A few years ago S needed to take an early morning flight. Normally he would book a Meru cab but this time his friend persuaded him to try the local independent cabbie (Ramesh).
The evening before his trip to the airport, he received a call from Ramesh.
“Hello sir, this is Ramesh. You had booked a taxi for tomorrow morning at 5am, to go to the airport, no?”
“Could you confirm your apartment details, sir?”
“It is <So and so Apts> on <Such and such Road>. Do you know this area?”
“Yes sir. I do. It is right opposite <Such and such Landmark>, right?”
“I will be ready outside your apartment complex by 4:45 am, sir.”
“Very good. Thanks.”
Next morning, S gets an SMS from Ramesh at 4:50am. “Reached your apartment. Waiting outside.”
Five minutes later, another SMS – “Waiting outside the elevator, sir.” As S stepped out of the elevator, he was politely greeted by a smartly dressed Ramesh. With a shimmering presence reminiscent of a Jeeves, the smiling Ramesh spoke “I thought you might need help with your luggage, sir.”
As S settled down in the back seat, he noticed that the interiors were strikingly clean. The shimmering presence spoke again, “Here are today’s newspapers, sir.”
S began to wonder if he was dreaming.
“Bottled water is also there, sir. On the left side, if you need it.”
S had started to pinch himself by now.
“Should I put on some music, sir? Or would you like to rest?”
S was wide awake now. He was still in the same cab. Ramesh was looking at S through the rear-view mirror.. politely awaiting his response.
S spoke up for the first time that morning.
“Are you for REAL?”
This story continues in Part 2.