By Kamlesh Tripathi
It was a novel experience when my wife and I were driven home the other day from Delhi Airport by Ms Jyoti Gupta, a lady cab driver, of the pink fleet of radio cabs, christened ‘Meru Eve,’ recently introduced by Meru Cabs.
To begin with Jyoti briefly narrated how the chief executive of Meru Cabs, Siddhartha Pahwa, announced the new service from a dais decorated with daisies and gladioli at the time of launch. The holistic concept being, how to make women safer in Delhi; where the newfound breed, of these daring and young female cabbies were adding value.
We had some luggage that needed to be transferred to the luggage carrier atop and tied. I offered to help but she refused priding she could do that just alone, and she did it. And while she was doing that we could see some male cabbies prying and smiling at her.
And as we started from the airport, I could see both male and female eyes gazing at her, for she was a novelty- a cab driver, who had dared to break into the hitherto male bastion of cabbies.
In the small conversation that followed she told us why she took up to this career. Surely, it was not for any pantomime. But the intense and rancid pattern of daily abuse from her husband. She now had two college going children, and was up in arms with her husband, seeking divorce; and had merited class ten herself, from Haldwani.
Quick to learn and savvy about business numbers. Knowing her vehicle inside-out. Not scared of the male rowdiness or the male overwhelm on the road. And while driving, she appeared quite a seasoned and inveterate, as I was not missing the male counterpart for a change.
And, there was something captivating about her. For she was not sulking to the challenges of a tough profession, but was gaga about it. As, by now she had already demonstrated the definition of toughness. That was moving away from stark physicality to an enduring mindset which females too had. And, last but not the least she conveyed the ultimate mission of life, that was common for both man and woman, and it was only the short lived difficulties that are different.
All the best Jyoti!