uber

Uber Stories - "Mohit"

Note: Mohit is a story I'm including to show the stark contrast in characters I have met in an Uber. While the others might prove to be a more entertaining read, this guy is probably one of the best drivers yet. 

 

Mohit is one of the Uber drivers who I'd say is in a minority - he's relatively quiet. 

He's one of those drivers who just drives his car, accepts the money, chats when he needs to and nothing more. He's a minority because based on my own interactions lately, most Uber drivers have something off about them. 

This bit that makes these drivers slightly skewed is what makes them so special. They are Delhi - chaotic, wild and headstrong. To find someone who's exactly the opposite is definitely a rarity. 

"Good evening, sir." Mohit says as I take my seat next to him. 

Already, I'm a bit thrown off. He's only the second driver ever who's been willing to do small talk with me. I can tell that with Mohit, I'd need to be a little more conservative in what I speak - not in a political sense, but generally with the subjects I bring up and the language I use. 

My ride isn't very far, so I start with the usual stuff. He tells me that he's only been on the road a few hours today, but the work has been flying. 

"I drive for Uber and Ola, so I'm almost always busy, especially during peak hours." 

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When I ask him about the customers he's had to deal with in the past that caused problems, I can sense he's a little hesitant to answer. 

"I've never really had any problems with customers. I just try to do my job as well as I can. I don't want to create any trouble." 

He does go on to tell me how his competition at Ola are ruthless compared to those in Ubers. 

"The Ola guys don't care. They do whatever they want. If they feel like canceling they do it, if they want to kick someone out they do that too. The Uber drivers are still much nicer."

As we pull up to my stop, I tell him about this project, and he's happy to pose for a shot. He obliges. 

 

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

The Uber project is an idea I had recently. 

In a nutshell, it's exactly what it sounds like. I talk with the Uber drivers I get into the cab with and try to find out their story. 

As I get off, I tell them that I'm writing a story about Uber drivers. Some chaps are happy to have their picture taken, some aren't so much. 

Some pose, some act candid. 

Some just don't seem to care. 

The idea came about only once I started driving around Delhi. Uber has exploded all over the city, and it wasn't until I wasn't in one of the cabs that I realized how I took the idea for granted. 

Most of the guys are happy with their jobs, but curiously enough there were a few who view their job with a lot of pride, not just professionalism. 

Safe to say, I've met quite a few interesting characters around.

 

Stay tuned with the blog for regular updates, and check out the project here.