Like most days, I took a cab to office today. Now, me and cabs we share a love-hate relationship. Much like Murphy’s Law! When I want one, I don’t get one! But me and cab drivers... now there’s something interesting there. I have met my fair share of all sorts of cab drivers. The grumpy ones, the chatter-boxes, the presumptuous ones, the polite ones and the couple of them who actually asked me out (Yes! That happened too! Some other time folks, some other time! Sigh!). … More or less the entire gamut. And more often than not, I chitchat with some of them since I love talking, making random conversation and finding out about their life and such. I am very curious like that! ;) Some of them are mostly in a mood to talk, considering they just go up and down Singapore’s roads. And I enjoy most of these snippets of conversation. :) :)
So coming back to today, I booked a cab well in advance … I did not want Mr. Murphy to take advantage of the timing, it being peak hour. My cabbie for the day was an Indonesian man, easily in his late sixties. He came to pick me up and soon started chatting with me on how I did the wise thing by booking a cab and that there were loads of people waiting for one all along the way. I was in a mood to talk as well (nothing new there!) and soon we started chatting.
I must tell you, the man was a chatter-box. But what was more endearing was the way he kept the conversation flowing. In the span of the 10-15 minutes that was the drive, we discussed umpteen topics. And what a variety of topics. :)
I learnt that he was a retiree, he was from West Sumatra, and he wants to settle down with his wife in India and that too in Coimbatore because he was tired of the city life. Coimbatore of all places! Can you believe that! :) What a coincidence!!! :D :D He said that he has half a million savings in Singapore that he wants to invest in a house in Coimbatore, grow a vegetable patch with Karuveppilai, Murungakkai, and also have Tulsi plants. :-). Yes he used the Tamil words for them. He made it a point to mention that he did not want to outshine his neighbors and all he wanted was a simple house where he can spend his time occupied with gardening and walks. He complimented me on my very famous name (Sigh!) and asked me where in India I was from. He told me about Indonesia and how people were very religious there and how similar the customs are to Indian customs. I asked him his name and he said it was Kamal, just Kamal and not Kamal Hassan :). His wife’s name was Rohini and his brothers were Surya and Rustam! He said that his elder brothers were very handsome. He said that they were all teachers and that his subject was History. He mentioned how much he likes Indian food, especially murungakka sambar, dosa and chutney. He told me that he was a good cook and that he loves making thengai chutney and the murungakka sambar. :) He even threw in a bit about how he went to Anandha Bhavan for dinner yesterday and had Rava Masala Onion Dosa as that was his fave. He asked me if I cook and told me that whenever he makes sambar he always adds perungayam and that it is the most important ingredient :P. We discussed Indian movies, and he said that his favorite Tamil movie is Mouna Raagam and that the heroines these days are all only show-offs and nothing to beat the legends like Savitri and the like. He spoke all the Tamil words in a very cute mixed accent. :) Yes! He spoke Tamil. He said that he watches Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalee movies :P
And the highlight was, when I was about to pay and get down, he said that whenever he gets bored, he strums the guitar and that his favorite song was “Baar Baar Dekho – China Town” which we both sang with full gusto for a full 2 mins inside that cab!! … :-) I sang a song with this man, whom I did not even know until today morning. :-) :-) Beat that! Such fun it was! :) We were both laughing at the end of it.
He wished me all the luck and blessed me and told me to have a good life and then we parted ways.
He left me with a smile on my face, an upbeat mood and a spring in my step. I can only admire the zest the man has for life and the amazing quality of keeping people entertained in a way that doesn’t encroach into their personal space. :) Loved the start to the day today! Such a sweet man!
Whoever said enthusiasm was contagious was right! :) Wanna borrow some from me? ;) I got a truckload of it today ;) ;) :) :)