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January 29, 2008

Posted by K in Bus rides.
Tags: , ,

Bus rides will never cease to fascinate me. (Ofcourse, that might have a lot to do with the fact that I do not, in the ordinary way, depend upon buses in order to travel, but I like,and hope, to think my fascination for them is not entirely dependent upon my class position)

Today on my way to college, I found standing space next to a woman who was reading a book. It looked like a library book, and on peeking into it ( okay, now I do not normally pry into such stuff, but on a crowded bus, such things are fair game 😉 ) I saw it was a religious book.

The strange thing about it was, or atleast, what struck me as strange, was that it was in English. And she was reading it out loud, mumbling to herself, unconcerned about the rest of the crowd.

I love coming across people who disappear into their own worlds in buses. I’ve seen it before. They read their religious books early in the morning, and tune out the noise and the bustle.

I wonder if I’d ever be able to do something as private in such a blatantly public space. I can’t even listen to music on buses! Apart from the noisome presence of conductors yelling out destinations, passengers pointedly asking for their change, others asking for thoda side etcetera, I just can’t seem to plug in my ears and drown out the world. I need the world, sometimes I hungrily suck it all in. I love how buses are, worlds seem to shrink and people aren’t strangers anymore.

Sometimes I wish it were possible for me to suspend myself in time and watch buses go by, both inside and outside of one. I would like to write…can you imagine the stories one can get from just half an hour of one bus ride?

(Yes, I do know the ugly side to buses and bus crowds, but perhaps because I have been fortunate to not have come across so many shitheads, I find myself focussing on its melting-potedness…)