A usual day and I was travelling to a friend’s place last week. Had a sore back so booked an Uber. The driver came to the location without a call. This was the first time for me in Bangalore where I didn’t have to fight we the driver in order to get him to the pickup location. This has always ruined my experience with Uber. But today was different.
I boarded the car and my destination was like 10Km away. In Bangalore, that’s a big deal. So I settled in the car which was quite clean and asked the driver to go ahead. He turned back and asked me which music I would like to listen; my reply was just switched on the radio but he insisted me to tell the artist. I ended up saying Atif Aslam. He then opened Caravan and started the playlist.
Next surprise came to me when he asked me if I would like to read anything. My reaction was something he was expecting and he smiled. Then he asked me If I need any water and handed me a packed bottle of half litre biller. I was blown by the gesture and courtesy of the driver.
There is very less chance that we would meet again. He didn’t know me and still this gesture got me curious to know his story and why he was doing all this.
The ride started and so did my questions to him.
What got you into driving?
I am an engineer by profession and worked in IT sector for 3 years but due to personal emergency had to leave for home and lost my job. One of my friends was doing this and told me there is good money and hence I started it.
Why you give this extra service? Does Uber pay to you for it?
Sir, I have learned one thing in life, do best in whatever you do. Some time back I was on your side and someone taught me the meaning of being good to others and take care of them and hence I started serving water in my cab and extend it to music and reading material. This helps me engage customers. I now have a great network. People have already offered me a job. But I now do this by choice. You will give me a good rating and hence I get more rides and earn more.
How much do you invest in all these services?
I love reading so I was already spending on the magazines and I use the same ones here so it’s not a direct cost. I take 13 to 20 rides a day and earn about 2.5-5k a day. 20 Bottles will cost me 250 bucks and then the newspaper and some data pack which doesn’t cost much. Most of the times people end up paying me extra and I do not incur any cost.
Probably I will not meet you again then why this gesture?
I feel happy and contented that I was able to serve better than anyone and you will share this story with people around you. That’s my reward. You never know who will come to your rescue at what time in your life. So you should always think positively and move ahead in life.
What is your plan for future?
I have already cleared loan for this car and applied for another loan. I will get people from my hometown, teach them my ways and help them build their lives and in turn, will take a part of it. This way I will be a success entrepreneur by the end of 2 years. I want to be like Jeff Bezos. This phase of life will give me learnings and help me grow further in my ambitions.
Small interaction gave me a lot of learnings and I think reading this might have given you some as well. Be positive, spread love and nothing bad will ever happen to you and even if does happen it will ultimately be for the good. That’s the human way to think about it Right?