I have been sharing my driver woes – expensive, not turning up for work at the last minute etc. simply put ‘रेस के दिन घोड़ा लंगड़ा’ story in twitter. But this time around it reached quite the limit.
After attending numerous interviews with prospective drivers, managed to get one – who claimed he was not paid salary for the past two months and hence wanted to leave, had seen Bombay, drove all vehicles – the usual, before rapid fire questions to me.
After due negotiation in his favour joined around 6-7 January.
He was a lover of Bambaiyya Grand Prix kinda driving and loved to zoom all over, honking all the time. Needed to first go off the zebra, chewing his paan.
No amount of soft words made an impact. A shout did reduce the honking for a couple of days. Then it became the norm, everyday a shout about honking and a shout about driving.
Knew quite a bit of Bombay but loved short cuts that rattled the car and my elderly bones every day.
Got caught once for cutting lane, once for parking outside Four seasons – been going there for past 4 years and never caught. I coughed up the fine.
Besides this his favourite hobby was ‘Playing chicken with Trucks, Tempo, Buses, rickshaw, cars, motorcycles’ and if touched it was always their fault.
And add to this, his love to pickup from a signal in third gear, drive with handbrake on, not worry about the man filling air in the tyre, almost running him down; driving the car before my daughter could get down/inside leading to her rude comment to me 🙁
Not appearing for duty twice in a month was on par with SOP of most drivers.
For the first time in my 20 years in Bombay he was caught for peeing and spitting on the road, besides my getting dirty looks at times.
The stress and Katha sharing at home became so tiresome that my wife had some very pleasant things to say to me 🙁
Finally, yesterday at Mahim leaving a place that we have visited many times, stood at LJ road which does not have a right turn. After two signals, he realised and tried to go via Shivaji park when the LJ road signal turned green and he had to take an illegal right turn, with a water tanker zooming up our ass.
One can almost visualize the unholy glee that said ‘Dude, let’s play chicken’ we lost. The left side automatic mirror of my car was now history. The fault was of the Tanker guy.
After a bit of shouting, needed to reach Bandra near Lilavati. Mumbling he took me there via Pali Hill – yaha se roz jaate hai na – lesson not learnt.
Returning home we played chicken chicken with a Fortuner, rickshaw 1:1 being the score.
The BP and stress just killed it. Waking a bit late, called up the driver who had referred him and called him settled his dues.
Wherein, the famous dialogue of ‘First accident tha’ to my question of everyday khichkich, he says Gaadi Koh thodi kuch hua, and I will replace the mirror.
I am now looking for another ‘Stable driver’