Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Bus

I was on my way to my friend's place on my bike, I was riding at around 60 kms speed when from a cross road suddenly came a car, I narrowly missed banging into the car, the car was on the wrong lane, the driver did not honk nor had he given any kind of signal, before entering the main road. I turned back to look at the car, as I turned back, I saw the diver and his friend putting their hands out and shouting abuses at me. I stopped to turn around and give the driver a piece of my mind, he was the one who was on the wrong side, and he was the one who didn't honk. I was angry and wanted to punch him right on his nose, but before I could turn around he had already got into another cross road and was out my sight. My whole day was spoilt; my mood was crappy, to say the least. It took me a couple of days to forget the incident.

My first day at the office, I had decided to take the bus to the office. There were a lot of people waiting for the bus, it was the rush hour. The bus which stopped was already full, but somehow all of us waiting managed to squeeze into the bus. Suddenly there were a few loud voices near the door, I turned back to see a couple of middle aged office goers angry as the bus had stopped 10 mts away from the bus stop, the abuses were directed at both the conductor and the driver, I was surprised to see someone that angry for such a simple thing. My thoughts were abruptly stopped by someone patting on my hand and shouting ticket ticket. I turned and looked at him, he looked to be in his late 30s, his hair was uncombed, he was sweaty, looked like someone who didn't know what taking bath meant. He was the bus Conductor. The sight of the conductor made the voices grow louder; it looked like they were waiting for him. The fight lasted 10 full mins, abuses were flying left and right a few more people joined the angry men and became an angry group, a few spoke on the conductors behalf, and a few consoled both the groups. It was very silly, the conductor just got more frustrated and tired not to mention, the angry men cooled down but they were still frowning.
I was finding it hard to hold onto to the handle, the bus was packed with people. The silence in the bus was killed by a low agitated voice which started to get louder and stronger by each passing second, the problem the voices had was that the bus was too slow, abuses started finding their way to the driver; the voices felt the driver was purposely driving the bus slow. This I felt was the most absurd thing I had ever heard; why will the driver go slow, if he can go fast? He has been sitting on a piece of wood covered with cloth for God knows how long, his ass might be killing him, and he is surely not enjoying the heat coming from the hot engine beside him.
A couple of agitated voices targeted the conductor. They were angry coz the conductor stopped the bus in all the stops. I didn't understand this, just some time back the people got angry coz the bus stopped 10 mts away from the stop, now they are angry coz the bus is making all the stops.
It was stupid; I couldn't wait to get off the bus. Finally my stop came, the voices were still there, but the problems and the demands kept changing. The conductor and the driver had faced the angry men and the agitated group.
In addition to the people the driver had some more problems, the engine was not in good condition; the gear leaver was not working smoothly. The conductor had a hard time coming up with change every time there was hundred rupee note, then he had a piece of paper which he filled after every stop and had to make sure everyone had a ticket or a bus pass.

There was a good 1km left to reach my office, I decided to walk. As I walked I couldn’t help but think about the conductor and the driver, how can some one take that so much of pains every day and still go on with their work, saying nothing. What could they be thinking? Do they spend every minute of their life cursing, why they took up this job?
I spent two full days in bad mood coz someone for a few seconds said something and sped away; I wanted to punch that guy may be even break his hand.

I have now stopped taking the bus to the office, but every now and then I do take the bus, and every time I see the conductor I smile and think if it the first smile he’s seen in months or years.


thanu said...

hmmm... dint kno u giv so much importance to details... interesting .... very .... i never thought of things this way..

divsi said...

very few ppl value empathy n feel how others feel..glad to c there are still ppl like u who think that way..:)

a post that relle made me :):)


Harsha Chittar said...

@thanu: I guess Thanks
@divsi: thank you for reading this post, you made me :) by leaving a comment. Hope you keep visiting.