Encounters with locals – Delhi’s Longest Serving Taxi Driver

The Longest Serving Taxi Driver in Delhi?

ambyLast night, rather later and not quite as sober as anticipated, I asked the establishment of my choice to order a taxi for me. Being quite a swanky place I was delighted when a battered, old, original black and yellow ambassador turned up. But this was no ordinary battered ambi, no! This one was driven by Dr Taxi Driver Sahib (His official title according to his business card) who has been driving cabs in Delhi for over 40 years. He delighted in showing me his award at having being voted Delhi’s best taxi driver back in 1982 as well as his album of pictures of the people he has driven  over the years which includes the owner of Karma Cabs in London, Amitabh Bachchan, Rahul Gandhi and now of course, me. He then showed me his book of thanks with notes written about his services by his clients going back, well, over 40 years.

We discussed which was better to have, the book of thanks or the photo album whilst driving around at 20kms per hour (his very top speed) and being stopped every so often by other taxi drivers who all paid their respects to him like he was the godfather of all the black and yellow ambassador drivers in Delhi. This happened three times on a 25 minute journey. He was delighted when we got to my house and he saw The Babe, there is a common bond between all of us die hard Ambassador owners. He inspected her from all angles and waggled his head and told me, ‘very nice car madam, very good choice, hmm, very much good.’ Of course he then proceeded to royally rip me off and overcharged me by adding a good 25% onto the meter rate, a true professional Delhiite but he did it without making me feel bad. What a pro and what a find! I have his card and will be discovering more of Delhi with him…

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