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Am I a terrorist?

Am I a terrorist? That’s the most common question people ask me when they find out I’m a Muslim. My brown skin color and my beard sometimes give it away. It’s pretty obvious. “What makes you think I’m a terrorist?” I ask them back. “News media.” They say as if it’s an unwritten law that…

As you sow, so shall you reap

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to deal with drunk people. Most of the time they put me in trouble or they run away without paying. It’s very frustrating, especially when the police get involved. I remember one time, when it was winter this guy in his late twenties was drunk. I…

Returning lost things

People leaving their phones in my cab is common. I’ve lost count of how many people have left their phones in my cab. Some people leave their wallets or purses. A few people have left their laptops. One man even left his whole backpack. I wouldn’t be surprised if these people forgot their children in…

We had no bathrooms.

We had no bathrooms. It amazes my children when I tell them we didn’t even have bathrooms. In Pakistan these things were introduced later on. They were considered a luxury.  People in my village believed that bathrooms did not belong in the house. How could you live in a house where there is a gutter?…

Kids and their independence

When I was young probably fourteen or fifteen, me and my friends, we made a plan to go to Baway. Baway is located in the Bhimber side close to Azad Kashmir. It’s a very famous Darbar where a Sufi saint is buried. His grave is on top of a mountain. People usually go there to…

Lawyer to taxi driver

I wanted to be a lawyer when I was young. Law school fascinated me, but I despised studying. (My daughter is laughing at me as I write this and she’s telling me to go to school again. I’m too old for that now). I just couldn’t get my head into the books. My uncle was…

Driving a cab around NYC

Driving a cab around NYC is not easy. I remember one time when my eldest daughter was in college, I told her my back was aching and I needed a doctor’s appointment. She laughed at me like I was a clown in a circus. “How hard can it be to sit in one place? That’s…

The Yellow cab crises

I’ve been driving the yellow cab around NYC for the past 25 years. In between I tried different jobs, like buy a chicken farm, but it didn’t work out. Apparently my eldest daughter hates the smell of chicken poop and she refused to leave our two apartment bedroom. She was fourteen at that time. My…

A father’s day poem

This is a poem my daughter wrote for me and she read it to me. You tell me the world is vicious daddy because you’ve looked it in the eyebut it’s my turn nowso won’t you let me fly. You tell me there are storms out there that I won’t be able to bearbut you’ve…

Where it all started

I was born in Pakistan in the 60s, in a small village close to Kashmir. My father was a farmer who was a part time alchemist or herbalist (which is a pretty interesting story). He owned sheep, cows, chicken and weird looking chemicals. My mother was a house wife who would help my father out…


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