The Taxi Ride

“Which part of town are you heading to?”

“Dubai Marina.”

“Great! Do you want to share a cab? I live around there as well.”

The party was over. They hadn’t spoken at the dinner they had attended. No formal introductions were made. It was breezy and the air was the right kind of cold. He looked like he was in his late 50s. Heading some business. Been there and done it all.  She was in her twenties.

“We create stories for the middle you know. We are too afraid to be opinionated these days.”

“You think so? I think social media has given people the opportunity to become more opinionated and express themselves.”

“They just all post the same things! They don’t enjoy the moment. Busy taking selfies.” he mumbled on.

“I think it has in some ways also given women the power to tell their own stories rather than have someone else do it for them.”

“Thats true as well.”

“Everyone’s confirming though. Creating stories for the middle. Everything looks the same because of that. TV shows, movies. There is nothing new, nothing edgy. There are so many stories out there.”

“Don’t you think every single person is a story in themselves? Like us, sitting in this taxi, complete strangers, having this very interesting conversation. This moment is a story. And it’s fascinating how we can choose our stories. Come to think of it, life is just a series of rooms we enter and exit from.” she was rambling now.

“How about when you don’t want to choose? You spend time choosing on Netflix. I watch it too now. A few shows. But, sometimes one needs to see what is not obvious. open our minds. See something unexpected. A TV show, a movie which you wouldn’t watch otherwise, but stumble onto while switching channels and then just experience something new.”

“There definitely is that quality about TV. It can surprise you. And it’s great for when you don’t want to make another decision but just want to zone out and be.”

“I mean look at the History channel now. there is nothing Historical there. It’s about people going to places and doing things. Where is the story? The excitement? We are only creating content for the ‘middle’. People are too afraid of going beyond their comfort zones.”

“Fear holds them back. fear of the unknown , the regrets and the what ifs… Maybe my generation has forgotten how to do that. How to actually be happy! We are constantly comparing ourselves. Always anxious. We just have that need to be loved and acknowledged and maybe that’s where social media comes in. It gives us that acknowledgement.”

“You miss enjoying the moments then… Small things that matter. You don’t need big things to make you happy. At my age, it’s the smaller things that make me happy. Like going and getting a pizza. Seeing my wife after two weeks…”

“Or walking bare-feet on wet grass!”

“There is a lot of joy out there in the world.”

“There is.”

“Alright. You can drop me here. Let me take care of this.”

“Oh! No.” she said. “This conversation was worth it all.”

He shut the door and walked away.

The taxi moved to it’s next destination.

This story stayed.



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