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Filmy inspiration from a ‘veteran’ Uber driver!

An Uber i rode in Gurgaon, while returning from office in August 2017, was driven by a ‘veteran’ driver who had worked for famous filmmakers like Satyajit Ray and Richard Attenborough. The 55 minutes ride became a lively conversation on professional ethics and humility!



Being an introvert, as a matter of habit i prefer to speak less but like to dive into quality conversations with new people. Especially on the train or in the taxi. Some of the most interesting life lessons I’ve encountered are from none other than Uber cab drivers!

From investing in land assets and establishing a business to life in villages and bizarre turnaround tales, i keep listening to more and more stories. And felt it is high time i shared quite a few…

Of many cab rides i’ve taken, the one i booked on august 11, 2017, was quite a privilege!!! After a long day at work, I was being dropped home by a ‘veteran’ driver who was courteous beyond measure. He had driven for the likes of Saytajit Ray, Richard Attenborough and actor Amrish Puri among others.

After he told some interesting stories of his own (like finding his way around a forest road that passed through Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan – during the no-GPS days), it was only natural for me to ask him : “with having been around such great people, what were some of your most striking memories about each?” (Hindi : “Aapko in logo ke baare me sabse khaas baat kya lagi?”)

Saytajit Ray – his humility and dedication. Narrated an incident when the filmmaker was drawing a sketch for his next shot, standing in the middle of a Rajasthan desert. There were few dusty chairs behind him where the driver and a fellow staff sat. Satyajit Ray was so engrossed in his sketch, he just sat down on a chair full of dust. He didn’t even look at the driver, hinting to him to clean it – or making him feel guilty for not doing so.

Richard Attenborough – inclusiveness. Crew would put up at the Ashoka Hotel in Delhi. All staff and actors would have lunch at the same table.

Amrish Puri – Kindness. He would walk to the taxi stand or parking lot instead of asking the driver to walk to the car in the heat and fetch it for him.

I thanked him for such great and inspiring stories and told him i hope i’ll get to book a ride on his cab again soon! (Name of driver – Sukhdev Singh)


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