>The taxiwalah and the birthday spark

>So while my previous job entailed going to one end of Mumbai, this one requires me to move in the other. Fort, to be precise. Fort is in town. For all non Mumbaities – autos are restricted from entering town – that is Mumbai south of Mahim. I can’t take gaadi because I have trouble maneuvering a 3 box car on the roads of Mumbai. I have to perforce take a cab. Now, just outside my home, in the lane there is a cab stand. So when I burst outside on the first day at 8.30 am, rudely awakening to the fact that life no longer entailed getting out of bed at 9, sometimes 10 and sometimes not at all, I was very, very glad to see one lone cab standing there.

Fort, I cried, flying into it.

Yes, nodded the cabbie, continuing to wipe his taxi’s windshield with a cloth which I swear probably had not been washed in a year. I waited with bated breath. And while I waited I did what most of us do while leaving for work on the first day to a new place. I imagined myself to be the highest performer this next year with the CEO herself congratulating me on my fabulous performance while handing out my big, fat increment letter.

Oh yes. This corporate ladder I was going to climb really fast.

But wait, we haven’t even started yet. How am I going to get a big, fat increment if I’m late on the very first day?

So I stuck my head out of the window and yelled. Bhaiyya, chalo.

I got a dirty look. And we started. At 20 km an hour. I am not joking. Every slow lane that this guy could find, he did. Every signal where we could have cruised by, he slowed and stopped. I simmered and it had nothing to do with the temperature outside. We finally reached office just in the nick of time.

The really-early-waking-up taking it’s toll the next day, I burst out at 8.40 am into the lane and came to a standstill. Oops! Our man was there again. I swear I saw his eyes light up as he realized that this could possibly become an everyday affair. I dragged my feet up to his cab and stepped in and we chugged along again. I reached 10 mins later than prescribed time. Complete no-no on new job. New job with finger swipe system for attendance. The kind that gives palpitations and leaves one in panic.

The third day I decided to be smarter. Hah! One taxi was not going to ruin it for me. In a land where taxis abound, why did I need to be dependant on one guy. I will find myself another taxi. Now our house opens into two lanes. Both lead onto the main road. It is the front lane that has the cabs, the rear lane mostly has private vehicles. I had my strategy pat. I was going to get onto the main road through the rear lane and hail a cab down. So I snuck out exactly as planned. Except you know how plans are. They tend to fall apart. No taxi. Only autos. Buzzing along looking as busy as bees. 2 mins, 3 mins…now what? Yes. I had no choice but to eat humble pie and slink back into the front lane to my faithful cabbie. It’s been two weeks now that this man has been ferrying me to work. I’ve reconciled myself to his driving and have started leaving slightly early. We even have conversations now. Today, we even banded together and fought with the guy manning the toll booth at the Bandra – Worli sea link coz of the inordinately long time he was taking to hand out the charge slips.

This happy bonding, however, comes to an end next week. I have succumbed to my Delhi type feelings and have bought a car of my own. It’s actually my birdday present. You see it was my birdday yesterday. And well, with the heat, and the slow taxis and the fact that barring the last 2 years, I have had a set of wheels of my own for almost 10 years now, pati and I came to the conclusion that I would be happiest with a gadi. It is a Chevy Spark. I wanted something tiny and easy to maneuver. And I love it’s cheeky looks. So the car has been booked and rolls into my life Monday next. Yippiee! Sad for the cabbie tho, but such is life.

Anyway, so pati has run around doing all the formalities for the car registration etc and love for him has reached heart shattering proportions so I took him out for champagne and dinner here:

Aer, on the rooftop of Four Seasons, 34th floor, Worli.

It is an AWESOME place. And they’ve named it right. It does feel as if you’re floating on air. The glass railings around the bar are eye level but are not continuous and you can feel the breeze. And what an awesome view of Mumbai. It was a great evening. Saturday will be party for friends….and monday will be bye bye to the taxiwalah!!
edited to add: i took this pic off the four seasons site coz my 2MP mobile phone camera couldn’t do justice to the place. This is actually the smoking section, where we got place, and has a far better view than the non smoking section.
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24 Responses to >The taxiwalah and the birthday spark

  1. Shrutzz says:

    >hey, its such a treat to read your blogs….Congragulations for your NEW CAR, I know how it feels, since fw months back I got my gift -Ritz and love it!!!and..Belated happy birthday lady!!!and….All the best for your new joband….lovely place to dine..am gonna talk to my hubby on this very soon 😉

  2. I'm Nu says:

    >congratulations on the new job,new car and the new taxi dost 🙂

  3. >Hey Diva…have lurked around ur post a bit in the past…and now ever since i have started a blog, i do de-lurk (i know how mainful no comments seems)…First of all Happy Birthday and congratulations on ur new car…Second of all…parking in fort…Bruhahahahahaha! tell me how that goes! Good luck babe

  4. DewdropDream says:

    >Good HEAVENS!! The view!!!! Breathtaking absolutely and how lucky you are to have been sat there :)Congratuations on the gaadi, my folks have a Spark too and they love it to bits!And good luck with climbing the corporate ladder 🙂

  5. Gyanban says:

    >First time here, quite enjoyed reading some of your posts.Yes, next am in mumbai I plan to visit these new places..they sound really cool

  6. Titaxy says:

    >Belated Bday wishes to you :). And congrats on the new car !And WOW on that view from the rooftop.

  7. The Bald Guy says:

    >Awesome, I've been waiting for someone to write a layman's review of the Spark too. You go girl!

  8. A says:

    >I assume you got a driver too with your new car. Your husband is a smart guy. He realized he wants to remain sane by ensuring you have smooth mornings and days.Good write up but you missed this angle.

  9. >Damn you.Have been planning AER for quite some time and rushed to show the partner your blog 'see how lucky she is ,her hubby has taken her to AER"..only to realise it was the other way round,and now guess who has to take whom there. :PBut congrats on the car.Does your office give you parking? Parking is a bitch that side of the town and I had to shell out 50 rs. everyday for parking.and yes, happy Bday!! :_-)

  10. dipali says:

    >Belated birthday wishes, Diva!Good to have you back.Congrats on the new car. The poor cabbie will miss his regular passenger.The dinner sounds awesome.

  11. Indyeah says:

    >Happy Birthday:)and Congratulations on the new car:) The pic(and the place) looks fab!

  12. Mumbai Diva says:

    >Shrutzz: Thank you for reading regularly:)I'm Nu: thanksdropzofjupiter: left a comment on your post:) no no there's enough parking in front of the buildingDewdropDream: thank you. yes. it was a beautiful place.Gyanban: thanks for visiting.titaxy: thank u, thank u.the bald guy: hmm…u want my review on the Beat? i test drove that too :)A: ooh! lady, you are so perceptive. of course, i was driving him nuts by ranting and cribbing. nah, no driver, i prefer driving myself. that's why the small car.lostonthestreet: well, yes the admin has kinda struck a deal for all the office cars…it's 800 bucks a month. there's ample parking where i work tho. if i come back late after a meeting or something, of course i'll have to hand over the keys to the parking guys and let them park.dipali: thank you.Indyeah:thank you. it was a fab place.

  13. magiceye says:

    >that was a fun post!

  14. prateek sur says:

    >i seriously have no connects to u but i suddenly ended up landing on ur blog from some mutual friend..neways congrats for ur new job and surely i hope u climb the ladder asap and congrats for the Spark in ur lyf as well..i've neva been to mumbai but my only requirement will be a job in mumbai, wen the placement people come up to my coll for placements this year..i dunno how and y but this city has always been my city of dreams and for the first time i saw someone tellin only gud things abt my dream city..always i see people tellin that its so crowded in mumbai and very corrupted and stuff but reading ur post reminded me of a statement that my physics mam used to tell us in std 6.."physics is jst seeing things from a different perspective"..ur post surely gave me a very diff perspective of the city and now i'm again eternally in luv wit my city of dreams..neways try checking out my blog and do comment on my posts..it would be gr8 to know abt my view from a strangers perspective..and am following u on ur blog and i hope so it wont be of much trouble..my blog:www.HeadacheAndTension.blogspot.com

  15. Shalini says:

    >Hey, Congrats…. that's wonderful and even more wonderful is that your back to blogging :)) Happy Driving !!!

  16. CoherentBlah says:

    >Tell you what, you're fortunate enough to get a cab when you step out of house, and have the cabbie take you the place you want to go. And yeah, I've had friends raving about that place. It's about time I experience it.:)

  17. Anil P says:

    >Unless of course the taxiwallah steps up to you and asks if he can get a job as a driver of your new car, and ferry you around 🙂

  18. Dil se says:

    >Belated B'day wishes !And congrats on the new car.Am sure you must be enjoying the ride!!and the view from the hotel, it is breathtaking 🙂

  19. Meira says:

    >congratulations, congratulations and congratulations. The Spark's zippy. Whcih color?

  20. >good times… :-)Belated B'day wishes from me… enjoy the Spark…. 🙂

  21. Iya says:

    >belated birthday wishes!! and happy and safe driving..poor cabbie, once in while u can leave the car behind and go with him..

  22. Paroma says:

    >Congratulations!!! And drum rolls for the Chevy which comes in on Monday :)That roof top is awesome. Am definitely going there next time I am in Bombay.Happy belated birthday, girl! I am glad you are back.

  23. su says:

    >hey ! stumbled upon your blog through 36 and counting. i love mumbai and everything about the city. nice post, and nice blog :)i'm sure to keep coming back.

  24. >wow!! that is one awesome view!!!nice blog..sonalihttp://bollywoodstylediaries.blogspot.com

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