So in the last one week, it became a regular feature to be at the bus stop between 9 and 10:30 pm bidding goodbye to good friends, best friends, and acquaintances, and then come back and roam around the campus getting even more senti, and occasionally (and later, mandatorily) becoming teary-eyed.
First we saw off Nam, it was the cockiest of farewells.. our very first goodbye, it hadn’t yet sunk in. And by the time we were seeing Swat off, it had sunk in enough to merit tears.
We were used to farewells by the time we had to say ‘bye to Sin, and we didn’t think it would be a big deal. Then came the shocker.
“Thirteen pieces of luggage? Thirteen?“, I asked.
“It’s okay da.. my mum’s here no”.
I wasn’t convinced… Shruthi assuaged my fears with “It’s okay da… she is sturdy and so is her mum”.
She shook her head.
“Devre Gati only, I guess”, I said in way of jest.
Many hands make light work, and it was easy enough getting all the bags and boxes down to the ground floor lobby. It took two rick trips to get the luggage to the bus stop.
Huge GB gang turned out to see her off, and we started joking around and singing senti songs and the like. Then Shruthi suggests we get senti right now itself, as we might not be able to do so when the bus arrived. We do so.
We assume an almost-military stance to load the luggage into the boot of the Ideal bus that was expected any moment now, trying to pre-empt any juniors who might fill the boot with their bags.
Half an hour passes, and Ideal is late as usual. We’ve considerably slackened by now.
The bus turns up out of the blue, but pauses a few metres away from where we had assumed it would, thanks to the still-waiting Manjunatha and Sugama buses.
All our war-footing was useless now. The alert juniors waiting there had already finished filling the boot. We started lugging the boxes one by one. Stab and I were carrying the UPS… god, that thing weighs a ton… and we desperately wanted to get the damn load off, but No! the Ideal man tells us the boot is too full, keep the damn thing in the front. We negotiate. Tell him Sin has twelve more pieces. That she’s cleaned out her room. Please consider.
He’s too stubborn. Thankfully Avi took the load off our hands, phew! We were beginning to feel our backs might give out.
Then a mass-loading operation starts. The chant on everyone’s lips is “Pass! Pass! Put it in!”. People who didn’t even know who Sin was a few minutes back were helping load her luggage in. And people who didn’t even know which was Sin’s luggage were helping load it in too…. “Oi, take this suitcase! Take this one!”, I was yelling, passing a tan suitcase to Varun, and there appeared behind me a scared firstyear girl screaming “That’s not Sin’s! It’s mine! It’s mine!”.
“Missy, we’ll take whatever we are able to load in here today, ask your friends to send you the rest by Ideal tomorrow”, said the Ideal man. “No, we friends have our own luggage tomorrow”, I said. The man gave in.
By now, everyone there knew Sin’s name and 13 pieces of luggage.
Finally, all the bags went in, and formed a regular fortress around the driver’s seat. The man appeared only slightly flustered, to his credit, and said he wouldn’t start the bus unless they were taken off from around him and redistributed elsewhere around the bus.
We heard later that two seats were used to pile the luggage, and four people slept in the space meant for two.
And then the bus started. People were hanging out of the windows desperate for some air…. No… wait.. those people were trying to get out of the bus. Some who had gone to see off their friends or load the luggage in had difficulty getting out thanks to the stack of boxes by the door.
Finally all that was meant to reach Bangalore was in, and the rest were out of the bus. The bus moved off precariously.
The goodbyes had been forgotten!
We call Sin a half hour later, and hear that the bus was still at Kulur. The legendary Ideal bus had broken its own records for velocity, helped by the large mass being transported. We get Sin’s message at 3 pm the following day saying she’s reached home safe and sound. Egad.. Yeshwanthpur at 3 pm? Another Ideal record broken.
Pooh asks Sin what she would have done if she had gotten onto the wrong bus 😉
Later, in all seriousness I chide Sin on her extreme cockiness that brings about nerve-wracking edgy situations like this.
“Tsk… wasn’t it that much more memorable for all of you now?”, she says.
Oh, man…. it sure was. It really was.