“I came to Bombay in 1962 and started driving a taxi in 1964. My older brother and I lived in the same house and we raised our families together. He passed away in a car accident suddenly in 1975 and all of a sudden I was the head of the family with 10 people to support. I educated his children like mine, gave them the same pocket money and took care of them like my own and all my income was because of this taxi here.
As all the children grew older, they took up part time jobs and eventually went on to get amazing job offers. My son is an MBA graduate who lives in London, my daughter has married in Canada and 4 of my brother’s children are in Canada as well. My son was dating a girl from London, so when he told me that she’s visiting us here in Bombay I was worried that she might not want to marry a taxi driver’s son. When she came here and met our family, she said that she had never felt so loved before. They got married soon after and she often calls me and tells me to come to live with them in London. I’ve picked up some English from her, so I tell her – ‘save your money – I’m working here very happily.’ I also ask her if she’ll get such good Sarso da Saag in London – to which she says she’s learning how to cook! My son even tells me, ‘Baba, it’s our turn to give you pocket money now’ but I laugh it off.
My life has been very simple. I’m 75 and still working because I believe that man should work as long as he can — what good are your days of sitting around? A lot of people ask me to go to London or Canada and live with my children, but I feel wrong to do that. I have never accepted a free meal and I like to be Independent. Ofcourse I visit my children, but my home is India. How can I leave this taxi and Bombay when they have given me so much?”