By Indrasish, from his blog Indrasishblog
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 The moody driver was withdrawn from our cab and I didn’t see him for a while and somewhat forgot the incident.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.
READ MORE from Indrasish at his blog Indrasishblog, where you'll find film reviews, literary criticism and other less emotionally charged stories from his life. I quite like the opening to his March 12 post, The Iron Lady: "Usually, I am not my own man when it comes to choosing the movie I want to watch."