Driving Mr. Gandhi

No this is not a plagiarist post on a Morgan Freeman's 1989 movie Driving Miss Daisy - although Bollywood's influence does make me Copy and Paste something but I will resist.

This happened last week when I was driving through New York City - driving there is akin to driving in any big city - it is a reality show of survival of the fittest having patience and endurance. New York has tons of bad drivers and they have no choice but to drive badly because if you are nice and let someone pass or too careful you will never reach anywhere.

The so called "bad" drivers are the cab drivers and sadly enough more than 75% of New York cab drivers are Desis. They have been portrayed in Movies like Aa aab Laut Chale and also portrayed in American serials like Ranjit in How I Met Your Mother.

The word Desi encompasses all the people from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and it is a secular word and does not discriminate against sex, orientation, religion or color. Thus

Hindu Muslim Sikh Isaahi
Sabko Milkar Kahe
Mere Desi Bhai

(Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christian originating from these countries fall under this category).

Now coming back to the main point of this post - these drivers drive as if - colloquially speaking - "unke baap ka raasta hai" (the road belongs to their fathers). So they swerve, cut, overtake, tailgate, come close to your car and still smile the Desi Smile as if "sab chaanga hai - tussi fikar na karo yaara" (everything is fine - dont worry)

So as I told you before - as I was driving an idea struck me - well the mind is free when you eally enjoy something but more about that later.

What if this Desi Taxi Cabbie was to Drive Mr. Mahatma Gandhi across New York City. What advice would Mr. Gandhi teach/share to make the cabbie proud.
(did I not tell you bollywood is a big influence in my life - If Munnabhai got influenced by this Khadi Clad Demi God - "main kis khet ki mooli hoon" (I am not someone special not to get influenced)

So assuming what Mahatma Gandhi would have preached read ahead -

He has his Three Monkeys - See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil - based on that he probably will tell the cabbie - just keep driving - see no cars around, hear no honks and don't utter a word about it.

Or like his other quote - An eye for an eye will make the world go blind - sadda desi will take it literally - an brake for another cabbie braking will make NY go crowded - so simply keep driving.

Also our Desi cabbies are from Democratic countries so they surely will take this one literally too
"If we want to cultivate a true spirit of democracy we cannot afford to be intolerant. Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause."
Thus all the cabbies are tolerant towards each other and beleive in not betraying their sole cause - Drive Bad - Make People Mad - And Feel Glad.

This reminded me of another great Freedom Fighter - Bal Gangadhar Tilak who proclaimed- Swaraj is my birthright and I shall Have It - this again my Desi Cabbies have taken it literally - they will argue with you -If you have a freedom to complain and moan - then I should have my Freedom to drive like a maniac - its the democratic principle - or like the American Constitution's First Amendment that infringes on anyone right to do what he/she deems right.

I could go on and on so just a last thought to end this post as I said before my mind is free as I do enjoy driving in the city. It feels like home sweet home - just like in Aamchi Mumbai.

Thanks Mr. Gandhi for your invaluable lessons - it has helped me enjoy Driving Badly with my fellow Desis as put aptly in his own words - "Suffering cheerfully endured, ceases to be suffering and is transmuted into an ineffable joy."

Here are Gandhijis Three Monkeys - courtesy Google Image Search


Jaggu said...

What happened to you? Suddenly so serious. Is this the impact of the prayer you started?.:-P

Mysterious Mia said...

LOL, well u know desi cabbies in Sydney r not called bad drivers.....i guess its the city that makes em bad? do u think so?

♥ÐÅyÐяєÅмє®♥ said...

bhai NY se pareshan....banaras aao kabhi phir traffic and niyam dekhna :P

phir kabhi NY k desi bhaiyo ko kabhi nhi galiyoge :P

Hiren said...

the prob is not with the way desi's drive ... the prob is that "non-desis" cannot drive as competently as the desis and hence label their driving as rash :) :)

aneri_masi said...

Pretty entertaining, this thought of yours :)

~ ॐ ~ said...


ruSh.Me said...

I haven't had any experiences with NY's desi-cabbies, but I guess it holds true for Auto-walas in India..

Another gem: Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony...

True, the Cabbie/Auto-wala thinks about a smooth-non-stop ride, say a smooth abuse and doing smooth jumping over a signal, or better still, a smooth U-turn, on the same road, without any indicators..

So you know, I am happy and my passenger is shit-scared-happy(Phew, the ride's over)!!

brocasarea said...

haha....MG's sayings wont work man!!...its a matter of survival of the fittest!!:)

Ria said...

interesting post huh!! Ur analogies are just too good. :P

Lol at the last pic. :D

Abreysham said...

daymn- does this mean I'd make a kickass cabbie in NY? Could put my hard-earned, ill-mannered driving skills to good use somewhere - make my long-suffering friends proud :-D

Vrij said...

Tell u wat CD.. the next Munnabhai movie in the making is titled 'Munnabhai chale America'!! So for all u know, u might see the scenarios u mention in the movie..

E bhai, thodi havva aane de...

Pavi!!!! said...


N on a serious note… driving in NYC is M.A.D.E.N.N.I.N.G !!!! Was there this wknd…n drove arnd just the min bit reqd! Being Vermonters..we tend to be xtra-polite drivers and cldnt move a feet in 30 mins!

N yes.. everytime I’m in NYC..i too feel like I’m in Mumbai.. so close to being at HOME!

Lekin when I see the pan on the roads…in Edison and India Sq..i can’t help feel a wee bit ashamed. Why do we HAVE to be like this?

joie de vivre said...

haha picture ko toh bohot mast relate kiya hai tumne..
gandhiji aacha hua nai hai aaj..warna bohot dukhi hote..

log gandhigiri bhi aajkal fashion ke liye karte hai..U see ins IN the trends

Sparkling said...

Aila! Kya analogy hai, yaar!

Chalo, atleast our desi cabbies make you miss home less :p

Btw, did Gandhiji really say those words about suffering? He can't be so masochistic.

P.S: The pic is so damn appropriate! :D

Stupidosaur said...

Happy driving CD bhai! Hows life?

Abhishek Khanna said...

hehe. did u really got pissed of the cabbies?

i feel the same every morning to ofc.. sala inke baap ki road hai kya?

m.flowerr said...

Haha..........nice post and the last pic is thoughtfully put..

ceedy said...


Sorry to be so serious. Sometimes I do that :)


Yeah right......you mean to say NY is bad!!!!!


OK...dude next time when I am there..Ganga nahane aata hoon.....

ceedy said...


You are exercising Freedom to do what you want/when you want.


Thank you.


4 h and 3 e make a happy sound!

ceedy said...


Hehe - good analogy. Hope you have a synchronised ride next time...meaning all your bones, muscles and the jerks and twists from the cabbie are in sync...


Yeah - agree survival of the fittest - that is if you do survive


Thanks and why HUH - is there any doubts that it is not interesting ;)

ceedy said...


Prolly yes - but that means you will have to follow orders and take people to a particular place - knowing you maybe that is not what you might WANT to do.


Thanks Vrij - but I doubt if that movie will ever be made here - Sanju Baba wont be allowed to enter US as he is an ex TADA'ite. But if they do make it - I hope they capture this.

ceedy said...


Good - so how did you like my little village called NYC

Well the funny part is the lane width on highways in NJ is 10'-0" which is ample (lack of space) so people from mid western and southern states are still scared to drive in them as they are used to 12'-0" wide lanes.

Well dont stereotype Indians - you need to goto Cuban, Mexican, African, Polish, Canadian etc etc neighbourhoods and they all carry their traits from their own countries. Its just the way we all are - and that diversity whether dirty/good/obnoxious makes life interesting.

ceedy said...


Thank you. Gandhiji aaj hote to we wld have anti IPOD and Quit _ NEt movements.


Well Gandhiji was not my neighbour or I dont see his ghost - so I cant verify the claim about those words. I am a simpleton - who know right click copy and paste


Life is always good.

ceedy said...


Well not really - cause I drive like them now.



Joy said...

I am from Delhi and the first time, I came to NY, I felt like home :) :) But I know what you mean. The 3 "monkey" pic is cool....

Nirmal said...

hahhaa..cool bro..