It was night. Time to leave office.
Cabs start moving at 9.15 PM though shift ends at 9.00 PM.
This is the typical life of a BPO employee.
We were 4 people all hailing from Rohini. We asked driver to take route via Delhi Cantonment and Tilak Nagar.
The driver was adamant and suggested that he would take us through Kapashera and Dabri Mode and we would reach home earlier than other days.
We told him that we were not aware about this route but he said”Sirjee you need not worry as I know the route”.
We sat comfortably and waited to reach home.
We generally take Delhi cantonment route where the cab travels through Hari Nagar, Janakpuri District center and finally reach Rohini via outer Ring Road. We generally reach home by 10.30 PM.
The cab crossed Kapashera and we reached road which was clean and very wide resulting in fast movement of traffic. We entered Dwarka and thought we would be hitting Dabri Mode soon and then Janakpuri District Centre.
There was a dead end and the cab slowed down. We all thought cab would turn right. But the driver took left instead. We told him, “Bhaiya you have taken a wrong turn and should have taken right turn”. But he said he knew the route and was going the right way.
The cab started moving through congested roads and there was very slow movement of traffic due to narrow roads and market.
At one point the cab came to a standstill and remained idle for about 5 minutes. The cab started moving.
Suddenly a two wheeler came from the opposite side and hit our cab from right side. We felt that the cab was hit but the driver did not stop the cab. Another two wheeler coming from the opposite side shouted that the cab has been hit and bumper has come out a bit. The driver stopped the cab after some time where the traffic was thin. He went out and checked the bumper and after 30 seconds came back on his seat.
We were happy!
We all were waiting to say something as the route was very long and we were going through congested roads.
One of my colleagues said, “Bhaiya time and efforts were wasted as you have taken a long route and now your cab has also been damaged. You will have to spend money to get it repaired. You should have listened and have taken the recommended route”.
The driver laughed and said, “Sir Money is not a problem. I was earning Rs 3 lakhs in 20 minutes sometime back and repairing cab is not a problem. You sit comfortably and enjoy the ride”.
I became curious and asked how he earned so much amount in 20 minutes. He told us that we would not be able do it. I asked if he could tell me, I should at least be able to earn Rs 1 Lakh in 20 minutes.
He laughed and said we would not be able to do it.
I insisted if there was any specific reason. He simply said that was illegal work.
I laughed and told him that it could be illegal thing only otherwise it is not possible to earn Rs 3 lakhs in 20 minutes.
He was convinced to speak and said, “Sir I arranged to get license of weapons and hence earned so much amount”.
We were surprised and kept quiet and looked at the driver with suspicion.
Meanwhile the cab moved through isolated narrow road that seemed to be countryside village. There was no light on the street. We informed the driver that he had taken a wrong road but he did not accept it. Finally we hit Sagarpur road and then the driver realized and said, “I had missed one cut earlier and hence taken the long route”.
We had no choice. We simply said, “Bhaiya take your time and drop us at our home”.
The driver continued his conversation. He told us that 1275 cases were registered against him.
We all looked at one another and then at the driver. For few minutes it seemed we were sitting with a criminal.
The driver told us that he could not get be released from the courts in Haryana and finally was released from Chandigarh High court after paying Rs 22 lakhs in one go.
Naturally it was possible for a driver to pay Rs 22 Lakhs when he can earn Rs 3 lakhs in 20 minutes.
The cab finally reached Janakpuri District Centre and we all felt relieved as now it would not take much time to reach Rohini.
I was thinking how this driver could be financially well. You will always find difference between a driver and an owner of a cab in terms of dressing sense, language and attitude among other things.
I realized that the same cab driver had come previous night who was not allowing us to switch on AC of the cab. He insisted that he did not have instructions from his supervisor. The AC was switched on after about 20 minutes after having discussion with the transport department and the supervisor of the driver.
How could a person who had to ask supervisor to switch on AC had told us about earning such a large amount.
We all were realizing that the cab driver had cooked up the story so that we do not feel bored in this long journey.
But we all enjoyed this trip. Seemed to be an adventure in the dark.
Finally we reached home at about 11.00 PM about 20 minutes later than other days.
I could not sleep for an hour and kept on thinking about the driver.
Had it not been a cooked up story then we would have landed in a difficult situation.
The company should have records of background verification of each person driving the cab so that we all feel safe while reaching home.