He is 28 years old and came to Bangalore in 2003 with dreams of earning a living. “I am from Tumkur and come from an agricultural background. I studied till class 10 and then my parents could not afford to educate us any more. It is sad, farmers work so hard, but it’s the middle men who seem to make all the money. I chose this city as I had some friends here,” recalls the young man, who started working in a machine factory for a meagre salary.

“It was tough. Then I heard that a cab driver can earn well. So I started saving up to learn driving,” says Manjunath. In 2007 Manjunath started working as a driver and started doing odd driving jobs. “That time I worked with offices and business men. There was a certain rise in my earnings, but I needed more as I also had to support my parents back home.

“Though we were poor, they gave me their very best,” So he worked hard and saved up some more money and applied for a loan. He bought an Indica cab, he is now registered with the City Taxi and works 24/7.

“Yes, today I own a car, am building my own home in Tumkur and am comfortable by the grace of god,” smiles Manjunath, who adds that he has to be ready to hit the road anytime of the day or night. “I love this city. It has given me so much. The only thing that upsets me is the traffic. People are so impatient that most of them suffer from road rage.

“Earlier I would get upset when people would gesture or curse me on the road, but now I have learnt to ignore it. I spend most of my time on the road, so I have to learn to keep my cool. After all this is the city that has provided me with my daily bread,” he reasons.

A weekly column on men and women who make Bangalore what it is