Thursday, 19 November 2009

You meet the most awesome people in a Toyota

Honda might kill me for taking their line and rehashing it, but then, I just couldn’t make do with a title carrying other words.

This is my consecutive third post regarding the people in the public transport industry, and I’m beginning to think, that I’m beginning to learn more from these people than a lot of wise cracking teachers I knew (not all, but most of them who haunted me through the schooling years).

Anyway, I left office in a real stressed out mood today. Morning began with a training and presentation session I had to give at a client’s office, which was a cleanly coordinated disaster, I mean, it was like I had planned for my train of thoughts to conveniently derail in front of the more experienced engineers. But well, I managed to hold off somehow.

Anyway, NOT the point. I rushed back to office and had quite a bit on my hands which I completed way after my closing time. Followed by frustration that A project I had worked on for a while with a lot of effort was seemingly gonna go down the drain ‘coz some other sonnofagun had outdone mine and my colleague’s awesome design. Although I am sure the other design is a dud.

I finished my prayers, after which I caught a bus from my office (first time, as I usually use the taxis there). The bus ride was okay, and Instead of catching another bus to Dubai, I got down at the square in Sharjah and jumped into the next taxi available. A Toyota Camry (Same as Khan Chacha)

At this point I questioned myself, was it worth paying 20 AED extra for the taxi, to save me the 30 minutes of walking. I was too tired to answer that question, so I rested.

The taxi driver in question was a burly man, again a Pakistani or Afghan, the kind who beats people to pulp when he’s bored, with bare hands. With a close cut beard. Nothing like Khan Chacha’s amiable face. This guy had a rougher exterior. He looked like those Pathan bakers who pull out scalding hot bread from the tandoors, with bare hands.

I’ve this thing, I sit in the rear seat of the taxi, not because I like having the feel of being driven around, but its because I have the whole seat to laze up in. I rest my head on the C pillar and doze off listening to, in today’s case, Mohammad Rafi.

The taxi caught up in the middle of a road, traffic jams for the simple reason that it was the weekend. I closed my eyes, and after a while, I had the feel that our car was still standing still. What the heck, I continued listening to Rafi saab crooning.

The nagging feeling didn’t leave me, that we were standing still for a while longer than necessary. I opened my eyes a peep, and I see Tandoor Khan half on his seat and half hanging out of his door.

Goes without saying that my eyes peep popped open. I was thinking, “HUHHHH?????”

I must tell you that this was one of the main roads of Sharjah. Where crossing the road is nigh impossible. This guy was hanging out of his door, touching the road. My brain was thinking, “DUDE, you dropped a quarter??? Here have mine, Lets just go before a trailer uses us for a tire wall.”

But nooo, he continued reaching down for the quarter as cars whizzed past him. I was too shocked to even ask him what he was doing. And just as I am thinking, “GODDAMN QUARTER GET IN HIS HAND.” He goes from Doing the unthinkable to doing the abso-frikkin-lutely Stupid. He reaches back to his belt clip, clicks it open and jumps out of the driver seat to go after the quarter.

Needless to say, I am smashed with the realization that I am sitting in a driverless car, without the handbrake up, in the middle of a busy road on the weekend (where motorists use the freeway as a speedway). I might as well have started saying my prayers, when I saw him pick up the quarter and stand up.

One second I’m like, “PHEW, FINALLY GOT HIS QUARTER”

And then he runs, across the front of the car and towards the shops lining the main road.


He runs to the place between two parked cars and bends down and throws the quarter on the ground and runs back towards the car. My mind thinks, “HOLY CRAP IT WASN’T A QUARTER IT WAS A PIECE OF TISSUE OR SOME GARBAGE HE WAS CLEANING OFF THE ROAD, followed by HUHHHHHH?????”

My eyes remain fixed to the ground where he threw whatever he did. As he ran back to the car, My eyes opened as wide as possible to see a little greyish thing. The thing opened its wings and staggered towards the pavement.

My jaw dropped, and immediately closed in a big grin as realization struck home. Tandoor Khan had stopped in the middle of the road, risking a minimum fine of AED 500 (more than a day’s target), not to mention the wrath of the police out there who are insufferable, to save a dis-oriented pigeon who wanted to commit suicide by jumping in the middle of a busy road.

My mind raced back to the hundreds of pigeons, dogs, cats and other animals who’ve been mercilessly run over by cars and bikes here and in India. And realized I was sitting with a rare breed of road users.

Tandoor sat back in his seat, gave a last glance to the bird to make sure it was headed back to the pavement and not towards the road again, and gunned the car down the road in case the police were following. I gaped at him in awe, as he resumed his burly manner, listening to the urdu news crackling through the AM frequency.

I closed my eyes with a grin and rested on the door cushion, thinking, This guy made my day, so did that suicidal pigeon. What are the odds ?!?!

I opened my eyes a peek to get glance at him, and saw him look at me, sprawled on his backseat with my head on the window sill, in the rearview mirror. I closed my eyes and rested with Rafi saab crooning “Aaya re khilone wala” and I heard the soft click of the doors being locked. And the grin widened.

In case in my sleepy stupor, I happen to pull the door handle, I might fall off right? He made sure I didn’t.

This blog is named after a bird I adore.

Tandoor Khan saved 2 pigeons. One from death and One from absolute irritation at the whole world and possible falling out of a car.

2 Birds with 1 Stone. Couldn’t have been more apt.

Narated By Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "While a man was walking on a road. he became very thirsty. Then he came across a well, got down into it, drank (of its water) and then came out. Meanwhile he saw a dog panting and licking mud because of excessive thirst. The man said to himself "This dog is suffering from the same state of thirst as I did." So he went down the well (again) and filled his shoe (with water) and held it in his mouth and watered the dog. Allah thanked him for that deed and forgave him." The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Is there a reward for us in serving the animals?" He said, "(Yes) There is a reward for serving any animate (living being)." – [Bukhari Vol. 8, Book 73, #38] & [Muslim Book 26, Chapter 39, # 5577]


I’d like you, dear reader, to try and tell me what can you guess about this man from reading this episode.

Because I have made an inference. I just want to check if I am right.


I questioned myself if it was worth it. Needless to say, every penny paid :D


Meetz said... my head on the C pillar... hehehehehe a mech. engineer lingo :P love that!!


And God bless Mister Tandoor Khan for stricking 2 birds with a stone! :) JazakAllah khair... the true spirit of dhul hijja :)

Arjun M said...

Thats God's way of striking fear back in your engineer hearts... Putting you in seemingly ugly sichuashunz.

You're growing too much fat down under, thinking you can re engineer the world with your projjekts, and he shows whoz da boss!

In a simple, safe and effective way.

I'd love to have seen your sweaty look and your going **gulpp** in the freeway. Would have been classic!

санжог said...

He didn't have hand breaks on!! and he left you in the middle of a free way!!

Why couldn't he just pick up the bird. Drive to a safe place and let go off the bird.

That was ridiculously stupid, he could have killed himself, you , the bird and the TAXI.

4 lives on the line for a stupid decision.

Sharky said...


In hindsight, him having the breaks on or not wouldnt have mattered if i was hit from behind....The car dint roll back as road was straight....

Bt yeah, driverless car in the middle of the road is a hazard. The bird wouldnt come into his hand, which is why he jumped out.