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Mehboob, the love-doctor disguised as an auto-guy

19 January 2011 No Comment

Mehboob, the auto-guy, drove me yesterday from Malad to Mulund. A rather chatty guy, who has been in the city for the past 23 years. I asked him where he is from and he answered that we are from the same village. I didn’t understand at first, but then figured he meant South India. From Chennai, married with a 9 year old son and he said that was enough.

He took a keen interest to the fact that I am new to Bombay and have come here from ‘foreign’. He played sherlock with trying to deduce why I was now in the city- after all, who leaves ‘foreign’ to be out here…So the story was that my return marked the end of a love affair- I neither confirmed nor denied it. “Not to worry”, he said, “there is someone out there for each one of us”. I made no attempt  to hide my cynicism  and went so far to declare that I would be fine whether someone was in my life or not. He seemed rather upset with my lack desire to get married, but I questioned him on why he thought it necessary. ‘”To have a family,afterall”, he stated. I could only end this with a ‘we-will-see-what-happens’.

But he managed to prod further using an alternative route- the all too typical one of religion.  Did I believe in God? I never know how to answer that question, should someone decide to take offense on my behalf (how does one translate agnostic?). So I nodded insincerely “yea sure”. But Mehboob, our man, saw rather quickly through my evasiveness and admonished me for my lack of faith or rather lack of practicising the same. So the remedy was to go once a week and if I prayed hard enough, my special someone would pop out.

By then, my auto-ride came to an end. I turned into a customer and paid his dues with a smile. Till we meet again, Mehboob.


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