Chattanathan is a successful corporate executive turned entrepreneur who has authored two books before this one, so its evident he enjoys the writing process. 'My Rides with Sahib' is an interesting story about a young girl who drives a taxi in Mumbai and her car rides with an elderly gentleman 'sahib' and how it changes her life.
Sheetal is a bright young girl who grows up in a chawl in Mumbai and is educated in a convent by her taxi driver father. When she's in college and is looking forward for a good career ahead her father has a stroke and she takes up driving his taxi to sustain the family. On one of her rides she meets her 'sahib' someone who she connects to enough to not only collect her fare later but also lend a thousand rupees to. After some initial drama where she wonders if sahib was a genuine person or not she realises he has helped people in many ways and helped them build their lives by establishing livelihoods for all of them.
Sahib takes a liking to Sheetal and encourages her to write and to contribute to his company's marketing plans. A couple of potential suitors float up - one is her English teacher and another who works with Sahib adding some more drama. An accident, a death, a murder attempt and some suspense about why Sahib lives alone is sorted in the end including what Sheetal is probably to him. I had one doubt though - do Santros have airbags? I have one which doesn't, but perhaps the newer ones have.
Chattanathan weaves a nice drama with likeable and relatable characters who stay with you and keeps the narrative flowing with timely twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. I liked the idea of how he has created this 'sahib' who builds these little businesses to help people in need as some sort of a cooperative. It has a nice easy readable quality to it and I hope to read more of Chattanathan's works. Thanks Diwakar for taking the trouble to buy me a copy and send it across. I enjoyed reading it.