Sanchita's Reviews > Cabbing All The Way

Cabbing All The Way by Jatin Kuberker
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's review
Oct 12, 2016

really liked it

Rollercoaster of a ride!
Distance, traffic snarls, poor public transport, long commute hours and work play the great leveler in unifying 12 diverse characters. True to its title, ‘Cabbing: all the way’, the story does complete justice in highlighting the ‘BIG’ issue faced by working professionals in urban cities in India, and in doing so the author guilelessly involves you in an emotional journey that will definitely leave a mark on you. You are bound to share the camaraderie of the co-passengers, as you transform from being the mute spectator, reading about it, to a latent co-passenger.

Cabs: the saviours
Though the story is set in Hyderabad, the issues focused on are universal to all urban areas in India. With his simple style of writing, the author strikes a chord and effortlessly draws you into the cab, which is the prime site of action. Kudos to him for sticking to the plot so accurately, that even as a reader I would find myself waiting to board the cab along with the other characters eager to hear what unravels today! In fact he has brought out the essence of the can commute so well, that never for once did I feel the need to know more about the characters personally or professionally. It was the essence of the cab that was writ large all over the story!

“All this time, we used to travel all the way to office on our own. The need to reach office on time and go back home on our own means after a stressful day of work was adding to our stress. Am I right? Now, I would like to think like this . . . it ‘could’ be that this ‘oblivious’ villain sucked all our positive energy.” Rajnish waited for comments but none came in. He went on. “But now, things are a little different. Now we have means to travel. We are now a team with no internal competition; we can discuss openly and sort issues diligently. Hence, this year we should have a lot more positive energy. So, let’s put a challenge that this year, with the additional stress of commuting removed, we will do our best.”

True to characters
Though initially the introduction of 12 characters one after the other may feel overwhelming, but the author has judiciously divided quirks amongst them. Each of the characters are realistic, so much so that even if you have never travelled in a cab, you will vouch for having known either professionally or personally at least someone like the 12 cab mates. Their character sketch has been done so well that with the development of the story, you could almost predict how each one would behave.

Glory to the City of Nawabs
The ‘lingua franca’ matters and so did it in this book. It is replete with colloquial Hyderabadi terminologies, which adds a dash of local fervor to the story. This element also highlights the casual tone amongst the cab mates and how each of them gradually warm up from being just co-passengers to friends. The city of Hyderabad also stands tall throughout the story as commuting plays a major role in the story, so does the city’s streets, lanes and by lanes and the author does not fail to epitomize the beauty of city. “On reaching the top of the fort, a bird’s eye view of the City of Nawabs took our breath away and filled us with delight. Away from the strangling pollution and snarling traffic, Hyderabad looked very different from the hill top. It felt like viewing a museum of miniatures where on one side, a glimpse of the iconic places like the Charminar and the Qutub Shahi tombs could be seen, and on the other side, the Cuber Towers and Cyberabad stood basking in its new-found glory.”

The story
It starts with the right note. The issue of commute faced by employees in an office, and its ultimate resolution- cabbing. While this was the solution to the problem, the story just begins here. As co-passengers becomes friends, the somber mood turns to a humorous one in the cab, but along with it issues crop up. How to maintain discipline in friendship? How to ensure justice to all co-passengers? As all this happens, the characters mature, they grow personally professionally and in some cases the ego grows too. In the backdrop, somewhere Cupid strikes too! There are issues that the author has discussed threadbare, but you will not know the issues, until you are done reading the whole book and ponder about it, as the whole narration reads like a personal anecdote. So it’s a bitter sweet cab journey, one such where you as a reader are left thinking what could have been rectified where so that the bitterness amongst friends could be erased.

Reason for ratings. . .
I liked the personal approach and the simple style of writing, it is bound to get you aboard on the cab. The author deserves credit for bringing out a brilliant, evocative story out of a very simple concept of cabbing. Without using the crutch of beautiful locales or magnanimous characters, the story stands out and speaks for itself. It’s the characters, their city, their professional and personal life balance, their woes and how they strike the right balance to meet their needs that comes across prominently in this book. But grammatical errors and tighter editing were the areas that needed to be looked into. For instance- “A lean person waived his hands to grab my attention.” Wasn’t a ‘waved’ needed here rather? If I overlook grammatical errors like these, the story is perfect.

Would I recommend this book?
Definitely. The book stands out for its simple and effective, realistic style of narration. A light and fun read.

Line that stayed with me. . .
And then we became friends, helped each other, debated, teased, fought, laughed, shared uncountable moments and in the process made enough memories for a lifetime.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 20, 2016 – Finished Reading
October 12, 2016 – Shelved

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