Saturday, December 15, 2007

"Bus" Karo

My training continues in top gear. People are actually shocked when i tell them that my training duration is 1 yr. Work, Training, Office; no matter what people call it, its the same at the end of the day. You are always counting down days to the coming weekend. And most importantly you waste no time in squeezing in that extra bit of comfort into your life ,before and after the day's work ,especially during travel. I m one among the million commuters in the city who tunes into FM on the cell , unmindful of all the noise n traffic which is effectively drained out(along with the conductor's cries of "Pude Chala, Pude Chala( marathi for "Move,It") thanks to the music on full blast. The hapless bus conductor has to do some serious throating.

Damn amusing..if u were to observe these things while travelling in mumbai.
Fortunately for me,my work timings are such that I literally get to choose my seat in the bus. Absolutely no crowd at all (touchwood!)on my way to work. But the return story is a different one if I work till late hours. The traffic and the sweaty fragrance inside the bus doesnt make things better.
Its a real sight to see guys getting tossed and jostled around courtesy that startlingly sudden break. Much worse if the guy is sandwiched between females (u know, like right at the front, near the "Ladies Only" seats). If he fails to hold on properly he ends up bumping into the aunty standing behind him. As he turns around to apologize, he is greeted by a real,cold glare from her; a look mostly reserved for chain-snatchers,murderers,rapists and the like. if the poor guy did it on purpose.
Then there are these hilariously stupid guys who take an eternity searching for their wallet in their pant pockets only to realize they dont have one. After a good 10-15 minutes of searching in their shirt pocket, they fork out a crisp 100-rupee note for a mere 5-rupee ticket in a "Keep the change!" style( The note held between the tip of the index and middle finger ). The conductor, obviosuly not impressed by the whole exercise, makes no secret of how pissed off he is and gives him a real mouthful along with the 100 rupee note.
Then there are the college dudes who prefer to be the back-benchers even in the bus no matter how much space there is at the front,playing with their cell phones and having a great laugh occasionally. The girls, on the other hand, engage in what appear to be real path-breaking discussions interspersed with an occasional chorus of giggles which makes a few heads turn.
Then there are the people who seem completely oblivious to whats going on inside the bus because they are so busy watching out of the window. Window seat is always the prized one, be it a bus,rickshaw or bike.
There is momentary silence as the bus comes to a halt at the signal. The silence is however shortlived. Suddenely, as if from nowhere, we are interrupted by the famous bollywood number "Dhoom Machale" (a Ring tone). It is followed by a loud "Hello,.. Haan, harish bhai.. bolo...acchaa" , as if to show the whole bus that he's got a cell phone and that too with handsfree! To top it, he gestures with his hands, while talking. You get really irritated and want to remind him that the person at the other end cannot see through the cell phone. 5 minutes on, the conversation is at its loudest best and the junta in close proximity is sulking and silently cursing the guy under their breath. Just makes one wonder how Technology can be a real pain in the a** !! By the time he is finished with his talk, he has ensured that the every person in the bus knows who 'Harish bhai' is.

Then there are the guys (heroes) who are hell-bent on showing that they are completely different from the rest. They stand on the step-board ('local train' ishtyle)with acres of space available inside. Its a blasphemy for these people to board a stationary bus; the thrill they derive out of catching a bus on the "running" is unmatchable. They always exit through the entry door and vice versa. When you hear the conductor spewing expletives and unmentionables, you can sense that the 'heroes' are there somewhere in close vicinity.
One more tribe of bus commuters are the 'surprised' kind. Ya!The people who wear that perenially surprised look like they have seen a celebrity in the bus. You remove and open your wallet to pay the bus fare and they examine every action of yours which makes you feel like Mukesh Ambani.
Finally its time for me to unboard and I make my way through the maze of standees to the exit door.
Thats life!