I had talked to a cab driver yesterday and fixed with him the rate and time for the daily hire of a cab for a visit to Dad. Today I called the driver at 9:00 AM and he was not answering his mobile phone. So I waited and tried again. No response. Finally I called the radio Cab Company to see if they had rental rates by day. It turned out they had good plans; you can rent by four, six or eight hours. So I called for cab and waited. The cab driver had no idea of any of the Delhi streets. It turned out he was driver for someone and had no experience as a cab driver. The cab company hired him, gave him two days of training and put him on road. He had been a cab driver for ten days when he showed up to pick me up.
For the first time I was giving driving directions to someone in Delhi! Fortunately I had a very detailed map in a book form. However the book was a few years old and they have made so many changes that we ended up in the wrong street. Finally we got to my dad's.
He appears very frail and needs a lot of help in walking around but he was in good spirits (not bad for 100+ years). We went to a local restaurant for lunch. His living place was unchanged from the last time I visited. We talked a little bit about the past, mostly medical things that happened when I was young. He told me that I had suffered from malnutrition and looked very skinny. He took me to a indigenous medical person who cured me in a week!
He also told me that one time Prakash (my oldest brother) was admitted to a hospital in Bombay. Dad went over there and found out that the doctors wanted to take out his blood and replace it, because there was something wrong in his blood. So Dad had called me. I was in Chicago, so it must have been between 1973 and 1976. I told him to get Prakash out of hospital as soon as possible. I prescribed some medicine and Prakash got better! I had forgotten all about it. Even now I do not remember much about that incident. But I do remember that Prakash never paid me for that consultation! So I am going to call him and demand payment of principal and interest!
In the evening I took the Metro to Amar Nath’s place north and west of Delhi. The Metro looks like something transplanted from some other place in the chaos of Delhi. The Metro is on time, efficient, clean and the signs are so good you do not need to ask for directions. I almost miss the human interaction when you have to go someplace; normally you have to ask for directions three or four times. There are separate cabins for ladies. No more groping and fondling the women in the crowd. In the men’s cabin, the scene during rush hour has to be experienced. If you can breathe comfortably then there is too much empty room, at least two more skinny Indians can squeeze in the cabin.