"Kya tumhe pata hai ae gulshan, mere dilbar aane wale hai....Kaliyan na bichana raahon me, hum dil ko bichane wale hai....."
"Hum wo aashiq nahi jo deewaro me chun jatein hai, lakh kar le sitam ae zamane hum na kabhi......
Ishq raha hai, ishq rahega....ishq se naata na todenge......."
That's so NOT my taste..it's just a glimpse of the torture you can be subjected to when you miss the college bus!!
With me, it's been many times with no significant improvement in me to get ready well in time!!
I don't think the "lal dabba" [a red city bus] plays such noxious songs, but then who knows...till I experienced it, I never thought the whilte dabba would!!
They don't play it everytime but I guess when the driver gets bored and just wants to listen to songs he turns on the TORMENTING MONSTER!!
Quite strangely though, these set of buses play the same tracks when they don't play the radio [I am assuming it wasn't radio because 1. There was no commentary between songs (ok, I agree there can be three back to back songs but they give this add after each that it is the back to back thingy going on, on ofcourse their pyara channel...and 2. I don't think any radio channel, not even VIVIDH BHARTI would dare to play such songs..and in case they did, they're DOOMED!!!!)]
Anyway, it's not just the blaring that makes it unbearable...there's sitting space for umm...25-30 maximum, say...and there's a hell lot of space in the center of the bus.....to stand!!
It's about optimization at it's worst atleast for the people who are sitting and later mainly for the ones standing!!
As I sit in the bus, occupying the last inches of viewable seat, we head forward to take in new passengers and well there's space to stand without suffocating anyone....we move forward again and enter more!!
At each stop, hailed by the conductor of the bus who's till now inside the bus, obviously there is not just one passenger but a swarm of them waiting to get into this already growing hive with no air and even less space....
As this gluing to any tangible and rigid part of the bus continues, we have reached a state where
people have apparently reached the door of the bus (stairs are unoccupied still) and the visuals available to the passengers are the faces of their fellows and if you happen to be sitting, you are blessed as you can look at people(take my word, not worth it!!) or turn your neck around and admire the world outside through the window against your back!!
And here comes another stop!! And the stairs have vanished. Passengers are hanging to the handle of the bus door as if to take the bus down (I kind of see it coming...the packed buses always appear tilted by some angle to me).....and Oh yes, there's someone at the rear end of the bus......THE CONDUCTOR!!
Inside, someone steps on my foot...Hey Mr. It's my foot!! [*******] All this goes in my head as I draw it back to a safe position that's not so easy to find...
If you're a regular passenger who travels standing, you better be friends with some inexpensive Doctor. It'll help you in the long run when you need your arched body to be treated....When there are so many people in a confined space, it's better you squeeze into a corner(lal dabba has such a corner); the more exposed you are.....well there'll be more people than you could possibly think of.....
What I witness now, is a classic example of unity in diversity. When the brakes are applied, people from all walks of life jerk forward in unison. When in motion, they "vibrate" at the same rate...face in face...foot on foot or juxtaposed....heads close together, bodies fevicolled together....clinging onto each other...What a spectacle!!
When it's my turn to get off the bus, that's a long process too as my college is far away and in that distance you know very well what has happened. So, I get off my seat....and there are people wanting to grab the empty spot....I don't care obviously:)
What's on my mind is how in the world am I going to get past these human obstacles who can though respond to "excuse me" but where the hell's the space??!! So, as the bus stops, some people get off to make space...oh I see some space (:))....and the stairs..and the ground finally...least interested in the faces ofcourse!!
Finally, I have reached.
What a ride, sirji!!!
Interestingly, these buses take the route under the flyovers that make our city modern....it connects the city that still lives under them, the slums, vegetable shops, clothes' thelas that we are not interested in which is very evident in the "long journey of buses because they take this path" conversations, to the world that we care to take notice of...
Reaching these remote areas that we have become oblivious of, no doubt it's the common man's transport !!