Rosalyn Menon

Driven to Sing

Divorce and single motherhood aren't stopping New York cabbie Sayeeda Akhter's dreams of Bangladeshi pop stardom.

SAYEEDA AKHTER would rather be wearing a voluminous red sari-wrapped loosely around her ample hips and puddled around her feet-to hide the pedals of the yellow cab she is driving for the day. But her crisp white polo shirt and neatly cuffed khaki pants fall clean over leather sneakers as she hits the brakes to pick up her next fare.

She has surprised yet another passenger, who glances up from his briefcase and Blackberry only for a moment to yawn his intended address.

"Thirty-seventh and Park. And don't go across 57th."