An Engaging Ride

On the drive to the airport in Victoria, Canada I got to know some interesting facts from our cab driver, Ravi. He told us that the cab we were travelling in was previously used by the Canadian police force for chasing fleeing suspects. Once these cars get worn out they are auctioned to the general public and they go cheap due to the rough treatment they go through! Ravi bought this car at one such auction. He said he was overall very satisfied with the car except for the little fact that it didn’t run on regular gas and required some specific kind of gas which was only available at certain gas stations.

Talking about his cab and his profession made him reminisce about Raj, the first Indian who a few years back fought hard to procure the license to run a taxi when the taxi business there was predominantly controlled by the whites. His initiative, determination and courage opened up the market for many more Indians to join this profession.

Ravi could comprehend how human pettiness, ignorance and close mindedness can turn even a seemingly little task into an insurmountable problem. His reflection on human nature made him recall his days in India when he and his community would make fun of the members of other communities for talking in a different accent. He said he didn’t realize how insensitive and ignorant he was then until he faced some hard times trying to make a life for himself in a foreign land. He then added that the remedy to cure superiority complex and discrimination is by relocating every individual from the comfort of their hometown to some foreign land for some time.

But I don’t agree with him on this point. I see many Indians who while staying abroad would have patiently lined up whenever and wherever it was required, don’t bother to do so in India. People who would rather stuff the garbage in their purse if they fail to locate a garbage can there, will not hesitate a second to throw their rubbish anywhere they please in India. We don’t imbibe anything, we just adapt to our surroundings so that we are not ridiculed and looked down upon.

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