Finally my first day at work. The first challenge was to find a bus for myself. I never liked travelling in bus. I preferred my bicycle wherever I went, and cab for long distances. Cab was always the first priority, as long as dad is paying my pocket money. But now its all me. Taking a cab to work on daily basis is definitely not a very good idea. A single trip takes around 250 bucks. That was way too much for a trainee like me. So there I was in the bus stop, asking every other bus, whether it will go to Salt Lake. People around, could have guessed by now, I was naive at this. One of them told me the bus numbers which would take me to Salt Lake. I thanked the guy and continued waiting till I got JM-13. This one went almost to the door step of my office.
It was a government bus. I could tell that by its look. 70% of the interior was rusted. The bus was pretty empty. But unfortunately I did not get any vacant seat. So my next challenge is to get a seat for myself, before it got crowded. As soon as the driver started the engine, the entire bus vibrated as if it got kissed by electricity but less passionately. I felt every screw vibrated with the entire bus. For a moment I even thought every thing is going to fall apart.
Anyways, after couple of stops, the bus started picking up more passengers. The bus was moving at a pretty fast speed. So I won't be late on first day, I said to myself. The bus made a 90 degree right turn, and out of nowhere it just stopped moving. First I thought may be it was a traffic signal or something. But no signal stays for over 10 minutes. I was just getting impatient. I was thinking of getting off and take another one. But the bus conductor was smart enough to have collected my ticket, as soon I got up.
As I was cursing the conductor inside my mind, there was a huge commotion. I turned over to the gate of the bus. In a matter of seconds, the entire bus got filled with people. I have never seen anything fill so fast. Even the night clubs won't fill so fast on free beer night. Suddenly, few people started complaining about my back pack. I was not sure how to react and took the backpack from my shoulder to my left hand. Used my right hand to hold the rod attached to the ceiling of the bus. One middle aged guy and one about my age was sitting right in front of me. I was pleading to them to get off the bus, so that I could get that seat, inside my head. Those two seats were my only probability to sit. But for that also there was two contenders apart from me.
I was above average height, so could see most part of the bus and the passengers. By now all my vision was interrupted by people of all caste and sense of dressing. The window in front of me was the only thing I could see apart from people. After about 5 minutes of packed house, just to make things more interesting. An old guy, who was sitting in the farthest corner of the bus, had an urge of getting off the bus. Then came a huge tide of physical pressure. The pressure started from left and ended at right, that is when the guy passed me. I felt some part of my body will break.
When the guy successfully passed me and moved towards the gate, sudden brakes were pulled. Every body standing got relocated. I lost the grip, almost tripped on an old lady, when a hand gave me support. I could not see the rest of the body. Now I had a serious problem. I was standing on 1 feet. Whenever I tried to put down the other, some one or the other shouted of stepping on them. I wished, I could zip the leg, save it in a pen drive an put it in my pocket. Soon I felt the same for the back pack and my left hand.
At last I was successful in standing on my both legs. I had to ignore the comments people were giving when I was making myself more comfortable. Slowly I was getting used to this over crowded tin can. I even got used to the sudden brakes. The trick was simple. When the brakes are pulled, don't try to balance yourself with muscle power. Try to lean on someone else and then grip the rod. That way your weight becomes that persons responsibility. This was selfish, but effective.
It took my around 10 to 15 minutes more to adjust myself with sudden brakes, people getting off, mixed odour of sweat and so on. A guy got on the bus with his cell phone in loud speaker mode. The guy was talking, rather shouting in bhojpuri over his phone. I can understand his speaker was messed up so his phone was in loudspeaker mode. Then why the hell is he shouting. Is his microphone also messed up or is he just practically stupid? I was staring at him while thinking all these non sense. He sensed it and looked at me. I moved my gaze. But I could not stop myself from hearing him.
"Hamar bhaoji [foreign language] kaa ho [foreign language] ab batiao", he was saying. It sounded way to unstable for me to understand. Then I went back to watching the beautiful, odour free and spacious world through the window right in front of me. Again a commotion, some one must be getting off or something. I heard a female voice. My male DNA turned my face to spot the source of that voice. Before I knew she came and stood right besides me. This is one advantage of being a girl. It is easier to find your way in or out. But still quit tedious.
She looked flawless in white t-shirt and navy blue jeans with shades. I was trying to look handsome, by giving angry young man looks while looking at few people. Soon someone pushed me from behind, I almost fell in the lap of the guy sitting right in front of me. After I got hold of myself, I turned around and looked, only to find a charcoal black complexion guy, wearing a shocking checked yellow shirt. There I was standing with a huge banana looking guy and an absolutely beautiful young lady. I thanked God for this diversified creation.
Next few minutes passed, with me trying to look normal and charming to what I really am. As my male DNA was making me look more weird rather than handsome, one of the guys who was sitting right in front of me had to get off the bus. I was in a dilemma. Should I sit, after standing with extreme pain for the last 30 minutes, or impress this girl by letting her sit. Other contenders for the seat, had already given up because of the girl. I had to decide. Need vs Greed. What will it be. The guy got up. I needed to decide right now, else neither the girl or me would get the seat. Finally the moment came and Greed won. Male DNA made the choice. I let her take the seat and I was standing like a total fool.
She did not even look at me. I was banging my head to the rusted walls of the bus, mentally. Anyways, after couple of stops, I too had to get off. My next worry was, how was I supposed to get past the river of people starting with the banana man. Suddenly a huge crowd got off in the next stop. The bus was almost empty. It was empty enough for me to play under arm cricket. I got off the next stop. My shirt was wet with sweat. I was looking disastrous on the first day of job. I guess, this must be a common trend.
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