A morning gone awry


I surprised everyone at home this morning by waking up early. No, it wasn’t because the mosquitoes refused to let me sleep, or ‘coz my sister pulled my sheet away leaving me cold. Well, anyway, I was up before the newspapers arrived, and I didn’t want to stick around shivering in the cold till then, so I gave my mum a heart-attack by going for a morning walk.
I’d first thought of just walking around the colony, but the surface resembles the moon’s, very unkind on the feet. Hmm… miniforest wasn’t very far away, I’d probably go there.
But when I got there, I decided the area’s too familiar to me, so I’d just walk and walk till I felt like coming back.
I won’t bore you with details of how good the walk felt, how amazed I was that my hay-fever had vanished, how beautiful things looked in the morning light, how vicious the street dogs were [mom maintains that they chase me due to the way I wear my jacket], and how far you can get carried away by your thoughts.
I don’t still know what possessed me, but an hour later, I found myself four km away from home. There I was, demented with fatigue and hunger, too sleepy to walk all the way back. To my luck, I’d forgotten my mobile at home, and so had to get back before my mum started worrying. Luckily, I had a little money [and I mean little], enough to get back home by BMTC bus.
As I walked to the bus stop, I watched the direct bus home rush past me, the conductor smirking at me as I waved frantically for the bus to stop. Ten minutes later at the bus stop, I was amazed by how many destinations there were in South Bangalore, and how mine was but an insignificant one, that there’s just one bus every ten-fifteen minutes to it.
The next bus did turn up finally, and my destination suddenly seemed to be very popular, everyone and his brother wanted to go to JP Nagar 3rd Phase just then. The bus was bursting at the seams, as aunties and tiny schoolchildren jostled for space, nay, entry into the bus. The conductor smugly asked some of the bigger aunties to get off, there was a rule against overloading a bus, and come to think of it, there isn’t enough space. Finally, everyone did get in, me on the footboard [a more nimble schoolgirl pushed me there, squeezing her way deep into the bus], only prevented from being pushed off the bus by the two huge aunties behind me… I discovered they really had more inertia.
I was relieved it was just the morning, and that it wasn’t all that warm, people sweated less, and used deo. I didn’t have to worry anyway, I was asphyxiated and the breath was knocked out of me by the pushing and shoving from all directions. As I gripped the bar, closed my eyes and waited for the next stop, [the bus was moving very slowly due to the load] flashes of my past flickered past my eyes. The asphyxia reminded me of another time when I’d gotten into an equally crowded bus [not on the footboard, though] just ‘coz this friend of mine who I used to travel home with wanted to beat the clock to get to speak to a certain someone. And the other time when I bumped into a long-lost friend on a bus….
Next stop. I had to get off and then get on. Now, this was tricky, coz once before, the bus had left without me. The aunties made sure I had no hassle. QED.
The conductor came around asking for tickets. Should I say “pass” like the girl in front of me and save myself the hassle of having to dig through my pockets for change? I unfortunately didn’t. The ticket costed five rupees, which was daylight robbery [I wouldn’t say robbery without violence, the way people rush to get into a bus is pretty violent] for four kilometres! No wonder BMTC is the only public transport corporation that makes a profit. Well, I’d been used to travelling by bus two years before, when fuel prices weren’t as high as they are now. Didn’t feel all that Rip van Winkle-y though. Well, I got back two rupees change, and no ticket! Why, the cheating scum, how petty can you get?
“Ticket kodtheera?” I bravely ventured. “Illa ma,” the conductor said. Look, your stop is just a few minutes away, why don’t you do us both a favour and stop asking for a ticket? “Checking-avaru bandare?” Main hoon na, he said.
I was too weak to argue, and wasn’t ready for the consequences. Once before, when I’d asked for a ticket instead of half the fare, this conductor had the audacity to snap at me, and pull my leg the rest of the journey, and when I started raising my voice, had the guts to push this huge lady so that she fell on me.
Well, I finally reached home, tired and hungry. Sis was waiting at the door, ready to pounce on me, coz I’d worn her slippers for the walk. Thanks to all the pushing and shoving on the bus, I’d gotten bitten by the shoe [it can tell when it’s in a hostile environment] and it was fully ruined.
She was done shouting at me, and then amicably suggested, “Well, you seem to like my slippers a lot, so you keep it, and I’ll go get some new ones”.
So I’m stuck with a pair of biting slippers, and I don’t think I’ll ever go out on a ramble again. Walking doesnt seem so good for my health anymore. I’ll lie in bed and watch action movies for exercise.

About wanderlust

just your average books-and-music person who wants to change the world.
This entry was posted in Bangalore, Priya's Travails. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to A morning gone awry

  1. Robbery with Violence…LOL!

    Yeah…JP Nagar buses are bad…worse than Jayanagar. WE NEED METRO!

    Good post Priya! You seem to have got the writing ‘thing’ back!

  2. Priya says:

    Jayanagar is as good as it gets… buses from and to every damn part of the town. And JP nagar 1st phase and 6th phase arent bad, either.
    ps: have you checked out the new volvo buses? i half-wish i stayed in 6th phase so that i would have to travel by them.

  3. tee hee….thats hilarious…remember my firangi tag?? :p
    201 is the mahaaaaaaaa experience!!
    whew!
    as usual good one…..well very good actually!

  4. srav says:

    macchi tumba change idde.. reminded me of tony’s railwoes .. nice work.. 🙂

  5. Priya says:

    dee:
    yeah, nothing can beat your firang experience. amazing what ppl do when they think they’re dealing with our colonial masters.
    and the past experiences mentioned were all on 201. phew! now _that_ was crowded.
    srav:
    what do you mean, change?

  6. randomwalker says:

    Oh thank god.. I thought I was the only person whining about travelling on a bus from Jayanagar to Domlur on the famous 201!!

    Filled with people who literally throw their weight around, refuse to give up their seats untill their stop arrives, and then squeeze their way out of the bus…

    Phew, Earlier I used to do 42Km in 1 hour, now I do 10Km.. Call this progress!!!

  7. OMG 201! It was the worst bus ever… I used to board it from east end to get to banashankari, back in Kumarans…And sometimes from Mayo hall to east end…

    And me likes the volvo buses too….–>

  8. Dhaval Giani says:

    201? that bus passes near my place as well! where all does that bus go???

  9. Priya says:

    @randomwalker:
    you _can’t_ be the only one who hates travelling by 201… the bus is full to bursting with similar people. if you’re cribbing about 201…. dont even try stepping into a bus that goes to jigani and other places on bannerghatta road, now that’s uncivilized. the road is bad, the load is too much…. phew!
    @jayanth:
    and what do you have to say about the bus that you took from konankunte to banashankari? gimme blackboard anyday over redboard.
    @dhaval:
    201 has a long long route from srinagar [not kashmir], passes through padmanabhnagar, deve gowda petrol bunk, banashankari, jayanagar 9th block, silk board, kormangala, indiranagar and finally domlur.

  10. Jayanth says:

    Well…the bus from BSK to konankunte was quite scary…there were drunks, vegetable sellers with loads of vegetables and APS college students. I wonder whats worse!

    My mom once lost a purse with five grand in 201….so I’m not allowed to travel by 201 anymore…yay!

    BTW…I like blogspot better (Actually I’m kinda devoted to it!)

  11. aJ says:

    lol.. That is funny :))

    Ps. Congrats on the new blog and Yay to me in being the first commentor on it 😀

  12. Randomwalker says:

    Seriously, blogspot was better..

  13. priya says:

    why d’you say so?

  14. dushyanth says:

    Priya,I guess u still look too young for a conductor to issue a ticket.Isliye vo “Main hoon na”
    Anyways ,a good one yaar!

  15. Jayanth says:

    I dunno…maybe its the I-see-it-everyday thing…maybe its because blogspot sounds more bloggy, maybe its because wanderlust (I’m sorry) is hilarious…

  16. wanderlust says:

    hm, yeah, it sounds weird, but erm, i dont seem to mind…..yet. and you’re right, ‘blogspot’ sounds bloggier than ‘wordpress’, but wordpress sounds like…uh… some publishing house etc… you get the drift.. and yeah, it is a world of difference at the beginning, but is muuch better as a blogging software. and it’s hard to get un-used to it. but trust me, getting un-used to blogspot is really easy.
    @dushyanth:
    only kids below 7 dont get tickets on bmtc. and i dont look that young! neway, i look a lot older than what i used to look like when we last met…. was that 7 years ago? jeez!

  17. Anjaan says:

    Hey Priya,
    Thanx for dropping by and writing such sugar filled comments. Im touched. *HUG*

  18. Nitin Rao says:

    Nice post, Pri!

    Reminded me of college days.

    Taking a bus home from St. Joseph’s was an all new experience. I was ready, though. Ready to blurt out “Shivajinagar ondu kodi” to anybody who seemed to be asking for a ticket.

    The most dangerous stop was Thom’s Cafe. Here’s the stop where an army of kids marched in, trying desperately to dodge the conductor, and tugging at every conceivable part of you.

    The nuances matter though. My daring substitution, “Thom’s Cafe ondu kodi” had the conductor thoroughly confused. It took me 2 balding men and some help from my classmate cum interpreter before I got the magic password: “Thomas Caf”.

  19. Srav says:

    Chanage- kannada.. for good

  20. Sushant says:

    Hey Priya,

    i left a message on orkut! i travel on BMTC and its good to see someone pen down their experience and this is exactly how i feel and other commuters on BMTC but yeah i get a ticket whenever i travel! 🙂

    good stuff!

    Take care

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