Saturday, August 17, 2019

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Dolled-up cab on Tehran’s streets

TEHRAN, May 20 (MNA) – An MNA columnist, Zahra Shahrezaee was astonished getting into a Taxi decorated with tens of dolls.

Mehr News Columnist Zahra Shahrezaee reported how surprised she was when she got into a taxi decorated with dozens of wonderful dolls all over the glove compartment, ceiling, and rear window.

In a city teeming with thousands of yellow and green taxicabs, mostly driven just for the sake of breadwinning, it is interesting to find a cabby who is concerned with the mesmerizing dolls and decoration of his vehicle to uplift the passengers’ moral and to be a different one.

The cab driver Alireza Ghandi, a man in his thirties, wears sunglasses and unbelievably lives with his dolls. His cab is a subject of interest to many people and passerby cars, who hover beside the taxi to have a better look of all the dolls in his taxi.

A feminine hobby, some women in Iran have at most two or three dolls in their car and not a taxi, but what Mr. Ghandi has done, has made him a celebrity driving a cab dubbed by fellow taxi-drivers as Ghand-e-Asal (a sweetheart) which is a word used to describe a cute child in Iran.

Born in 1979, he puts himself into the category of 80’s born generation who suffered the consequences of western-backed Saddam attack on Iran and is unhappy with his lack of academic education after high school as all family members including his engineer mom and dad are university graduates and he was expected to get into campus as he was accepted once to agriculture college but he did not start the program. As he has been in love with animals since childhood the cab is full of animal dolls and if he could have started again he would have become a veterinarian.

At first he had just three dolls; a dog, a donkey and a sheep but some passengers’ reaction led him to have more and more toys. Some passengers even call his cab a baby bed.

Having an 8-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son, he laughs over the idea held by some people that, “it is because he has no children, he keeps dolls.”

Answering a question about children in his car who may go tantrum to have one of the dolls he attributes doll-loving to his fellow 80’s as they remind him of the past and TV shows of that age.

Keeping a notebook in his cab, Mr. Ghandi asks passengers to leave there a comment or memoir which among them we find a woman who was getting to the court to file a divorce lawsuit who changed her mind seeing the dolls and toys of her childhood in the cab and a woman who was proposed marriage by her current husband in that taxi.

It has been some years since he started posting on social networks like Facebook and uploading photos of his cab wining surfers likes sometimes more than celebrities. He signed up in Facebook after he found out some people uploading photos of his taxi calling it theirs. His taxis page titled Dolled Taxi of Tehran has received thousadns of likes so far.

Thanks to the publicity heightened online, even some foreigners have shown interest in his cab and while travelling to Iran call him to serve them.


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