A number 11 bus breezes by. I am a good twenty strides short of the bus stand.If I run for it I might just catch it. I have my iPod with the ear phones plugged to my ears. The Frays is singing ‘how to save a life’. Not a motivation to charge after that bus.
Never mind. There is always another one.
Another 11 bus stops. It is crowded. There are men standing on the foot board. The aisle at the front of bus is filled with women clinging on to the railing across the upper inner side of the bus. Never mind this one too. There is always another Number 11. Hmm… The front of the bus is colorful. The rest is drab. No wonder! The men are at the back. I would be surprised if the back was colorful. Now imagine men wearing pink pants, purple bags and red scarfs!
Ok. Now this is getting late. What has happened to all the number 11s. It is a cold day. Good thing I wore a sweater. I brought along an umbrella , just in case.
Yes, there is a number 11 at the distance. I hope it is not as crowded as the last one.
I am right. It is not as crowded as the last one. The last one had women packed along the aisle. This one has women riding on the foot board. This one is more crowded than the last one!
Wait what am I doing? I am actually pushing and shoving my way in to the bus. Sonya was right, I am crazy! I really need my head checked.
Ok first hurdle crossed. I am inside the bus. I seem to be stuck; stuck in between yellow dupatta and brown bag.
Suddenly the driver brakes. I am flying; fortunately toward the direction I was headed. I am at the aisle. but there is no place on the railing. So I position my feet between black jeans and Samsung phone and sway along with the bus to keep my balance.
Another brake. Everybody is given tossed around and re packed. Which was not a bad thing. I have found a small opening next to a two seater. I adjust myself , one hand holding on to the railing over head, the other to the back of the two-seater. Only problem is my sling bag is stuck between the bus conductor and round rimmed spectacles. I think I will let it be.
Why did I have to bring the umbrella?
Another stop. More people get on. I do not think there is room for an ant in here!
Another brake. Nobody is tossed. We are too tightly packed. This must be where the funeral for personal space is being held.
Through it all Vampire Weekends, Daniel Powter and Mozart sing and play for me. Thank god for small mercies.
My hands are aching. It is suffocating in here. A drop of sweat forms on my forehead. Did I really have to wear this sweater?
Now the drop gets bigger. It rolls down to my nose. Maybe it will just roll away.
Nope. It has no idea of going away. Which hand do I use to wipe it? The one with which I am holding the umbrella and the railing over head or the one with which I am holding the back of the seat. Now this is a tricky choice.
Another sudden brake and I did not have to make a choice. I sway to my right and dash into orange kurti and viola! the drop of sweat is wiped away!
Jubilee Check post stop. Half the herd is getting down. A little personal space is coming back to life. Oh wait a minute why is there a sudden silence. Wasn’t Vampire Weekend just telling me “You are not contra”?
Oh dear! My ear phones tangled with gold hair clip’s bag. She is exiting the bus. Oh dear! Can my heart take this much excitement in such a short span.
I smile at red bindhi as a token of appreciation in helping with ear phones rescue. She nods.
Blue legging is getting off from her seat. Her stop must be near. There are red bindhi, samsung phone, saree lady and me eyeing for that seat. Saree lady is no threat. She is the farthest from the seat.
Samsung phone makes her move and then there is a sudden brake. Somebody please teach the driver to brake gently.
Hey samsung phone do not stare at me. It is my leg you are stepping on!
And what do you know the saree lady gets the seat!
9. 54 am
This is where I get off. Getting off was easier than I imagined. The bus departs leaving me alone to cross a broad road with speeding vehicles that have no qualms of running over me.
Suddenly I miss all those people on that bus.