Unusual ride with The Cabwaala

I landed at the Mumbai Airport, and was waiting for the baggage. It was the end of a longish trip where I had a bag to be collected. It was quite late in the night (12:30 AM) and I was exhausted! The moment I got the bag, I was on the way out and getting a cab as I was walking. The cab got confirmed and I reached the pickup point. It was a huge mess there, with multiple cars honking and delaying everyone in the process!

In all this, I get a call from the taxi driver, who assures me to be there in next two minutes. I see the number plate and literally jump in to the car! I have the countdown started in my mind to calculate when I am getting to hit the bed after this long and tiring day! The driver Mehboob is exactly the opposite, and bubbling with enthusiasm at this late hour. He is talking to me and I am able to respond barely with just Hmmm/Achha/Sahi hai responses (remember Zakir khan??) in a random manner!

I am intrigued with one sentence he says, “Sir, I like talking to my passengers, and I request them for an interview. I run a YouTube channel by the name ‘The Cabwala‘, where I upload these interview (off course with their permission). These interviews would be about their career progression, and some tips for the viewers in case they want to pursue it”. I was quite surprised by this and had more questions for him..like how do the passengers have time for this?, where and how does he record it?, and how does he produce the final version? He had answers for all. He told me, “I record during the journey..so there is no separate time commitment required. I just request them to move to the front seat. I have this small iPhone which is my primary camera, and a microphone attached to it. I edit using iMovie and upload!!! I have started recently, but the response from both the passengers as well as the subscribers is encouraging! Looking forward for some interesting experience”.

cabwaala.png

I was quite happy to listen to this venture, when he asked me about my profession. The moment he came to know about my animation course online, he simply pulled of the car to the roadside and asked me if he can interview me? Just as an excuse, I said, ” Ya, we could have…but it is night time, and the shoot will be all dark. Otherwise I had no issues!”. he just put his handbrake and said, “Sir, aap uski fikar mat kijiye…sab setup hai..bus aap aage aajaiye” (Don’t worry Sir, I have the required setup. Just come over to the front seat).

I obliged, and came to the front seat, and saw him connected a cable to the USB port  near his dashboard, and we had two bright LED bulbs illuminating the car from inside! He then quickly decided the script, pressed the record button on the iPhone, and we were ON! See the interview here:

It was a nice experience and I found many interesting aspects to ponder upon. I loved to multitask with the car driving and not letting go his passion of making videos and acquaintances both! He has managed to design the technology components to suit his requirements. After reading the feedback for the videos that he has uploaded, I also realised the social impact of his work, where he empowers the viewers to know about the profession in this short interview, and directly from the working professional. It is important to note here that these passengers which he is interviewing may/may not be influential speakers/career counselors, however they are able to connect well with the viewers because of the interview format Mehboob uses!

Kudos to you Mehboob Shiledar, ‘The Cabwala‘. May you continue to share more such stories and touch the lives of many!

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