Wednesday, June 24, 2009


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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The 45 Minute Story

I boarded the bus. It was a Volvo this time. Whatever comes first has been my motto; the regular rag-tag diesel munching bus or the smart sleek red cold one, it doesn't matter. Time and destination is the essence. (Albeit, there are times when the journey matters more than the destination; but in Bangalore, it is healthy to give up that ideal.)

The transporter welcomed me. With indignation. Without a seat. It was fine for me. All I needed was a fine cozy corner to spend the next 45 minutes standing. How accomodating could the corner I found be, with the cold air blowing right above me. I glanced at the dial on my cellphone. 9.30 am. Soft but a determined sunlight bursting through the glass onto me, where it died a frozen death. Reconstructing the final moments of its demise philosophically took me a minute to decipher. 44 minutes remaining. I should have carried a book, I thought.

I surveyed the people around me. A genial gentleman stood right next to me, balancing via the top handle. Had an extremely ill-fitting dress sense though. Now don't get me wrong. But I'd never wear a Hawaiian-beachwear-blue shirt to go along with teal trousers. In such a eclectic dress, I'd also rather not wear light brown 800 bucks worth sneakers (well, disregard the price, not the sneakers though). To top it off, would I carry a leather suitcase, which had the hallmark of a top notch brand (Can't reveal the brand as I am not brand conscious)? 

Ticket please, a square jaw mumbled from somewhere. Turning around, a square jaw-faced guy who also had a square face gave an appealing look. Or was it impatient? Difficult to guess, but I think it was more the latter - the way he eyed me suggested that. The conductor who is supposed to be conducting is indeed conducting - impatiently. Majestic, I said. As I reached out for the wallet, a strange question mark took over my brain cells (the Riddler types!). Was the term "conductor" defined for the bus waala type or for the musical symphony? Not that I care. But I wanted an answer. Now. Etymology gave me hope. Latin gave me hope.

Meanwhile, the appealing dude continued to get irritated by me and before he could lambast me, I gave him the perfect change he always aspires for. And boy, how thrilled he was. That cherubic smile reflected that (ok, cherubic is for kids - but he gave a kid-getting-a-lollypop look, so!). I was the ideal passenger. Yay!

And then a bigger yay. Or maybe a gasp. As she boarded the bus. A breath of fresh air. Scented by the glory of Ponds and a dash of uhhh - which perfume could that be - frankly, I dunno - not good at perfumes you see. The thin kohl, the absolutely straight pitch-black shimmering hair, the rustle of the green bangles, the art laden droops from the ear... (some 10 other things, which cannot be revealed for lack of space)... yada yada yada. She found the immediate corner next to mine. Yay! She surely saw me...maybe from the corner of her eye. Ohh, she also was...yada yada yada. I maybe swooning right now to everyone's embarassment, but she really was...yada yada yada. The next moment, she broke my heart. Out came her cellphone, the glimpse of which bought a lissome smile on her face. Eagerly, pressing the answer button, she started eyeing the non-existent horizon dreamily. That was it. I was always late.

Thank the Volvo god, that a wail hailed the end of this ignominy. There she was. A two year old, who understood me so well and had to feel hungry right then. Enveloped in pink, she was the cutest thing ever. To tell you something as a matter of fact, babies have this wonderful social sense of getting the maximum attention. Either they should just smile at every possible grown-up or wail the loudest in a radius of 20 meters. Whatever they choose, sympathy is garnered. Food is gathered from all directions - cake pieces, biscuits etc. Smiles are handed for free. That way, I was able to see the different side of all the mostly sad morose faces who basically were as bored as me - or were as bitchy as me. (Am I really bitching? I thought I am just describing life the JD Salinger way).

The wail continued. The genial gentleman was actually too nice, smiling uninterruptedly at the baby - my apologies to him, probably he is some hot-shot fashionista deciding to travel than being chauffered. The conductor kept conducting in his cherubic manner. The...the...the girl was still dreaming...with the phone to her ear.

I looked at the dial. Still 30 minutes to go. I turned a lil bit and moved my attention the other side.

Who's next?

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