I stood there at the bus stop, the comfy Volvo having mercifully ejected me out with dodgy knees suffering from the lack of space and the driver’s penchant for speeding not seeing fruition due to errant drivers on the roads despite repeated attempts. The timing was not great. I had to wait for another Volvo, which I had to bring to a stop by dancing in front of the bus, hoping to catch his eye or turn into roadkill. The conductor would welcome me with a “In all my years of service (and there are many mind you) I’ve never seen anyone get into the bus at this stop” look. But then, there would also be the Atal service, something that still amazes me as probably the only transport service bearing the name of a
Non-congress Non-Nehru-family person, barring TN of course, and maybe Gujarat. Or Rajasthan. In Karnataka, OK.
But the timing this time was bad, I realized after 10 minutes of waiting. It wasn’t a great spot to wait, with people nearby going “thoo..thoo” like there’s no tomorrow. I saw a ramshackle bus coming in, one of the older ones where we are not at the bus driver’s mercy to get out or in and driven by drivers who want to enforce their mercy against that. It was a normal blue bus with a number 238 followed by some random alphabet(which looked like P). They all go to AIT I thought and got in. The plan was to get down there and then wait for anything that runs perpendicular after doing a life-risking crossing of the road.
The lady conductor looked around with half closed, totally bored and uninterested eyes and waved me off when I said “Pass” and showed it up for her to see. I stopped trying to do a US cop thing by just waving it with a seriously indifferent look while making my way meaningfully to a seat, a long time back! Most of the attempts got stymied by their insistence on a closer examination and a demand to see the ID card which would lead to a mad scramble in the bag balancing in a speeding and jerking Volvo. So not Cool!
I found a seat where I could peep backwards to keep an eye out for passing Volvos or Atal services. At AIT, I was spat out along with all others and ran across the road, with a dozen vehicles honking and threatening to kill me the next time our paths crossed! This bus stood there, waiting in the signal while I waited in the perpendicular direction for the next bus. I expected this bus to take a U-turn. After a long wait of more than a minute, waiting for the green, while no vehicles seemed to be interested in taking the green in other directions, this one moved. Instead of the U, it did a clean right and went along the direction home!
Ah 238P, now I remembered! This one goes as close to home as possible! A bus came, after a few minutes, barely taking me in, and squeezing me out at my stop, brimming and overflowing with people. So much for memory…