The Right Passenger
by Waqar Ahmed
The Right passengers is a short story by the American writer Waqar Ahmed, which was published in 2008. The story tells us about a night in Nadeem Riaz’ life. Nadeem Riaz is a taxi driver in New York City. Nadeem is driving around Manhattan looking for passengers then he eventually picks up a couple, a brown-skinned man and a Caucasian girl, both around their twenties. The couple had two stops, one for each of them, and they were both intoxicated. Nadeem starts the route, when the couple in the back seat starts acting inappropriate, which is not a new thing to Nadeem, he just keeps thinking of the money the trip will bring in. They are at the first stop, the girl gets out, and the boy starts asking him questions, and they get into an argument, the boy then drops it, and falls asleep. Once they arrive at the final destination, the boy just stumbles out of the taxi and away, still owing for the ride.
Characterization of Nadeem Riaz
Nadeem Riaz, is a Pakistani immigrant with a green card, living in New York City, he is driving a taxi so support his family. Nadeem is a lowly worker, always going out of his way to follow the rules. Back home in Pakistan, Nadeem owned a spare-parts shop, and he was respected, here people associate him with the lower class of New York City. He is very polite, even thou the passengers might not return the favor. Nadeem is a good solid worker, who takes his job seriously, and even thou his passengers are totally disregarding tribal civility; he has a job to finish.
Comment on the conflict
The conflict between the passenger Faisal and Nadeem Riaz already started when Faisal entered the taxi, and gave Nadeem the directions, where he starts by calling him ‘Uncle’. Later in the story, the girl gets out and the boy again starts talking to Nadeem, still with that carefree tone calling him ‘Riaz Uncle’, Nadeem answers polite and even calling the boy ‘Gentleman’. The boy is saying that...
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