Travails and trivia of a daily journey on the bus!
Every day, every moment of our lives is a different experience which
sometimes teaches us a thing or two! And my daily journey to college by
bus is no different. Traveling during peak hours is daunting task in
itself. But what makes it bearable is the little things that happen
during these journeys! And so here it goes….
My journey towards college begins everyday at 7.25 am, running to the
bus stop! Yeah, I know I’ll be late for the 7.30 bus. But you know, I
can’t stop myself from not leaving my house a little early! And believe
me or not, most of the times I don’t miss the bus! Ah, the thrill I get
when run to catch a bus! It gives me a sense of accomplishment! Once
inside the bus, I begin to hunt for a seat. Usually I’ve to be content
with getting a place to stand in the bus and on a few lucky days I
manage to get one with ease! The real fun is not when the bus is empty
but when the bus is full! And then comes the conductor asking for
tickets. I don’t have to buy one as I’ve my student pass, but when I
have to there begins the hullabaloo over the change. I don’t understand
why bus fare has to be in strange denominations! And now it’s gonna be
costlier! Thanks to the ever rising petrol price! And I hate the days
when the conductor asks me to show my bus pass as I’ve search for it in
my back breaking bag!
Once done with the ticket, there begins another commotion- the with our
bags. I keep chatting with my friends to pass time and there aunty dear
has a problem with our bags. “Take off your bags”, she says. Wish we
could but aunty dear where then are we supposed to keep them? “Hold it
in your hands”, she says. “Huh?”, I gave her a cold stare and she keeps
speaking to the lady beside her about our bags. And the days when I’ve
to carry my laptop, O my God, have pity on me!
And then someone is about to get off the bus at the next stop and there
begins the hatching and plotting to get that seat! Some days I win,
others I don’t! But what makes me get irritated is when men sit on seats
earmarked for women. And mind it, they are not the illiterate ones who
are not able to read the signs. These are the literate but uneducated
ones! And I can’t tell a thing ’cause you know it’s never safe for girls
in India! And I pray for the conductor to enlighten them on the seats
being reserved for women. And another time a lady maybe around 25 or so
pushes us and gets the seat and declares to the lady beside her, “These
college students don’t need seats. They are used to standing throughout
the journey. It’s older people like us who need seats.They have to help
others.Let them stand!”. Excuse me! We are also human beings and
moreover you are just a few years older. That’s what I want to say. But I
decide against it as I don’t want to spoil my mood. I take off my bag
and give it to her with a smile and say,”Okay aunty. You sit down. But
will you please hold my bag for me. I’m sure you’d be glad to help!” And
she fumes with anger. But she can’t refuse, not after her lecture on
helping! And I’m happy!
And then there are buses which proclaim “Women and Family special”. I
get into it hoping for a seat. But what do I see? A group of men have
occupied most of the seats with none of their family members in sight! I
sigh! Things are never going to improve here!
And I hate evenings, especially the rainy ones when most of the buses
don’t stop where they are supposed and I spend half an hour standing in
rain at the bus stop. Finally when I get into the bus, I find a grumpy
grandpa there! He cannot tolerate even the slightest inconvenience! I
drop of water falls on his hand from rain drenched umbrella and there he
is pushing the umbrella away with all his might. I quietly move to
another side of the bus and then at the next stop the hand bag of lady
who is getting down brushes past the old man and he begins yelling at
her! “Don’t you have pity on an old man. How cruel of you!” The lady
utters nothing but a sorry and walks away!
And then there are times when I get to be the good Samaritan by offering
my seat to the old, sick or lady with a baby in her arms. I’m happy on
such occasions. But sometimes when I stand to make way for the person
I’m helping, another young lady comes to grab the seat! Pathetic I say!
I’m glad when I get a seat and I spend time chatting with my friends who
are around and when they aren’t I end up listening to music or enjoy by
reading those funny boards and hoardings which murder English language!
Or should I say “Englees” language! And sometimes I’m in a
philosophical mood….. And sometimes there is someone sitting beside
talking so loudly on the phone that the whole bus knows the person’s
Ah and I could go on and on…