February 16, 2012

Untitled: Part 1 (Fiction)

It was a Sunday morning. She had been sitting on the bench at the bus stop for last 10 minutes. She seemed a little stressed, waiting anxiously for the bus. She kept fiddling with the pen in her fingers, clicking it rapidly. In fact, I was a little worried about the pen in her hands. For every bus that came on the stop her eyes would lit up, only to glow down realizing it's not what she was looking for. For a moment I thought of asking what bus she was looking for, only to realize that it won't matter anyway.

I was so glued to watching her anticipating her carriage that I forgot to take my own bus. No, not forgotten to be honest, but pretended to forget! At least 5 buses would have gone by, by that time, but my mind was struggling to rationalize why not to take any of them: "Hey that's a little crowded... Oh, that bus doesn't seem to have proper seats. Hmm... that would take me through the longer route, I will definitely take the next one...". But somewhere I knew the real reason why I was ready to be late for the meeting!

After about 17 minutes, bus with route no. 341 came and stopped at the stand. It was that old modelled state corporation buses, that should have retired at least a decade ago but like the presidents of the sports associations in our country, they just refused to go away. She got up and hastily moved towards it. It was a rude shock for me, for I thought her bus would never come and I would enjoy her nervous waiting forever... But as they say "forever is too long to be true".

So, that was the little one sided meeting I had and from here onwards we were to supposed to go our own separate ways. Except, that I felt a deep anxiety in my heart, and the thought of never seeing that stranger ever again was surprisingly unbearable! Just as I saw that stupid old bus starting to dance its way on the road, I knew it was now or never decision I had to make. I rarely do things impulsively, but this time I found myself running madly behind the bus- which I had no idea, where it was going- shouting "Stoooppp! Myy Busss!".

The bus would have moved at least 50 metres away when I started my sprint, but thank God for that old 'khataara' bus that I hopped into it within next 50 metres. As I struggled to catch my breath while hanging at the gate steps, I realized that other passengers were staring at me, passing me that weird "what a lunatic, was he sleeping when the bus was standing at the stop?" look. 

There was also that troubling thought of not reaching my own destination on time, but I chose to throw those useless thoughts out of window, and searched frantically inside the bus. There was that teenaged couple standing near the gate talking teenaged-nonsense, there was that aunty haggling with the conductor over the petty fair just ahead of me, and also that old man looking out of the window with his glum eyes... but where was she? Did I... Did I hop into the wrong bus?

[To be continued]