That Will Be Rs.5000

I had a funny experience yesterday. I wasn’t scheduled to get a company cab to pick up for my shift because even though I was scheduled for a morning shift, I was asked to come in by 4:30 pm. So post a late lunch I booked me an Uber and waited for the 5 minutes that it took for the guy to reach my apartment. I was waiting downstairs at the gate by the time he arrived, as he had gotten confused. So by 3:35pm we were on our way.

About 5 minutes in the Uber driver started telling me about his family and problems he was facing with some of the extended family members in particular. Apparently there is a huge family inheritance dispute and contesting of the will of a recently deceased relative (grandfather I think, I don’t recall what he said as I was only half paying attention at that point) and that everyone was involved in arguments and it has caused rifts between several sections of his family. Every two or three sentences later, he would ask me my opinion and I would say something or the other. You know, little layman’s terms and opinions without trying to get too involved as I am a stranger and this is a stranger talking to me. Uber drivers tends to get too personal and ask or tell too much information in Kerala because, that how Malayalis are. We are a nosy bunch!

So I wanted to be left alone, checking my email and Twitter feed on my phone while he was saying this but he kept telling me about this stuff. About 5 minutes away from my office, he asked me if I lived in Kakkanad (which is where my office is). I told him no and that I am headed to my office as I was doing a late evening shift. He looked confused and so I said “I usually work evenings but some days I do work during the day”. He was still looking really confused and that is when the bomb hit. “So you work two jobs?” which left me thinking that this guy was nuts. So I said “No, you picked me from my home and this office building where we are headed to is where I work.” Now he looked even more confused “You are not a lawyer?”

I guess now I should explain. My apartment is near the Family court in the city. There are lots of lawyers walking around. Plus there are some small law offices nearby. In India, lawyers wear white shirts and black pants over which they wear a black long coat while in court. When they are not in court they usually don’t wear the coat so all you can see is men wearing white shirts and black pants. The women usually wear white sarees with a black blouse. And my office, which has nothing to do with the law but is rather a BPO center, has this policy of making all employees wear a white formal shirt and black formal pants on Mondays. This guy saw me and thought – because of the location and because he also saw many lawyers around my place and because of what I was wearing – that I too was a lawyer! So he was actually looking for legal advice when he was telling me all that stuff!!!

It gave me a funny story to tell my colleagues yesterday!