There are very few journeys in your life which u remember for a long time to come, the ones which leave a mark in your life.
And when u r a frequent Pune-Mumbai traveler like me, such incidences are indeed pretty rare...
But I’m fairly confident this one belongs to the above genre...
I was going to Mumbai a while back by my usual choice of transport---a shared cab. This is one journey which thanks to the Mumbai-Pune Expressway doesn't take longer than 3 hours and with Rs.250 you can travel at complete ease and comfort in an AC cab.
The people who travel this way are usually those who have little time to waste awaiting the Volvo buses to fill to their capacity, for which you end up wasting even 6 hours in toto at times!!
Quite normally, these types rarely bother with mingling with their fellow passengers, just happy to be busy going over their notes for their next meeting, fine tuning details over the phone for the next client meeting or sometimes a hapless papa calling his daughter and promising her he will be in town for the 9 pm movie this time for sure!!
This time was quite an aberration...
When I reached Pune station, I was immediately accosted by these agents who insist u go with them coz theirs is the best way to travel, where u r the luckiest person around since u wud be filling the last seat remaining and other such nonsense!!
But being wise to their ways I tell them strictly I want a shared cab and then they direct u to the appropriate agent for the cabbie.
I saw a TV actor seated at the front seat and another busybody going over his notes for the interview he was set to appear in Mumbai at the back seat.I was the third person then...Sigh! Wait for 10-15 mins now..No problem for me,after all who said i had to attend some important seminar or meeting in the next few hours??
But the cab was going till Dadar only and when the TV actor realised this,he got down unhappily complaining that he was told by the agent it will take him to Andheri,haha!!!
Only 5 mins since i set foot in the Pune station area and already a little bit of the drama had unfolded! More was yet to come as i realised later.
Now a lady comes along in a car which I barely noticed,but her driver is asked to step down by these rogues here and is slapped because he apparently almost hit one of them just so!!
The thing could have escalated but for the lady's hurry to reach the airport,since she had to catch the 2:50 pm Delhi flight.She told her driver to go home with the car and agreed to share the cab with us.Here comes the rider...She wanted the front seat of the car and the cab should be leaving at once!
No problem for us we thought,since she was the one insisting on the cab to leave with 3 ppl,she wud be the one paying the extra money!!
With so much of confusion going on..I think the agent conveniently forgot to mention this to her..So she takes the front seat and asks the driver whom was she supposed to pay the 250 bucks??
Wait a minute! Wasn't she supposed to pay 500 bucks??
Hell no! The agent had told her she was the last seat remaining and the rate was just 250 bucks!!
The agent was called in and she started ranting to him about the unfairness of it all..
Well,if that's the case shell up more was what he said to her..
Or wait for another person to come along..By this time,the lady's driver had already gone home along with her car and she had to make do with the public transport now.
Now,any seasoned traveller will make sure to ask basic questions like how many seats have filled already,and what's the rate before getting into the cab,won't he?
But apparently this was the first time this woman was travelling this way and forgot to ask the above questions..
What she did not forget to tell everyone around was that she was in an extreme hurry to catch the "do baje ka flight" to
No wonder she was taken for a ride! (pun unintended,haha)
Now she was insisting that the cab leave at once or she would be calling the police as she had had enough!!The driver poor guy was not able to acquiesce since he would be in a real loss if he took only 3 passengers for Rs.750
The agent in the meanwhile had disappeared to go and look for the 4th person.
The drama had begun in full fore now...Every agent,driver and passenger out there came to know in no time that this particular 50 something lady had been cheated by these goons out there AND she was late for her 2 pm flight to
Now comes the ego trip!!She requested me and the other poor guy already seated in to come with her and take a different cab.I told her I was in no hurry,so no point in paying the extra bucks..Oh!!But I didnt have to pay anything extra you see..she was ready to pay any extra amount incurred all by herself for both of us!!
Hmm...why not??No harm right..?
But just getting out of the cab and leaving won't set right with her either..
She had to teach these goons a lesson,didn't she?? So she started to threaten them with a phone to the police..
Oh i forgot to mention..her majesty is an esteemed Director of the Bharti Vidyapeeth..She also carries a lot of political clout,weight whatever u wanna call it!!
So she would be able to stop this illegal business in no time!!Not only wud she get these people arrested or fined,she wud also get the PSI of the area on duty,fired in a day!!
The driver was a bit scared now and asked her to talk to the agent who had offered her a seat in the first place..
No!!That won't do at all..Why shud she go and search for that asshole??Call him here,she said.So another person was dispatched in search of the said agent.
And she was still insisting the driver leave at once or she would be placing that BIG call to the DIG of police in Pune..
Here I mentioned to her,If she was ready to pay 1200 bucks to go by the CoolCab why not just pay 250 extra and get on with it??
Nope,this was a matter of principle you see.Rs.250 was a paltry sum for her..but she was not ready to take any such treatment from these vandals lying down.
She would really show them what stuff she was made of and whom these idiots were messing up with..
Now 15 minutes had passed since this started and the agent in question finally arrived on the scene.. luckily with the 4th passenger in tow...Lucky for everyone I guess.
Again we all had to hear what a big shot she was and how these agents and their nexus is going to be dismantled in one day by her one phone call..
Did I mention she was a DIRECTOR on the board of Bharti Vidyapeeth??Oh,I did..Sorry for repeating it again here..but I had forgotten the count by now how many times she had mentioned this already!!
Finally,we all commenced our ill-fated journey to Mumbai,why ill-fated u ask??
Because we were doomed to hear this woman's tirade for the next 3 hours at least!!
So in the nxt one hour we had already come to know,that this lady was a Director on Bharti Vidyapeeth's board(Sorry for the repetition,can't help it,hehe)
She was going to 'bajao the band' of these thugs who take hapless commuters like her for granted..
She was really getting late to reach her 2:50 PM flight from Mumbai to Delhi for a very important meeting.
By this time I really had to say something to shut her up..So i told her that the MSRTC(Apna Govt Corporation) runs a highly efficient bus service from Pune to Dadar every half an hour,and it takes only 3 hours and 15 mins for the bus to reach its destination.Not only that.. she would be paying 5 bucks lesser!!
She being a govt employee,should be setting an example to the aam junta and travel by that mode instead!!
But no..u see the bus being a bus takes more time than a car..obviously!!But wasn't that better and safer than the way she was travelling now??
Here comes the big revelation....Her brother is none other than Mr.Ashok Gehlot..Delhi's CM.(I know its Mrs.Dickshit,tell that to her..lol)
She does travel by this aam junta mode of transport whenever possible..After all ,thats how they keep in touch wth the ground realities and the hardships common ppl suffer in their day-to-day life..She doesn't like to abuse the power her position offers..no red carpet treatment for her and her family..
She could have easily got the ticket for a day earlier that way,but she chose to go thru the proper channel instead!
Now she takes her cell phone out and dials her home number to talk to some relative of her( I assumed it was her daughter) in a really loud voice!!
And while also informing her daughter,she was really keen on letting her fellow passengers know too,how she had taken pity on her poor driver and sent him home so he could celebrate Diwali with his family that day...Then a call to Delhi to let the junta there know she was definitely going to reach by the said flight..
No need to arrange for Dinner..Please dont take so much pains..A meeting with whom??Mr.Kashiram??Oh no..but he would be busy in a meeting with Soniajii.
She has had a talk with her brother..He is busy arranging a meeting of MLAs..No he won't be able to make it tonight..
At this point,I had managed to switch my media player on at full volume..
After completing her call,she turned back and started telling us how was not allowed to go by such means of public transport by her family,but she had disregarded her safety for a benevolent cause.
Since it would be rude to pretend not to listen to her when she is looking at you and talking to you,I had to take my earphones out and suffer!!
And then, all of a sudden she started asking me about my personal and professional details..
Where did I work in Pune?Where am I actually from?How much salary do I earn in a year?What is my educational qualification?
And without wanting to know about it,she still went ahead and helpfully informed us in detail,how both of her sons had studied in the US..I think she also mentioned the name of the University..but she couldn't pronounce it well..all i got was that it started with an 'A'..
That she didn't like the quality of education imparted in India came as a no surprise to me..
Here's some more info which I didn't want to know..
Her family has a big bungalow in the US which her husband had bought solely for their 2 sons' education purpose..
The elder son has done his MBA from another reputed university whose name she couldn't pronounce properly again and I failed to understand..
Then he got a job in AT&T where he was awarded as the best employee of the year amongst the new joinees..
This was more relevant than you think..it was during the Recession..when every company was laying off their employees en masse..
And this guy had the guts to resign and start his own software company at that time..Now he has AT&T as one of his clients..
No wonder his company's turnover was 20 million $ a year..
She even gave me a suggestion for my future career moves..
SAP is the in thing beta...U can earn a lot of money if you get into it..
So I told her I had no interest in Software..and I'm quitting soon..
Quitting??what next then,she asked me..
I don't know,I said..that gave her a pause and I could finally ignore her and listen to Metallica again..phew!!!
Next bakra was the fellow next to me..I had completed my obligation of travelling on her ego trip..Now i could blissfully ignore her!!
But why take a chance???So I slept..unaware that the driver had made a swerving cut barely avoiding a collision with a truck,when she was busy trying to draw him into the conversation too..
The luckiest bloke was the one sitting directly behind her..After all she could not make a 180 degree turn to pakao him right?
We reached Sion in 2 and a half hours itself where the Interview guy and this lady were going to get down..
Kudos to the driver for this feat..After all he had made sure Ms.Indu Jain wouldn't be missing her all important flight..
While getting off,she also gave a 5 Rs tip to the driver for his amazing speed and control..
Well,we all had a hearty laugh after she got off...each laughing at the other's expense...
Good thing for the other guy and I was that the driver had some work in Mulund..
So he could drop us at Vikhroli and Mulund respectively..
Now you can easily guess what the topic for the rest of our journey was..
There was a whole lot of dissection of Ms. Jain's behaviour and bitching about her in general..
Who knows if she was actually all those things she mentioned about herself??
It could be true...but it really goes on to show how shallow and hypocrites such people are in reality...
She didn't succeed in fooling anyone present of her good intentions or such..
Instead,by constantly harping about her position and the power she weilded she had already created an image of a buffon in front of each one of us..
What power does a Board Director of a deemed university really carries??
People like these are so egotistic that any government position carries a lustful appeal to them,where they can constantly show off in the public..
One really can't understand if one should laugh at them or pity these fools...
Inside I think these types are very insecure..otherwise they wudn't find a need to brag about their position in society in public..however pitiful or unimportant that position maybe..
That is why you see a simple government clerk in a GPO acting as if he is a king and he is doing a big favor on us taxpayers by accepting our Returns on the 31st of July...
These kinds are always searching for a chance to subjugate others to their will, but are they willing to take the responsibility for what their position of power demands of them?? NO!!
This is why we hear the likes of Indu Jains fretting about the make of a bronze statue to be installed in the college campus,than the quality of the education imparted inside the college walls..
And then we have the same people complaining about the sad infrastructure and quality of education in India..
God save us all from such important and well connected people...