Life vs. Bombay Taxi-Wallah


Taxi drivers, it’s safe to say, have attained iconic status in the annals of urban folklore. They’re the embodiment of a city’s wiry energy and gritty determination to survive. They are strange, slightly crazy and defiantly individualistic. Surely, it takes a special character to drive strangers around for hours on end, competing with thousands of other drivers for customers and cash. (The debt faced by drivers is often staggering—in Montreal, where 9,500 taxis prowl the streets, taxi licences cost upwards of $200,000.) Maybe that’s why so many of them have such interesting things to say. Pierre-Léon, author of Un taxi la nuit, just landed a book deal; Lebanese-Canadian Rawi Hage wrote his first novel DeNiro’s Game while driving a taxi in Montreal. It was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and is now a national bestseller.

Most cabbies, however, are just trying to survive amidst the particular challenges of their own city. “Horn OK Please” is a day in the life of a Bombay taxi driver, Lucky, who struggles to earn enough rupees to buy a new air-conditioned cab. This short film, produced by a team of Indian and Irish animators at Belfast’s Flickerpix Animations, is made with a combination of stop-motion models and drawn backgrounds. The result is colourful, chaotic and charming. Take a look.

This entry was written by Christopher DeWolf , posted on Thursday February 08 2007at 02:02 pm , filed under Society and Culture, South Asia, Transportation, Video and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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