An exciting day lay ahead. Every moment of the day was an exciting one for Ans Khurram, the taxi driver; even the bit in which he admired himself before he left for his chores. A baller, he stood at 6 ft 3 inches tall. In order to accentuate the fact that he was tall, he positioned the mirror low, so that he was forced to bend down every time, in order to admire himself in the mirror. Today, he did the same, and his chest hair tentacled out. Never did Ans Khurram wear the top most buttons of his shirt. Chest hair was the most accurate predictor of manliness, in Ans Khurram’s sight. Donning half sleeved shirts did justice to his biceps. After giving a nod of appreciation in the mirror one last time, the sexy beast stormed out of house.
Every aspect about his cab was perfect. The cosy leather seats. The speed-o-meter. The nitrous sticker on the back window. A sticker, reading out “Ans Khurram”, on the rear window. Woofer and subwoofers. Glued to the dashboard was his daughter’s picture. Although his wife, Zubaida, persuaded Ans Khurram into pasting a picture of their family in the cab, she was never successful. The reasons for this were fairly obvious; Ans Khurram thought that having a family reminded him of how old he was; as a consequence, his wife’s wish remained a wish. This was the only thing; Ans Khurram did not comply with his wife on. At the end of the day, he felt guilty and fetched ras ghulas- her wives favourite- for her. Forgive him though. This man was very loyal to his wife, and he missed her most of the day. Even though he was hit on by female passengers all the time, he did not even dare to reply them with a thank you; instead he would blurt out, “today is an insanely beautiful day”. This moment was a heart breaking one for the pretty girls, as these clearly were signs that this hunk was not interested.
By now, all of us have started to appreciate an air of familiarity with this cab driver. A different world revolved around in this man’s head. Every time, a different passenger entered, Ans Khurram strived to act as a different person from a different ethnicity, speaking different accents out with precision. A long time ago, Ans Khurram was extremely awkward at conversations. He was upset about this. He even tried to Google, “how to break awkward silence”, and although he was excited to learn new tricks, he failed miserably the next day. But, he later discovered his trick, and that was to impersonate different people from different cultures. Because this trick was an invention of his, he took immense pride in it. He narrated the stream of incidents associated with this trick in cab driver’s parties. An event that had never happened was going to take Ans Khurram by a surprise.
Waiting in the cab queues lined outside the train station, Ans Khurram awaited his passenger. A passenger, with a long overcoat and Ray Ban glasses, walked out. The G-walk was trending in town, and this exotic, Middle Eastern looking passenger was a natural at it, almost as if he had invented it. In his British accent, he told him, “Hey straight hair, take me to the University of Oxford medical school”. Ans Khurram nodded absent mindedly, appreciating the stylish look this man pulled. Ans Khurram frenzied into the Middle Eastern impersonation to make this exotic passenger feel home.
“Assalamalaikum habibi (Greetings lover), what is your name”, said Ans Khurram.
“Walikumsalam, My name is Umair”.
Although Ans persisted with questions, Umair was not too interested in developing a conversation. Umair secretly missed the old lady and wanted to talk to an old lady, rather than to Ans. Whilst he was thinking about the old lady, his eyes caught the meter. The meter had risen to 5 pounds 60 pence straight away. At this moment, Umair started to think of ways to procure a bit of a discount and thought that charming his way out was the only option left. After that moment, Umair started to smile and laugh at everything Ans said. Also, he started to talk like an Arab, mentioning that his father was a sheikh, and he owned a factory. Umair also tried to make a mention of the words that had p in them, so Pepsi was bebzy and oops was oobs. At this point, Umair was confident that he could possibly get away with paying 2 pounds less than the actual amount.
“I have heard that Arabs in Arab countries are angry people, and as a consequence, violence is bound to prevail in their country. Their accents are quite scary as well!”, said Ans Khurram.
“Well habibi that is what the media portray us as. The situation is not as bad. We eat, sleep, go to work and like to have fun once in a while. Habibi, listen to this. I recorded 2 Arab ladies speaking in a restaurant”.
At this moment, Umair whipped his tape recorder out. They were the most pleasant voices, Ans had ever heard. Ans started to get a bit aroused, and he thanked god that the recording was not longer.
The final destination had arrived, and the time to settle the payments arrived. Things did not work similarly to the way they worked in Pakistan. After a failed haggling attempt, Umair leaped out of the car and made a dash without paying. The realization came a bit too late for Umair. He had forgotten his luggage. Ans had hit the accelerator and zoomed away. Umair chased the car, but ended up colliding with a beautiful British girl with eyes bluer than the oceans. He realized that helping this girl was the only option available. For a second he wished that the girl was not as beautiful. He also offered to carry the stuff to her place, but she was adamant on carrying it herself. He touched his Rayban glasses, but the girl still did not allow him to carry the stuff.
Umair headed away. Depressed, Umair walked down to his room, and his luggage stood on the entrance with a letter. After dragging the luggage into the room, Umair tore open the letter. The letter read:
“Dear Umair, Today, it was an absolute pleasure to meet you. You are a nice chap, but a very greedy one. Did you think I did not deserve that money? Judging by the way you questioned things here, I knew it straight away that it was your first time, although you pretended that you have kept visiting the United Kingdom since child hood. Along with that, you kept fidgeting with your Rayban glasses and kept checking yourself out in the front mirror. And seriously, who adjusts their posh overcoat so many times? All of this meant that all of this is relatively new in your life. Therefore, this time around, I have decided to be a little generous and have sent off your luggage to you. I wish you a pleasant stay in the United Kingdom. The first few days are going to be hard on you, and you may find things depressing. You are more than welcome to visit me. Enclosed behind this letter is my phone number.”
This was the initiation to a long lasting, loving relationship between these two different individuals. Umair never expected to take a liking into the old lady and Ans Khurram, but he ended up accepting them as gifts in his life. Time is capable of the most unexpected twists and turns.
Warning- this is a sequel to “The first and the last memorable trip to the UK”; the URL being: https://zohaibamjad1.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/the-first-and-the-last-memorable-trip-to-the-uk/