CABBING ALL THE WAY
BY JATIN KUBERKAR
About the Book:
Twelve people agree to an idea of running a shared transport service from a common residential locality to their out-of-civilization office campus. Twelve different minds with equally diverse personalities gel with each other to fulfil a common need. At first, the members collide on mutual interests, timings, priorities and personal discipline, but in the course of their journey, they become best friends, make long-lasting relationships, mentor and help each other on various mundane matters. The journey goes on fine until one day some members try to dictate terms over the group. The rift widens with each passing day, the tension surmounts and finally all hell breaks loose… Will the journey continue? Fasten your seat belts for the journey is about to begin…
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EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK:
I don’t know why, but of late I was starting to feel that I have in me, two different beings. One of them is emotional. It is grounded to its values, it stops me from reacting to situations, it makes me observe the little wonders in everyday life, encourages me to see the brighter side, and sometimes, it commands me to just stand peacefully and enjoy singing aloud life’s beautiful song. The other is, as I wish to call it, ‘Judgemental’. Notorious for furious outbursts, it quickly jumps into conclusions. It is strong-headed, it asks me to be selfish, pessimistic and often teases me with phrases like ‘grow up!. Am I like this ‘by default’ or have I been transforming lately? Am I what I think about myself or am I yet to discover my true being?
If a spoon full of Abhishek Bachchan, a little Hrithik Roshan and a whole lot of Keshto Mukherjee were to be blended together, the end product would be Mohan. Confused, heroic and Keshto!
“Mohan? Now what?”—Sushant questioned.
“Wait let me remember! I think we left the turn behind us,” he answered, thereby diplomatically confirming that we were actually lost!
What a relief it was. It felt like we were all prisoners for life and had been unexpectedly released on an unconditional bail. A strange sense of freedom engulfed all of us and we smiled at each other. The feeling was comparable to a holiday that came just before Diwali, during our school days. It allowed us to freely burn crackers while our parents were off to work. We had a whole day ahead of us . . . No bosses, no family, no kids, no mundane chatter…nothing at all. A whole day, just for us, to unwind!
“I HATE these dramas and the daily serials, especially the ‘saas-bahu’ stereotypes. They show women in such poor light. At first, a girl gets married and everyone is happy. Then suddenly, her shady past comes to light. This Sati Savitri happens to be the object of desire of a forgotten boyfriend. When the story gets stinking rotten, then someone is murdered or resurrected and the bugging continues . . . Oh my God! According to me, these serials are spoiling a whole generation by branding every mother-in-law as a scheming monster and daughter-in-law as Dracula-in-law . . . Gosh! I hate them . . .”
Avani observed a peculiar point in her reply that most of us overlooked. She wrote:
“What do you mean by ‘If the cab starts sharply at 8:15 in the morning’? If you don’t believe me, then how about starting the cab from your doorstep? In spite of starting on time, you doubt our motives?”
“Night! What night?” Rajnish shouted.
“We are talking about 8:30 p.m. Don’t make it sound like goddamn midnight! You are a metro girl. Be confident, madam. Like Sushant said, don’t you girls go anywhere else on your own? Don’t you ever walk that road alone?” he said angrily.
Sometimes I asked myself, ‘What was so different about this crazy group that made it stand out?’
‘May be because it was a group where we were all equals. A place where no one dominated, no one pressed their opinions, no fake emotions, no forced relationships, no undue commitments. It was like a parallel universe that we stepped in and out of each morning and evening. It was a different world with some rules but no compulsions, there were deadlines but they weren’t rigid, there were conflicts, but nothing personal about them.
It was “our” own world with just “us” in it.’
“Saina, I hope this is not your ego speaking. I don’t mind if they don’t drop me home. But imagine if there is no cab at all. Even the thought of it is scary!” Vijaya said.
Look Vijaya, who’s not driven by their ego? They are all selfish and biased. So why care for their emotions? To answer your question, if the cab breaks, it will break forever! All we want until then is to commute to office, that’s it. We will do just that and leave the rest for the clowns. Ha ha ha!”
“‘Management by inaction.’ That is the only solution right now. In situations like these, we should not try to fix anything. Let relationships take time and get adjusted by themselves,”Sushant said as we walked out of the cafeteria.
Heated thoughts bubbled up in my mind.
‘Come on now, you have controlled enough …don’t care to give any excuse, don’t even try to explain. Just tell them that you have had enough. Let them handle the stark reality that without people like you “they” are nothing.
Go on, finish it off!’
GUEST POST BY JATIN KUBERKAR
TOPIC: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Getting Published
‘Cabbing All the Way’ is a story of 12 people who decide to commute together to office to ease their travel pain. What seems to be a novel idea soon proves to be ‘Mission Impossible’ without Tom Cruise to the rescue! it is like a twelve headed Raavan trying to rope walk with each of his heads proposing him something different.
I had this picture in my mind about the cab and I thought that only this could be a perfect front cover for the book. I approached my dear friend and cartoonist Yogish Shettigar with the idea that I had in my mind. He was an ex-employee at our office and knew all the people who came along with me in the cab. When I described him the concept and roughly explained the idea that I had in my mind, he was quick to connect with it. When I saw the first draft, I was shocked and surprised!!! It had REAL faces of people on it… as a cartoonist, he excellently etched their characteristics into the sketch.
While I was wonderstruck with the cartoon, I was also aware that this cannot become to be the official front cover of the book for all the obvious reasons.
Finally, he re-did the cartoon. The trivia is that only my face still remains…
About the Author:
For the mortal world, I pretend to be a Software Engineer who works hard (or hardly?) in the hours of a day. I am the guy next door, a hard core Harry Potter fan and a movie buff. I literally ‘live’ every movie, I have strong opinions about its content and I hate it when a movie based on an interesting concept is messed up for the sake of commercial value. I enjoy watching cartoon shows (doremon, dora and Choota Bheem) with my son. I never get bored of listen to the endless chatter of my wife. When I’m not writing, I make toys for children.
But beyond the boundaries of this ‘cholesterol rich’ coil, I am a rider of rapturous thoughts. I am a thinker, a philosopher, a seeker, a story-teller, a writer, a wanderer and every other thing that a thought can be. At times some of these figments fire out of my thoughtful bowl and command me to write, muse, create, recreate, destroy…EXPRESS!
Who Am I? I have been asking this question to myself since 33 years, and I got a different answer always. Sometimes I get confused and think, am I asking the right question to seek the correct answer? or may be that am I missing the whole fantastic universal drama around me while I am busy finding an answer to an irrelevant question?
Does the answer even matter?