In a city where taxi drivers are (in)famous for overcharging and misbehaving with passengers, Kameshwar Giri stands out as a shining exception.
The 59-year-old cabby, who has been in Kolkata for the past 40 years, returned a briefcase full of gold ornaments, valued at several lakhs, to a passenger who had left it behind on Wednesday.
Nimai Chandra Das had boarded the taxi from Rajasthan Bhawan in New Alipore and loaded the boot of the cab with items that his daughter had received as gifts on her wedding.
Giri said two thoughts crossed his mind when he saw the briefcase — his father’s words that there is enough to meet a man’s needs, but never his greed.
“I think this is your briefcase,” Giri told Das, handing it over. The overwhelmed family of the bride offered the good driver a generous tip and rasgollas. But all that Giri would agree to was the Rs 44 that was his fare for returning to hand over the briefcase. In the end, after a lot of coaxing, he accepted only Rs 100. “The family offered me rasgollas, about 12 of them. I love the sweet but I hadn’t brushed my teeth till then and so had to refuse,” said Giri.
Giri has two dreams: “I have been repaying the loan of my own taxi for five years and still have to repay Rs 80,000. I hope I will do that without taking help from my sons. I also want my son, who has just passed his BCom, to realize his dream of becoming a chartered accountant.”