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The Museum of Vestigial Desire


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Taxis ferry bodies from point A to B. on every transport, there is something left behind. The taxi drivers survive on the arbitrary resale of the stray items left behind.

We are not talking about suitcases or handbags or laptops. We are talking about thinking bodies. We are talking about stories which are dreamt and then forgotten on the back seats of random taxis plying on city streets.

Conversations are struck and then left hanging, left incomplete. These conversations develop deep, dark hearts and become pathogenic viruses. These viruses disturb the calm of ordinariness which taxis allow at first. Taxis then become like haunted spaces. These haunts can neither be documented, nor archived, they can just be enjoyed. They can be frequently robbed of their secret thrills and be left vegetating in the same condition as they were found.

As public mail-boxes that anyone can empty and anyone can leave a message at, taxis still manage to retain a distinct flavour. Just like all streets do no feel the same even though they could, taxis move all around, carry people of different auras across and still manage to develop a character of their own.

Air is thin and the cocoons that exist above each locality in the city could have been punctured and the air could have gotten mixed together and become generic. But it did not. The cocoons remained intact and each locality retained its ethic. The cocoons remained intact and each taxi retained its own distinct haunt.

Because this happened, taxis became the site where people's ordinary lives got extraordinary jolts. The haunts started haunting the passengers traveling in the taxis. When this happened, things from here got mixed up with things from there and an exchange of great potential started happening. This exchange became the spike in the graph in people's lives. This spike became the source of worry for priests, magicians and witch-doctors everywhere. Because these spokes ignored their charms, spells and cures. These spikes seemed to be totally unexplained and random.

The academia and the media treated these spikes as the signs of correlation between learning, publishing and performance. They started spinning rumours about the ultimate validation of education and culture by these spikes. The truth has been something else altogether, of course.

The truth has been that the taxis plying in the city have been responsible for these spikes. For the revolutionary and unexplained nature of transformation in citizens' life.

Taxis could have had the hallowed position in society today that universities and media outlets occupy. But they do not. Today, taxis are just sites of missed opportunities.

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