There’s something soothing about a long bus ride, taking you to a world away from the one you’re stuck in. (If you’re staying in Bangalore, then you know that it means a daily commute to anywhere. As a matter of fact, it’s faster for me to cross the border to Tamil Nadu than to reach MG Road from where i stay, in Electronic City.) But, that isn’t the point of this post. I’m referring to that same bus journey which takes forever but is a journey into your past, reminiscing about moments lost, fleeting moments of love and betrayal…
A few hours when you can let your tears fall, without people intruding in on your pain, telling you that things will okay when maybe you don’t want it to be okay… What if you just want to wallow in self pity for a short while? Shed tears where have been left unshed for hours, days, weeks and months… Enjoy a song a little more emphatically than you would otherwise… cry a little harder at something which didn’t require even a fleeting thought… remember people who walked out without saying a word… And as you wait at a signal, look into the eyes of random strangers and see your pain reflecting in their eyes.
Give someone your best smile, knowing only too well that in this city so big, there’s no chance in hell that you’ll meet them again and if you, you can consider it serendipity.
What is it about bus rides that makes me creep into this new avatar who is oblivious of the physical constraints and just lets me be… What is it? I cry a little harder, I smile a little wider and I enter this world where I am one with myself.
I stare a little too deeply into the underlying violence that exists in the lives of the hawkers on the road. I can see the police lurking close by, probably for a cut or to drive them away once they’re give the order. How did they get to live a life like this? Did they ever get a chance to enjoy a childhood when the main concern was enjoyment and not sustenance? Do their children go to school? Do they dream just as I do? Do they dream at all?
As the bus takes a route where I’m surrounded with skyscrapers, I wonder how many of them come out of their balconies and think of jumping off just to feel the exhilaration of not being caged…
I hear a child laughing ecstatically at something at the back of the bus and as his mother tells him to quieten down, I want to tell her to let him laugh because the innocence of his laughter will be lost in a few years an his gurgle will be the only thing that resonates off the walls when you’re worried about his tests, exams, fees, extra classes and future dreams. Let him laugh as much as he wants… Just let him be.
Picture copyrights: Girl on the bus saved me (Can’t seem to source the artist. If anyone knows, please let me know.)