A Tale of resilience

It’s been a while! Miss me? Wondering what happened? Well, life happened! Did you think I wasn’t coming back? You’re wrong! I may be lazy & indisciplined but I DO NOT GIVE UP! As a comeback, let me share a story to showcase my resilience.

This was about three years back, when Delhi had only one domestic airline terminal leading to a lot of flight delays. I was shifting back to Delhi from Bangalore after my four years job stint in the South. Was surely looking forward to getting back to my home city. Delhi offers wellness for soul & mostly for body viz. stomach, mind & lungs with deep-fried street food, road rage & poor air quality index. My flight got diverted (thanks to overly crowded lone terminal). Reached about four hours delayed.

Having spent a great chunk of my salary towards shifting and securing a place in Delhi, I was at my stingy best. Very intelligently, I booked a shared cab from the airport for a destination about 50 kilometers away! The ordeal began as soon as I located my cab. There was no boot space! It was blocked by CNG gas cylinder (to keep Delhi’s air quality index very poor (& not shoot it upto hazardous), all public transport vehicles must run on “Compressed natural gas”). As there already was an aged couple seated in the back, the driver kept my big bag on the front passenger seat. Don’t worry, he did put a seat belt around the luggage. I was still left with a small suitcase and my laptop bag. The kind (& very sweaty) couple scooted over. The driver joked that at-least I was alone and hadn’t dared to book the shared cab for two people with all that luggage. Happy to have accommodated all my luggage, I smiled awkwardly. We started our journey. I was now set to reach my destination without any more hassles.

Got a little iffy when the driver took a de-route. On inquiring I was informed that he just received another pickup for a single person. Whyy? When he had just commented and embarrassed me, how could he have taken up another ride? Apparently, he forgot to switch off the cab app that showed him available and connected him with another passenger. However, we were assured that looking at our situation the customer would herself cancel the ride once we reach the pickup spot. He wasn’t cancelling the ride remotely as he didn’t want to risk his driver’s rating.

We reached the pickup spot but couldn’t refuse the passenger a ride. It was a visually impaired female who was already unhappy about the weather. The driver asked me to shift to the front seat as I had two bags on my lap. He took the front passenger seat luggage and adjusted it on the back dashboard because of which all the three backseat passengers had to sit with their heads tilted forward (Delhi’s jugaad at its best!). To add to my embarrassment & guilt, I was the most comfortably seated apart from the driver. I did complete rest of the 40 kilometers in the packed cab. Our efforts that day should go down as one of the bravest rides in the history of cab pooling. Maybe on some level it wasn’t about the cash but my dedication towards making my favorite city a breathable space…just maybe😊

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