Monday, March 26, 2007

Keeping my Fingers Crossed

Was counting days to go home to be with my lonesome mother. Dear God I pray everyday, please take care of my mother. This time it’s been a while since I been home. After the “job” happened, “bus trips” never happened, started to believe it’s fun to “fly”.

Well this time god had another plans for me. I suddenly made up my mind to book a seat in the Bangalore- Thiruvananthapuram Volvo bus. From office I called up Kallada (bus) office to book the seat. He said it’s all booked, sorry. 19th being UGADI (an official holiday for the state) the number of people looking for these seats is large. I showed the so called regular customer tag and got the seat “adjusted” to my name.

Like every commodity the ticket fares have gone up. Well the new me who “fly” was happy because the trip will be quite a break from flying, but the truth being so harsh and stubborn. MONEY.

The D day arrived. I had plans to leave early from office to board the bus on time, 5.30 pm @ Madiwala, which is almost the other side of the city from office. But I ended up taking leave for the day because of the “not feeling well syndrome”. After meeting
Madhu, I left for Madiwala in rickshaw and reached there much ahead of boarding time.

After getting the boarding pass, as usual my eyes where looking for any familiar faces around. And “eureka” I found one. Subin. He was my graduation college mate and used to be a friend-lad. He eventually dropped out of the college and came to Bangalore for a better one. Bangalore had had its punk-effect on Subin. Now his attire resembles a popular rock band member.

After exchanging surprising “Hi”s and a curious dig into each other’s last four years, we settled on the comfort level of having each other for the “usually dull” journey.

Almost all the seat cushions got pressed quickly and the wheels began to rock and roll.

With some hindi movie playing, I felt nice to be back on wheels. Bangalore started to get farther at the rate decided by the driver and the traffic. I was hungry. The dinner stop for us is at Dharmapuri. The road is usually quite trafficy. The places appeared out of my window seemed to be new. Felt lost for a while. They would have found some new routes to make the journey shorter. The outside world seems to be lesser explored, current and basic development seemed like it’s not for them. The picture outside started to lose its brightness and process went out to make them mere silhouettes.

I got back to the 21’’ TV screen where salman khan and akshay kumar were trying to win the same gal. It’s all worn and out formulas. I realized that there was a romantic saga going on in the seat in front of me. Young couple. Boiling blood and freaky hormones were doing their best. Everyone at the neighboring seats started to pay attention from the corner of their eyes. The elder couples on my right looked and murmured and smiled. Silhouettes outside seemed to be not moving at all. Realized that we came to a stand still. There were couple of trucks ahead of us and couple of local buses behind us. The reason to the halt I thought was some accident.

Time went by, after an hour or so people grew real restless and started to flock-out. The reason to the halt was horrible. Around 150 yards ahead of us, there was a bridge under construction. Some people, tried to sacrifice three 9 year old kids for the long life of this bridge. Timely intervention of the villagers saved the kids. But it had infuriated the villagers a lot. And hence the “bandh”. They told us that bus can leave only when the district collector comes and address the issue (scheduled at next morning 6 am). The whole issue made me feel really dull, not because that we have to stay there till the collectors arrival. But the incident made me remember a recent news which were doing their TRP based rounds in the channels and News papers - Noida killings of kids. None are sure about the number of kids who were brutally murdered after getting sexually abused.

Where is this country headed to? We are at the so called poised Indian era. The Man remains the same I am afraid. The childless India isn’t that far as we go on constructing more of such bridges and keep on tolerating such abuses towards the little ones as in Noida killings.

Our driver gathered up some courage and somehow took an U turn and managed to get back to the national highway. The sad halt got lost in the traffic. People got back to salman and akshay. And some to the couples seated in front of me. The trip was back to its groove. But many would’ve shaken up and did some reality check after the halt.

I am upset. I know, someday I am gonna be a father of a nine year old. Some day there may be a psycho staying at my neighborhood. I am scared. I know many are. God bless this country and its kids. I am keeping my fingers crossed. I know so do you.