editorial

Uber Stories - "Ashok"

Note - The name has been changed for privacy reasons. He also did not want his picture to be taken. This was the best shot I had, so you have to excuse the quality of it. Quotes have been translated from Hindi

I remember that as soon as I got into the cab, I sensed that Ashok would be a prime target to talk to. 

Within the first few seconds he had asked me about my night, and seemed friendly enough, but I could also sense that he was one of those drivers who took a lot of pride in his profession. There would be no messing about in his cab. 

Luckily for him, he had me. 

I was on my way back from a night out, and was more tired than anything else. I couldn't wait to get home, but this guy was a real chatterbox. I embraced it and went ahead and chatted to him about the usual stuff - how long his day had been, what his plans were after etcetera. 

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As we turned onto the main street, I heard him scoff. I looked around and saw a smallish sedan that had been absolutely battered from the back. Next to it, was a small crowd, and a few meters ahead was a BMW with its blinkers on. 

I was able to clock what happened easily, and sure enough, so had Ashok. 

"These rich cunts, driving around in their fancy cars think they own the streets." he said. 

I mirrored his sentiment, but didn't say anything. 

"Why they feel like they have to drive their cars after getting sloshed is beyond me." he continued. "What the fuck do they think cabs are for anyway?"

"You know how it is, man. They just want to feel like they own this city." I said. 

"And they look down at the rest of us. Fucking cunts." he spat. 

I asked him about the times he's had one of these people as his customers. 

"No, I've never had one of them. Firstly, because they don't think they need us, but when they do they're always so fucked up drunk that I refuse to take them. I don't want to have to take care of some drunk bitch on the side of the road."

Fair enough, I thought. 

He ranted on a bit more, but slowly he tailed away. I was glad I had him as my driver. It made the ride home seem like a fast one. 

 

Check out the other stories here

 

 

Uber stories - "Somnath"

Note - Most of the conversation is translated from Hindi. Also, the name has been changed for privacy purposes. Curiously though, he didn't mind his picture being taken.

The first Uber story I have hit me randomly. 

I was on my way to a mates place and got stuck in a massive jam. I usually use this as an opportunity to start chatting with them because nothing gets someone from Delhi going than bitching about the traffic. 

Sure enough, as soon as I used the words "fuck this traffic," and "fuck that guy" (a bike just cut ahead of us almost crashing into the driver's door), Somnath opened right up. 

He told me that he was from Calcutta, and how moving to Delhi was a change because of the people. 

"Most folks here are easy to gauge, but I couldn't really tell much about you." he said to me. 

When I asked him why, he was emphatic in his response. 

"Because you live in Nehru Place, but you're not an asshole. Most people who live in these areas are flashy and in your face - like most Delhiites."

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We chatted a bit more and I told him I was originally from the south. He smiled and nodded.

"That makes sense. Delhi guys are flashy, but you're just wearing a t-shirt and jeans. If you were from Delhi, you would be different."

I tell him how I grew up here, and I still identify with Delhi a lot more than my South Indian roots.

Changing the subject I asked him about his worst ride. He told me about this time he was stuck with one overly demanding customer for almost 3 hours literally driving from one end of the city to the other. 

He then went on another rant about how much he hates Delhiites. 

"She was a fat bitch who just wouldn't shut up."

 

As I got off at my stop, I heard him pick up the phone and talk to his friend, amused at the fact that he had someone in the cab with whom he could bitch about the city he now lives in. 

 

Building momentum

When I started off in photography, I had a somewhat blurry idea of what within the field I wanted to pursue. 

I always knew where my major interests lay, but at the same time the more practical side of my personality kept telling me to also look at the stuff that could be potentially lucrative. 

Eventually, I started where any photographer starts - at the bottom, doing anything and everything to add to my portfolio. 

I viewed every assignment as a means to an end. Everything I got was a way for me to learn more about my style, my camera, and establishing a rapport with my clients. 

I have so far worked with clients I've wanted to work with. I didn't have to 'serve the man' so to speak, and do work I would hate, which is something I've gotten lucky with. 

My very first gig was a stroke of luck, combined with the fact that it was something I was genuinely interested in. The more I worked with these guys in different situations, the more I had to explore my instrument and experiment, while still show on the outside that I knew what I was doing. 

My most recent ongoing gig has really led to a spike in my growth curve. I've been working in an environment that's so high pressure due to the nature of the gig that my focus has to be spot on. Between the music playing loudly, the drunken crowd, and the dim lighting, I really need to bring out my A game each and every week. 

It's challenging, but extremely fun, and I look forward to it every week. 

I gain tons of pleasure out doing the work I love, but there's a part of me that wants to do more. There's so much in photography, and there's so much that I don't know that I want to learn about. 

When I started off, I never saw myself doing something in fashion or food, for instance. But both those are now starting to seem very appealing to me, because of the nature of the work.

Fashion requires you to really get close with your subject. It's going to force me to bring something out in myself that's going to bring out what I want in my subject. 

With food photography, I know I'm going to need something different, technically speaking. I'm going to have to show my knowledge about my camera, and bring that out. 

I don't view anything now as being lucrative or not. Everything has become interesting to me, and I'm extremely excited to start expanding my horizons. 

 

 

Made my way back from the dead

Sorry for the radio silence.

It's been almost two weeks since I last posted anything, and that's mostly because I've been wrapped up tying in many loose and ends and following different leads. 

There's going to be a host of new different dropping on this website starting tomorrow. 

I've been extremely busy with work, which is great. I'm learning everyday, and I'm super excited for the road ahead. 

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post, and keep an eye out over the next few weeks for everything that's going to go down. 

 

Cheers :D

Aman