Radio Taxi

So here goes the story....

It was just another day at work for Rakesh. He loved his job of being the driver of a radio taxi in Delhi. It gave him the financial stability, flexibility of working hours and most importantly the time to pursue his passion of playing the guitar. He was happily married with two kids and life was going pretty good.

The time that night was 11:30 AM and he was wondering if he should go home or bid for another pickup. The dashboard on his cab glowed. A trip from South Delhi to Gurgaon appeared for auction. This was not too bad and he was infact close to the pickup point. This trip would also mean he could take it off early and go for his guitar practice with his group for the upcoming performance. He pressed for the bid and yess he got it.

The pickup itself was eventful. Five people forced themselves inside the car - 3 girls and 2 guys. They were totally sloshed and told him in no uncertain terms that all five would have to be accommodated. They also offered a huge tip for the favour. Rakesh thought of objecting but then he felt it would create more of a fuss than good. It was not a battle he wanted to fight at that hour. He had seen the night life of Delhi and detested these kids of rich parents who lose control of themselves. His passengers were very loud but that did no affect Rakesh. He kept thinking of his daughter who will travel to US to study medicine. While on one hand, he was a proud father on the other hand he hated the fact that his daughter would have to go so far away from him. He always thought that daughter is his till she is married. Yaah he would find a nice guy for her and get her married in style. Lost in the thoughts he had already driven into Gurgaon.

They asked him to go from one place to another in Gurgaon to drop people off at their homes one by one and soon there were only 2 of them left. Two girls probably in their early to mid twenties. They told him the next place to drop and he heard the girl sitting in the front seat comment "What about him? He is good". The words did not register with Rakesh until 10 minutes later. The girl in the rear seat shouted all of a sudden to stop the car since she needed to have a smoke. He looked at the rear view mirror at her and what he saw shocked him. The girl had taken all her clothes off and looking straight at him. Rakesh felt his grip on the steering loosen for a second. But he recovered and said curtly that he could not stop since it was an extremely deserted place. Hearing this, both the girls got livid and told him chillingly that he has no option. Either he stops or they tear their clothes up and shout for help. Rakesh slammed the brakes hard and the Logan came to a grinding halt in the dark road. For a second it was all quiet. All he could hear was the sound of crickets.

Then one of the girls spoke up and said that he needed to satisfy them physically right then and there else they would impose rape charges on him. Rakesh could feel a chill flow down his spine. He was a righteous man and he could almost see the picture of him on the headlines next morning. How would his wife deal with it? How would his kids who loved and respected him come to terms with such a horrific allegation. His neighbours, people he knew...everything he had built up over the last 40 years of his life...all would be gone in an instant. He was just helpless...He felt two pairs of eyes glued on him as these thoughts kept spinning. He said he needed 2 mins for a phone call. And of all people he called his wife up. He explained to her the situation and pleaded her for help. Very few people would have probably called their wives but Rakesh loved his wife and she had always been the rock solid support in his life. The phone was silent for a minute and then his wife said........

That night left an indelible mark on Rakesh. The excruciating pain of doing something to save his social respect, his dignity, his family and life almost killed his sense of self-respect. He started hating himself and his self esteem went for a toss which took years to recover. His wife stood by him through the entire ordeal and was as bold and practical as she was that night. It was a trauma which even when he recounts, you can see the pain in his eyes. Today he just thinks about it and wonders where we are as a society and what values and morals parents are imparting to their kids. Were those girls not from a respectable family? They were his daughter's age for God's sake...And then again what is respectable? The only solace for him is that his son and daughter are as loving and close to family as ever.

PS: This is based on a true story

2 comments:

  PRASHANT AWASTHI

7:31 PM

dada, gripping story

  Debottam

7:34 PM

Prashant,

When I heard it, it was equally gripping to me....I actually could not believe what I was hearing. Anyways life is bad in the big city....or so they say..:P:P

-D