My first bus ride of the new year. Yes yes I know – what's the big deal? Bus rides used to be my favorite pastime before. Especially when the college I studied was 25 kms away from my home. I used to spend atleast 3 hours in buses a day, creatively spending the time by day dreaming and letting my imagination run wild. However it all changed when I became bike-addicted. Once I straddled my black panther (I own a black Yamaha Libero) I never let him slip away from between my legs (sexual innuendo overruled). Except when I had to leave the district – otherwise he became my constant companion and I bid goodbye to bus rides.
However yesterday my bike called in sick (he had a tire puncture) and I had to resort to my long forgotten means of transport. Everything was the same. In the morning at the bus stop I heard that favorite mantra – “bus just left- next is only after half hour”. Luckily got a seat in the next one. The conductor looks familiar. I hand him the money, trying to smile.
He: “Give Rs. 2.50 change”.
Me: “I don’t have it”.
He: “Who do you think I am? The Reserve Bank? Stupid people! Won’t carry any change, blah blah…”
Oh yea. Now I remember him. He hasn’t changed too. Why can’t he at least take the trouble to learn some new ‘theri’ (uhh…colourful native form of verbal abuse).
Its even more familiar in the evening. Over crowded bus. Looks like Wagon Tragedy part - 2. And when I get in it’s the same smell – sweat, rum and peanuts. A candy somewhere. And all the wonderful, different people. Some just can’t wait to get home – they keep looking at their watches and making impatient gestures whenever the driver stops. Perhaps its their wives, or maybe their favorite TV show. Other people seem determined to sit there till eternity – they don’t have watches, don’t even bother to look where they have reached. Some women stare at you making you wonder “What’s wrong with her?” Some men stare at you making you wonder “What’s wrong with me?”
Then there are the angry ones who shout for every silly matter, rude ones who push you out of the way for seats, indecent ones who ogle, drunk ones who don’t know where they want to go, young, old, strong, weak, sullen, happy (singing out loud) and every other imaginable type. – Veritably an exact representation of the cross section of our society. I need this more. I am going to travel by bus everyday. Well…at least once in a while. Cheers!