We keep running all the time that we don’t even know we are running or what we are after. But Sudhakar Kasthuri doesn’t do that. He runs, for sure, but stops as he runs and listens to what others have to say and do, especially the hire cab drivers. While travelling long distances on work, he listens to the stories of the cab drivers and thus is born this book, ‘Cab driver stories ‘.
‘ Cab driver stories’ is such a book that would bring to the fore, the hidden world of cab drivers.
Sudhakar Kasthuri treats us to a repertoire of experiences of the drivers that produce myriad feelings that would leave one wondering ‘How did we miss this, thus far ?’
Sudhakar’s drivers speak multitude of languages ranging from Tamil to Marathi to Punjabi to Hindi and we are treated to drops of worldly wisdom, vendantic thoughts, radical extremist views that have a purpose, thoughts on repression in ordinary households et al.
Two stories that would bring the reader to tears are ‘Amme’ and ‘Lakshmanan’. There is a shortened version of the Gita as well, in the short story, ‘Manjit Singh’.
Sudhakar Kasthuri sparkles in his own right with his unpretentious writing that touches the reader in every story. Another Sujatha in the making, given the unexpected twist at the end of every story – classic definition of a short story.
Originally published in Tamil as ‘Valavan Kathaikal’ ( I had read that then and had derived great pleasure), this is the English translation of that pleasurable treasure. Jayanthi Sankar, a bilingual author herself, has translated into English without losing out on the essence and feel.
A fast read that would make you look at the often accosted common man, the cab driver, in an entirely different light, from your next taxi ride.
Available in Amazon Kindle here.