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Riding To Day's End


You look at your smartphone screen and try to calculate how much time will the cab driver take to finally reach your location. You acknowledge that, given the traffic in your city, the time you see on your screen may be quite off. You try to estimate whether you can squeeze in the final mail you want to drop before you call it a day. DROP, as if emails are bombs. They probably are. You click on the red compose button and, before the box opens, try to steal another peak. If ever every microsecond mattered, it is now. You start typing and notice how slow you are. You should have taken that touch-typing workshop in the college. Every 30 secs, you try to steal a peek at the dimly lit smartphone screen. You think you can pull it off. You have a mild sense of achievement and a smile sprinkled over your face. You are just there. 

You look back at the smartphone screen. The backlight is now turned off. You struggle to open the screen lock with one hand while typing the last line with another. Shit, the cab is here. How did you miss it? You curse the technology for being inefficient although it was almost correct, You have perfect expectations for a mediocre existence. You scramble to write the closing text. “Regards” and sent. You smirk at the meaninglessness of the word, You feel a sense of relief. The day is finally over.

You know it is over two minutes, already past the prescribed waiting limit by the cab provider. But, you are sure that it is not a big deal. Your co-passengers might get frustrated but they will adjust like you do, every day. You, finally, get a call from the impatient cabbie. You reply “1 minute” and disconnect before he could say anything more. You don’t wish to listen to one more complaint today, Especially, when you are not getting paid to hear it like you do in your job. You look around and see an office full of people, most of whom arrived before you did and will leave after. Are you ashamed? Nope. You are done for the day. “Measure of life is not in the hours you have drudged?” you reassure yourself. You smile and you turn to the door.

You rush down the stairs, out of the gate and into the … Wait where is the cab? The 1 minute you were loaned is over. You look around with hopeful eyes. But deep down you know, optimism is a sham. Trolls are the reality of life. You can’t spot the cab. Damn, you have to call the cab driver. You are already annoyed. You notice how easily you get irked these days, You pull out a fake smile. 

You finally gave him a call. You tell him you are at the pick-up location. He tells you he is at the pick-up location, Fuck Google. You ask him what he can see. But he can only see in Kannada. You take charge of the situation and ask him to be at some landmark, you hear him say “Okay”  and you disconnect the call again, immediately. You don’t want to hear anything else. You are a jerk. 

You walk another 50 meters. You curse the GPS and the driver who couldn't follow the GPS. You enter the cab which is already half-filled.You are the third person in it. The driver gives you the look but he can’t say much. He wants a 5-star at the end of the ride. Probably he will you give you a bad rating. But you don’t care. You are the one with the money here. You don’t need to pay and then be polite. 

The cab starts, You are stuck with co-passengers who might be pissed at you for being late or might be pissed off in general. Like you, they too curse the technology for something or the other. Well, technology is a whore and we all abuse, her. You don’t even need to treat her well, at least for a few more years. This is why you despise the idea of emotional machines would be sensitive as shit like you.

And then there is another pool notification, You and the other passengers join in exasperation. You are semi-hopeful that the driver will just ignore it. But, deep down you know that optimism is a sham. The driver accepts the booking. He is a jerk who needs to torture you to stay alive. 'Fuck! Why is there a pool? Because you opted for pool you cheap bastard,' you think. You can’t take a taxi for share and hope that it won't be shared again, When does optimism ever pay off? You try to focus on the environmental aspects of sharing a cab, You feel consoled. 

You cab reaches the next pick up location, It might be 50 meters off again, The rider takes 3 minutes to arrive. Probably, he was writing the last mail. Probably, he couldn’t find where the cab was parked. But you judge him. 'What kind moron is he? You have to get in in 2 minutes.,' you say to yourself. You are a hypocrite. The rider gets in and you give him the look and then smile. The fake one that you have perfected in last one year.  

Well, you will be home soon. The day will be over,  You are relieved. And then you receive that final call you had been expecting. Your face contort. Is that a smile? Is that a frown? You keep listening in silence. 'Okay,' you say, You are a cynic. You anticipated it. The day is not over after all. 


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