The Indian taxi drivers1

In London I went shopping in the Indian district. When I was finished, the store owner called a taxi company to send a taxi for me. The taxi came and I saw that the driver was a real rogue. He and his friend, who was another rogue, were sitting in the front seat. I told the driver where I was going, and then I said, "It has to be a flat rate," because they looked like such rogues.

Immediately they said, "Five and a half pounds."

I said, "When I came to this store from the hotel with an English taxi driver, it said seven pounds on the meter. Why are you asking for only five and a half pounds?"

The driver said, "Because you are an Indian and you look like a saintly person. Otherwise if you had not been an Indian, we would have asked for twelve pounds and driven here, there, everywhere."

I said, "I will give you seven pounds. But definitely you are going to take me to the right place? Are you sure you know the place?"

They said, "Yes, we know the place. We have been driving for so many years."

The whole way there they were talking about their relatives in America. They did bring me to the right hotel and let me off at the right place. I had told them that I would give them seven pounds, but when they stopped in front of the hotel I gave them eight pounds.

I said, "You people can be nice and I can also be nice." Then I told them, "Don't deceive people anymore!"

They said they would try, and they will.

Sarada Devi had this kind of experience with a dacoit [robber] once. When she called him "Father," the dacoit became like her father. The following day he let her go.


  1. WE 26. 20 May 1982