Aug 28, 2011

To Hold or Not to Hold

"Any bus that goes via Vadapalani will stop at Liberty theatre", the May I Help You official informed me at the T.Nagar bus stand.

I looked around and spotted two buses, M27 and 27C, whose name boards say they go via Vadapalani. Seeing the driver seat to be empty in both the buses, I boarded 27C in which the conductor had just started issuing tickets.

"A ticket to Liberty stop please", I asked the conductor showing ten rupees note.

"One ticket to Liberty? Give 5 rupees. No change", he replied, issuing me the ticket taking the ten rupees note as advance!

An irate customer was successful in distracting the conductor from giving me the change by asking when the bus would depart.

Meanwhile, a conductor boarded M27 while the driver hopped in to his seat and was roaring the engine. "Should I hold on to 27C, or jump to M27", I asked myself. Though the final destinations are different for the two bus services, they both go via Liberty, and so I can opt for the one which will take me there early.

Reasoning myself to leave the bus, I searched for 27C conductor to get back my ten rupees so that I can board M27. "He had got down to search for the driver", said a concerned passenger assuming that I was actually looking for him to collect the change.

Through the window, I could see that M27 had started and vroomed past our bus towards the exit, only to be stopped by the signal. "I still stand a chance to board M27", I said to myself. Making a decision in split second, I got down from 27C, ran towards the signal where M27 was halting. When I was about ten feet behind, the signal turned green, and M27 driver did not hesitate to press the accelerator to the floor!

Cursing myself under the breath, I was brought to my senses by the loud horn from an enraged driver from behind, who wanted to go past the signal before it turns to red again. Sensing that I was in the middle of the traffic, I crossed to reach for safety at the edge of the road, only to find that I had just cleared the way for 27C to go past me!

"Did not you take one of those two 27 services left just now?", asked the official who had come out of his seat to have his cup of coffee.

"No Sir! I am waiting for my friend to come and join me", I replied, not wanting my ego to accept the humiliating defeat, and walked towards the signal.