banno, dhanno and teja in bumm-bumm-bhole-land

a pious taxi driver

As soon as we crossed the Nana Chowk signal, he began to chant “Ram Krishna, Ram Krishna, Ram Krishna, Hare, Hare”.

His voice was melodious, and I was grateful he hadn’t switched on some raucous music on a rasping tape recorder. I began to hum under my breath with him.

At August Kranti Chowk, a taxi cut across the lane, blocking the road. My driver began to chant even louder, “Hari Om, Hari Om.”

We swerved our way past, and he said, “Did you see how he was driving?”

I said, “Yes, he just ghuso-ed in, without looking left or right.”

He said, “Whenever something like this happens, any problem, I just chant ….”

He recites a sloka and explains, “God, this is too much for me to handle, now you do whatever you want.”

I nod.

He continues, “Everyone thinks they will pray more after they get old and retire. But when you grow old, your mind becomes more chanchal. You cannot pray. You can pray better now, in the middle of all this.”

I nod again.

He says, “You keep thinking I’ll do this when I have more time, I’ll do that after a few years, and before you know it, your life is over.”

He leaves me at Kemps’ Corner under the bridge and drives away. I’m not religious, but feel happy for anything that relieves some of the stress in this crowded city. Anyway, chanting a sloka when a vehicle cuts in is better than giving M&B gaalis.

*ghuso-ed – barged in
*chanchal – restless, mischievous
*gaalis- cuss words

11 comments on “a pious taxi driver

  1. dipali
    April 16, 2010

    What a wise man:) Lovely!

  2. Banno
    April 16, 2010

    He certainly looked very calm, amidst all the chaos.

  3. dustedoff
    April 17, 2010

    This reminded me of a motor driving training school I saw in Kolkata: the Fazl-e-Rabb (‘grace of God’) driving school. Though I have a feeling their need to always keep God nearby was different…😉

    • Banno
      April 17, 2010

      :) I once knew a drunk taxi driver who had at the back of his taxi, ‘God & Death’

  4. memsaab
    April 17, 2010

    Well you might remember MY last taxi driver…but this one sounds just wonderful. How old was he do you think?

    And THANK YOU for the translations!!! I know two new words now (already knew gaalis, of course)…

    • Banno
      April 17, 2010

      Memsaab, he was in his early 30s, max.

    • dustedoff
      April 18, 2010

      But you have to note that ghuso-ed is a compound word; anybody who knows Hindi but not English is unlikely to be able to figure out what it really means!:)

      • Banno
        April 18, 2010
  5. Eveslungs
    April 23, 2010

    A pious guy is better than a cussing driver but I’m with dustedoff on ghusao ! Speaking for myself I cant bear any noise inside cabs – the roads are so noisy anyway

  6. Banno
    April 24, 2010

    I know. The first thing one has to usually do, is say, please switch off that ‘music’.:)

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This entry was posted on April 16, 2010 by in bumm-bumm-bhole land, of rickshaws and cars and tagged , , .

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