Friday, March 28, 2008


I like travelling by bus. You may have heard all sorts of negative things about availing public transport in Delhi. All those facts are true - I'll endorse them wholeheartedly. But nobody publicizes the charm of travelling with the masses. One can see so many types of people... each one is unique.

With the modern revolution in mobile phones and advent of ipods, a headset is perhaps the most common thing seen plugged in the ears of urban youngsters. Mark the adjective. Urban. That encompasses young, cool, smart, tech savvy, rich... what not. But learn to expect the unexpected in a bus. There was a man, who is of short height by all means, drastically thin build, and to top it all, a beard which has gone beyond the stage of a stubble purely due to lack of maintenance. He wears a dirty kurta over a dhoti , and along his left side hangs a bag of flaming red with dramatic frills. He is perhaps a priest, one would think. Observe carefully and you would notice a thin wire emerging almost out of nowhere and bifurcating into both his ears. Here comes a modern man for you!!!

The other day, my bus was crowded well beyond expected limits due to some unknown rush. I handed my bags (I seem to be carrying more than one on the wrong days, that too extraordinarily heavy) to the lady seated on the aisle side of a seat, when I noticed her carefully. Seven punctures on each of her ear lobes. Clad in an ordinary saree, she seemed to me to be a rural lady so misfit in the urban setting of Delhi. Suddenly a phone rings, and she withdraws a swank Nokia N-72 from the folds of her saree and starts off in crystal clear English. Gives you a jolt, for sure!! I would have believed her had she been returning from a fancy dress competition.
What a crowded bus does to you is something you dont realize often. Allow me to give a brief description of the bus the way it generally is... it is a 2/2 configuration, with a large portion of one half dedicated for the seating of women. Needless to say, I am mostly seated on that half of the bus, if I am seated at all, that is. One day I happened to be on the other side.. and as I looked out, I realized I recognized only half of the route I cover everyday!! What I was looking at seemed so unfamiliar and I could hardly make out where I was passing through.


My Unfinished Life said...

if the route is right bus journey is delhi can be delightful..i had a wonderful time in bus for the two years i used to travel from rkpuram to SPa(ito).....the route passed through some of th best scenes in delhi..and especially in was lovely ride!!!

the snake said...

isn't it strange how much we miss out simply because we refuse to see the other side..