12 Nov 2009

A little guilt at times.

Clutching the prepaid slip in my hand I eased into the Omni Van. It was a thoroughly battered one. The driver enquired & I blurted out "Udyog Vihar - Phase 2". He shouted out the same to the security manning the airport prepaid parking and off we zoomed onto the arterial road connecting Delhi and Gurgaon, with the night winter air in Delhi chilling me to the core. It was around 12.50 pm midnight.

The journey was remarkably silent and I was in one of those happy moods - associated with travelling. Halfway through - the driver guy turned to me with a wide grin and remarked - "Aapko Udyog Vihar hi jaana hai ya DLF Phase 2 jaana hai". I was typing an SMS and blurted out "Udyog Vihar Phase 2" - quite unsure myself. He said "Wahan pe koi phase vagire nahi hota. Sirf Udyog Vihar hota hai". I said whatever - "Mujhe Phase 2 jaana hai". He then started arguing that I had paid only for Udyog Vihar and threatened to take me back to the airport.

Even I lost my cool and we had a heated debate on the topic. I even went to the extent of comparing cabwallah's in Dilli - against their (supposedly) good natured and fairer counterparts in Mumbai. This actually irked him a bit more and our verbal tussle continued. Finally he said - "Theek hai. Aapko Tees,Chalees rupaiye extra dena hoga". I flatly refused and we kept re-arguing on the topic.

Our arguments died down somewhere after the Gurgaon Toll Naka. Still he was murmuring something incoherently. Probably was amused at why I was fighting defiantly over 30-40 bucks. I was silent wondering why I did not counter the initial outburst with a bit more restraint. Probably he might also have been right about what he did but the image in my mind - of the taxiwallahs taking people for a ride - took precedence over simple rational logic. "Restraint.. puttar.. restraint" - I reminded myself.

Anyway somewhere around in DLF Phase 2 we both had a tough time locating the place. I must agree that he did spend some effort in locating the place. As I got out he was looking at me - whether I would part with some amount. In a happier mood, I would have - considering the chilly night air and its impact on human productivity. But then I just ignored him and came over to my room.

And it was there - reading through the newspaper that I could sense a minor guilt pang at the back saying - "Comeon - you should have given him something!".

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