Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mera naam Meru

Somewhere between the time I was officially banned from driving (read six months ago) by the husband and other loved ones, thanks to being visibly pregnant, and when I actually imposed it upon myself (read a month ago), I got inducted into the Meru clan.

First a few admissions. I hate being driven. I can barely tolerate the husband, I am extremely critical of friends’ drivers, I’ve had a rough time with drivers that I hired in the past (the last one burst many a blood vessel for me; please do not hire him if he ever comes to you). Also, I am not one for hiring cabs, as I hate being on hold, or having to explain common-sense directions to nincompoops. I am a get-up-and-go-kinda girl. I hate waiting or being waited upon.

Since my own paper had written reams about the Meru some time last year, I figured, no testimony quite like home, and took the plunge. What I didn’t bargain for is that a good eight months have passed since that article. And in these months, a lot of s&*%@t seems to have hit the ceiling. Their backend has completely collapsed, and the front end is nothing much to shout about, as most of the cabs have faulty air conditioners or are battered by bad driving. I want to know how some of the drivers qualify to even be there on the road.

But since I live in no-cab zone and sitting in an autorickshaw can only mean one thing, considering how pregnant I am, I resigned myself to Merugiri a few weeks ago. Little did I realise that I had just ensured myself an unlimited supply of Braxton Hicks (false contractions for the uninitiated or non-pregnant). Starting with calling in for the Meru every night for the next morning, being caller number 40 most times, holding on endlessly (they don’t believe in frequent flier programs) only to be told, “ Sorry, all slots are full, why don’t you try again tomorrow morning?” Repeat.

Forget thinking happy thoughts. Forget coming to office unruffled. Forget beginning the day with happy men. When you are in Meruland, none of the above is happening

So if he is not complaining about the ‘trophik’ on SV road, or whining about you not wanting to take the ‘highbay’, he is chatting to his village brethren either on the phone, or across the street, whenever another Meru passes by or braking recklessly, even as you point how pregnant you are.

The three good men that redeemed it for me, and I wish to thank them in print—were drivers Mohammed Jamal Shaikh, Ramesh Shirsat and Alwin Pinto. The rest, and their syrupy BPO service, which is all words and no play can take a walk. Seriously, if I had a free pizza for every time a Meru was late, I’d be a pizza baroness by now.

There, I have said it. Now someone please sue me. Or make me believe that the system works.

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