The Classification Conundrum

For the first time (on Indian soil), I hailed an Uber. Uber Pool to be precise. Per the brother, 99% of the times there is no one to share it.  Just as luck would have it, I was in the other 1% of the population (if the fraternal statistics are to be believed).

I wasted a good fifteen to twenty minutes driving around to fetch the share. And, I quite like to doze on the commute but had no such opportunity, reasons for which follow. So all in all, I might as well take the Uber Go rather than the Uber Pool next time round.

So after the circuitous route, discovering various quaint suburban destinations, I reached a little lane near Milan subway to pick up my share. I was quite surprised that Uber shares the name of the passenger and where they are going to be picked up from.

However, when someone else does it for you it’s theirs and not the actual passenger’s. Therefore, while I expected a man, it turned out that the passenger was a lady around 70 with all white hair.

The first impression- oh what a sweet old dame. The quintessential, stereotypical innocent grandmother. The one that has been glorified so well on Indian television thanks to Ekta Kapoor (the uninitiated may google her for more details).

From the fleeting glances of her shows seen while flipping channels, I can say her negative characters look negative. Either with the hideously designed bindis or the dark sarees or the behind-everyone-else’s-back malicious expressions which are a complete giveaway, the negative characters are rather distinguishable.

While I am writing this, I can’t help but realise WHY ON EARTH DID fleeters of EKTA KAPOOR’S soaps have an impression of me?? Jesus, something is definitely wrong with me!! Lord save me!!

Anyhow with the preconceived notions, I was expecting a rather demure ride. Maybe some chanting murmurs with prayer beads or reading from the Hanuman Chalisa or Shlokas from Bhagavad Gita. Ok, now I am being super melodramatic. The Ekta Kapoor effect continues…hmm!!

Like always, when I expect something in a certain way, it’s always quite the opposite. Again, this theory prevailed. It first started off with checking whatsapp messages. One after another. And she was super quick. Needed no prodding. Quite the pro, it seemed.m

After the whatsapp messages came the phone calls. I don’t speak Punjabi but I do understand it. So while the phone call started with a ‘Radhe Radhe’ (translates as an ode to Shri Krishna), it continued on to be rather catty and bitchy.

“She has blocked us all…she can’t smile…just replies to the questions asked…if she thinks she can live without us let her…what goes our pop…what’s our problem in that…etc etc…this and that…etc etc…”

So while the the phone calls and whatsapp messages were shocking enough, it was time for Facebook! I admit, to one just made me feel, more alien than anything else (maybe I should get myself tested, I may be alien. I might not have human DNA..hmm…hahaha).

I was less than half her age, I don’t have a Facebook account. Even more shocking was now she fluently talked about all the features. “Oh, I saw her post on some (name which I didn’t get through the heavy Punjabi accent) square. So I thought she was in London. I pinged her and asked but then I haven’t checked it again.”

I couldn’t help but be more surprised at the hypocrisy and inherent opinion we have about how supremely better we are about others. If it really didn’t matter that XYZ wasn’t talking to you, you wouldn’t be harping about her so much, right? Then the apparent religiousness with the ‘Radhe Radhe’.

There is really no reason to be surprised but hey I can’t think of how much stereotypes are engrained in our minds. While I thought I was away from that rut, I realised I am not. It’s always fun to notice human behaviour, it’s always pure entertainment. Life is but a stage!! Well, it was one interesting Uber drive with no dirth of entertainment but still I wish I could have caught on forty winks!!


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