent to touch her feet.
“God bless you dear! You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.”
I left the place and the old lady. She might have got admitted there for her last days.
Can you just guess what would have happened if the cab driver was not patient enough to handle the situation? Or he would have refused to seek the directions from the old lady and dropped her to the hospital directly?
As a cab driver, this incident was not a big deal for him. But those moments were precious for the old lady.
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