After a long week, it was finally time for the weekend. She couldn’t wait to get home. She checked both Ola and Uber and they both had surge prices, so they were going to charge her more than double the usual fare to get me home. She thus decided to opt for a pool, hoping she will be lucky enough to not share my cab with anyone. She booked a cab, it was four minutes away and she noticed that she had to share it with two other people, she cancelled it. Checked the apps for other options, didn’t find anything. She booked an uberpool again and got the same cab and it was like 30 seconds away from where her location. She cursed herself and unwillingly went downstairs. The cab was waiting just outside the office, she got in. She was sharing the cab with two other men, let’s call them A and B.
Driver: hello ma’am, why did you cancel the cab earlier?
She: (I was pleasantly surprised that we were conversing in English) Oh, I was just trying my luck. I thought I could find a cab which was closer.
(She was about to plug in her earphones but realised that the driver was making small talks with A so decided to overhear the conversation instead. She did find A a little cute though)
Driver: (To passenger A ) so how do you find Mumbai and Indian politics?
A: I am not a very good judge, and I don’t like sharing my opinions on politics with the locals here because they may not take it very nicely. But it does seem that the politics can improve, not that the US political scenario is any better you see.
Driver: You have only two parties contesting elections right? We have many here.
A: Yes, only two. But I am sure having multiple choice is a good idea.
Driver: what are you doing in Mumbai?
A: I am here for a 3 months Internship.
( At this, she was all ears to what he was saying. She is a journalist and such things make a good story. There was silence for some time until A saw a man driving a bicycle on the road)
A: You guys bike on the road? I bike back in the states but I cannot imagine biking here in India on such roads.
Driver: Oh, you’ll see not many people bike in India. But the middle class uses it at times. It’s a cheap mode of commute you see.
( She decides to intervene )
She: Hi, are you studying here?
A: No, I am here for an internship.
She: I write for education at XYZ publication. Would you like to write an article for me?
A: for sure!
She: here’s my card. Email me.
( At this B intervenes )
B: You work at XYZ? I work there too
She: Oh what a co-incidence! Which department?
( they go on and introduce themselves and talk about work)
Driver: Ma’am, I need to complain about someone in the publication you work in. Who do I get in touch with?
She: umm.. I write for education, I don’t have contacts in the other beats but who do you want to complain about? I can try to help you.
Driver: I want to complain about you for cancelling the cab earlier.
A: Why are you bringing that up all the time? She has all the right to cancel your cab and try to find something faster.
Driver: oh I am not angry, I am just saying just like that
A: well, it looks like you are angry. Stop it.
( soon they had reached the place where B had to get off, he left saying a quick “see you” to her. She was getting dropped off next; she got off saying a quick bye and asking A to email her)