The below post titled 'Evening Breeze' is a small glimpse at the bigger things that I am planning and hoping to paint. Please do give it a read and let me know of your honest opinions.
The bus stop looked surprisingly empty compared to the morning madness that had engulfed the place. The conductors and drivers looked tired but not frustrated like they were in the morning bus. Everyone waited for the bus, but there was a lazy stride in everyone’s walk. The benches on the platforms were occupied to capacity. Boys selling variety of masala nuts and Kannada evening news daily seemed to be making brisk business.
The evening news daily fascinates me; it carries the news and events of the present day, while the morning news paper carries the news and events of the day past. I have always wondered which would be better choice of getting the news.
Newspapers over the past years have gained a lot of my respect. Even with Television taking up the main role and news channels evolving every day. Newspapers still find a place in homes. A fascination we have with words and sentences was definitely built on strong foundation.
One of the kids walked up to me asked if I wanted to buy a newspaper. I looked at the newspaper in his hand ‘This Evening’ was the name of the paper in Kannada. The headlines shouted out the political instability in the state. I waved ‘No’ at him. Politics has never quite interested me. The whole system of appointing able citizens to govern the land has gone on to read appointing leaders to rule over us.
A bus slowly started approaching the platform. Sighting the bus meters away I started to make my move and swiftly walked towards the likely position the bus would stop.
My early sighting of the bus seemed to have yielded fine result when I scored a window seat. The bus quickly filled up. There was enough space for everyone. The people standing also had the luxury to change positions if they wished. It looked like paradise compared to the morning bus.
The bus slowly moved out of the bus stand and entered the road. The bus even though looks dull with its faded blue colour yet there is something majestic about the machine. Sitting in the seat and looking down at all the vehicles was a completely new experience to me, there was a certain amount of joy to it as well.
The conductor looked to be having it easy. He had change for every hundred rupee note that made an appearance in the bus. There was no smile on his face but there were no frowns either. After making sure everyone had a ticket or a pass he walked towards the driver’s seat and stood there chatting with the driver. Their conversation mainly focused on a fellow conductor, a colleague.
The work place of the driver and conductor was so very different from my cubicle and the AC rooms, but we did share one common interest; bitching about a fellow colleague.
The bus moved slowly thanks to the thousands of vehicles that were heading back home. Every signal that we had passed looked to have considerable amount of traffic jam. I looked around the bus to see everyone busy lost in their own thoughts. A mobile phone played a radio station, loud enough to be heard in the entire bus. The noise from the vehicles outside tried to fight it out with the sounds from the radio, but music seemed to prevail over the noise in some parts of the bus.
The music comprised of Kannada and Hindi to please everyone. The RJ seemed to have same enthusiasm she did in the morning show. She read out requests and dedications for a song, sent to her from all over the city.
A song describing a girl’s beautiful smile, her eyes, had me thinking of Sohini again. How I wished if she would talk to me again. Her name brought a smile on my face, and my mind could do nothing but picture her beautiful smile.
I was rudely brought back by the next song which talked of the loneliness of a heart broken guy. I turned to look out of the window, trying to block myself from the song.
November had just begun and winter had started to rise. There was a cold breeze that made me pull my jacket closer to the body. It was a cloudy evening, but I couldn't much see the sky in the dark. Light orange street lights lit up the road. An orange glow covered the air near the lights and few insects flew near them mesmerised by the light.
The bus happened to come across an empty road and started to accelerate to speeds of thirty and forty. Bikes zipped past the bus and were lost from sight within seconds. The driver tried to pick up more speed, but the engine revolted back with warning noises.
It came to a screeching halt to a red signal that ordered the vehicles to stop. A countdown board near the signal lights told us exactly how many seconds were left for the light to turn green. Hundred seconds left, the vehicles stood quite, thirty seconds left, the life was back. Bikes, cars accelerated, engines roared ready to unleash the fury.
Ten seconds left, honking from all the vehicles took over the roar from the engines. As the countdown moved towards zero, the honking amplified. Zero and green, the vehicles zoomed away and raced each other on the empty road. The bus slowly accelerated, before it could pick up speed, it came to a stop at a bus stand.
A young couple got onto the bus at the stop. The girl was lucky to get a seat in the front section of the bus, while the boy didn’t have the same luck. He stood holding onto the handle of the bus.
His eyes looked to be fixed on the girl and didn’t for a minute look around. The girl often turned back to smile at him, and communicated with him using her hand. His smile looked to tear open his cheeks, each time the girl turned to look at him.
At the next stop, the woman sitting next to the girl got down and the boy immediately jumped to the empty seat. They both seemed to smile at each other again and the boy quietly put his arm around her shoulder. They spoke softly and the girl broke into light laughter every time the boy said something. After a round of laughter and smile, she softly laid her head on the boy’s shoulder and he affectionately bent his head and touched her head with his. The cold breeze, the music in the bus and a partly filled bus, everything looked to be perfect for the young couple.
A middle aged woman stepped into the bus in the next stop. There looked to be no vacant seat for her and being a little on the heavier side, she certainly was in no mood to stand in the bus. She glanced around and spotted the young couple.
She clearly didn’t agree with the boy occupying the ladies seat, and ordered him to vacate the seat specially reserved for ladies. He had no case to argue and knew very well even if he did, it would only make things worse. He got up from the seat reluctantly and walked back to his old position with a dejected face. He stood holding onto a handle with a gloomy expression, but the smile was instantly back when the girl turned at him and started with her hand gestures again. I looked away with a slight smile on my face. There was a strange sense of happiness for the couple in my heart.
A young man walked into the bus in the next stop. He looked restless and kept changing his positions. His heavy sighs to the song playing from the mobile radio made me have doubts that he didn’t quite enjoy that music. My doubts were confirmed when he pulled out his mobile phone and started to play songs of his liking.
Now there were two mobile phones playing two different kinds of music.
Kannada and Hindi lyrics, drums, guitar, dhols, and flute got mixed and out came a sound that was clearly unpleasant to hear.
Nobody looked to object to the harsh sound that was forced upon us. I kept silent as well, but cursed the new arrival to the bus for bringing the music with him that spoilt the atmosphere in the bus.
He didn’t look to enjoy the music he played either. He kept jumping onto the next track and never stayed more than a minute on one song, which made it all the more frustrating for me to sit and listen to it. I got up from my seat and walked towards the rear door, there was one last stop before my stop. I stood near the door looking at the empty foot board. I felt an urge to try standing on the foot board with my head hanging out a little, but I stood near the door, still a little afraid to try the foot board.
I got down in my stop and walked away feeling quite relieved that the evening breeze was much enjoyable compared to the morning chaos.