Sunday, April 25, 2010
On a hot steamy day, traveling in a crowded bus becomes all the more difficult. A single vacant seat and you can find the entire crowd, trying to snatch it away by every means possible. I personally feel much more comfortable standing on such occasions…the reason being, one…I get to have my own space however meager it is, two…I don’t have to see the frown on the co passengers face, envying me…simply because I could manage to grab a seat which she couldn’t . I know some of you have raised your eye brow reading this…but this is the truth! I am too good ;-)
And on one such occasion I got a chance to exhibit my modesty and humility (I never let go such prospects unattended…lol...;)) A hefty old lady with two bags in each hand resembling her twins managed to crane into the thickly populated bus clutching on to the steel rod on the left side . And I personally felt the bus had tilted an inch to the left…may be because I had to bear the burnt of her massive weight which she felt was better to be dumped to the person nearby. This is one reason I find standing better…at least you need to balance just yourself not everyone around you (some may disagree, but for me it’s this way:-p.) With every left turn the bus took …I could very well relate my self with the fate of dinosaurs…which ended up being a cluster of fossils! And I thought its better to offer her my seat and move away in a cozier space… if possible near a window. I tapped on her flesh stuffed hands and politely rose indicating her to occupy my seat. She immediately asked me, “Are you getting down at the next stop?” I reluctantly said, “No aunty…it’s just that I thought you are finding it difficult to balance …so feel free to sit down.” The aunty was pleased leaps and bounds and with a wide smile on her face, she accepted my offer. I in the meanwhile felt I had done a noble cause helping an old lady out. But the satisfaction soon faded, when I met with the atrocities of standing in an over crowded bus. At the next stop the person sitting next to the old fat lady (who presently had my seat) got down. Obviously, everyone jumped in excitement to grab the opportunity…but the aunty didn’t allow any one to sit in there…she screeched at the top of her voice “moleeeeeeee!...vaa evide irikam!!!”(Come sit here my girl.) Everyone around her had a disgusted expression and most of them were mumbling beneath their breath…while some found it better to openly spill out their anger and some really colorful words were flying in the air(#%^&*$#). Hope you got the feel of it!
I turned to see what the fuss was all about, and found I was the scapegoat in the whole scene…the seat was being offered to me…without any further hesitation I thought it was better to sit down. The crowd was a bit silent, still a few were irritably mumbling, “this is a public property …everyone has equal rights etc etc” I thought it was better to ignore and turned to see what the aunty felt…as I turned to face her, I see her admiringly looking at me with a pleased yet false smile. I smiled back at her. She winked at me and said, “all this happens don’t take it seriously…by the way are you studying?”
Me: yes, final year M.com
Aunty: (unnecessarily impressed) oh! Wow...great, so where do you live and who all are there in your family?
Me: (confused) well…near the temple, along with my parents and younger sis.
(With every answer I gave her, I could feel she was getting overly excited and was constantly checking me out from every angle…I obviously felt awkward.)
Aunty: so you are a ‘Hindu’ right? You are ‘nair’?...do you regularly go to the temple?(with a smile so wide, even trying to attempt one would hurt your cheeks…for sure)
Me: yes, I am a ‘Hindu’ but I don’t regularly go to the temple…just when I feel like (why does she have to know all this…caste, creed, religion…yuck! I hate such people who ask all this in the first meeting…I mean what do you get from it!)
Aunty: (again stressing on my caste) …you didn’t specify.
Aunty: let me be frank, the thing is I have a lot of alliances or marriage proposals which would suit your profile…so if you are interested I will contact your parents (all this with the same wide shameless smile)
Me: (almost like lightening stricken)…Oh!(sheepish smile flushing every now and then)..well…the thing is…(aunty cuts me abruptly)
Aunty: yes yes...I know you are studying now…but then we have to look into such things seriously, and if you are so particular may be we can have the engagement done…and marriage a few months later or after your studies…what say?
(I really couldn’t control laughing and with a genuine laugh I said…actually aunty the thing is…I would have been interested in your proposal…but the thing is I am already engaged!!! I said so showing her, my prized possession …my ring!)
The scene after that is hard to explain and I was happy because I didn’t have to see much of it…as my stop was nearing, but I must admit it was a real time pass. I rose from the seat and bid adieu to my old friend who was yet to recover from the shock!