So the other day I was running late and had to do the inevitable, take a cab downtown. When my cab came I was pretty surprised. It looked like a Christmas tree on wheels. I got into the cab and the driver Akber offered me a lollipop and gum right away. I thought, “What a nice guy, and what an interesting cab.”
He had all sorts of Christmas lights, children’s toys, a tv and current fashion magazines in the cab. Akber told me that he had been driving cabs for about 28 years, and that he moved from India to Canada to have a happier life. Other cab drivers sometimes judge him and give me negative comments about his flashy cab but pretty much every single one of his clients have always given him positive feedback and given him more reason to do what he does. The whole Cosmic Cab idea came to life when one day a girl stepped into his cab she was clearly having a hard day. After a few minutes of speaking to Akber, she said to him that the cab ride has made her day and changed her outlook. He decided after that day that if he is going to be driving a cab for a living, he might as well make the best of it everyday and make other peoples lives happier, even if its just for a short cab ride. Akber says he just wants people to be happy and if they are happy, that makes him happy.
Indeed even I was in a bad mood before stepping into the cab. Akber and I had a conversation about how very often people are in too much of a rush and don’t have the time to just relax and be happy, he hopes that his cab brings a smile to his customer’s faces, and that’s what makes him continue to do what he does. He also gives back, the fashion magazines that he has in his car are kept until they are outdated and at that point he donates them to a local charity so that others can enjoy them.
For Torontonians living in a fast paced world, it’s not always easy taking a moment to be happy with what you have and what you have achieved, but I’m glad that the Cosmic cab is out there somewhere spreading joy this holiday season.
**side note: The Cosmic Cab is under the BECK taxi banner, and if you’re lucky you might get a cosmic ride**