Jan 30, 2012

Sow shall you reap!

The M70 bus that would take me from Velachery to CMBT arrived at the IIT bus stop after what looked like an eternity. Along with a small crowd I boarded the bus, found a space where only my leg could go through, and tried to apply my knowledge of Physics to balance myself in a dynamic equilibrium.

In a crowded bus, such as the one I was travelling in, the passengers would automatically form a human chain, pass the money and collect their tickets. When I was about to pass the money to a nearest passenger, a hand pushed me yelling "Don't fall on me, move!".

The push toppled me for a moment, knocked off the balance of a few passengers nearby while I was trying to regain mine. From the crowd, I observed that the voice came from a person who was seated. Before I could reply to him, I heard an angry voice shouting "Don't you know how to hold on to a support? Why are you pushing everyone around?", apparently oblivious to the person who started the chaos. I apologized (to no one in particular) to bring the situation under control, passed the money to the human chain and collected my ticket.

The bus would have moved only a few feet when the driver pulled it off the road! After a brief discussion with the driver, the conductor turned towards us and said "The bus broke down. All of you get down and board another bus".

Cursing under our breaths, we got off the bus, waited for ten minutes before the conductor flagged a D70 and authorized our tickets with his signatures for us to travel in that bus. D70 was not as crowded, and there were several empty seats, one of which I occupied. The D70 driver waited till the bus reached its saturation level, and pressed the pedal to the floor.

A cool breeze flowed through the window, caressed my face and dissipated into the crowd which was packed to its maximum. When the driver applied a brake to avoid a pot hole, which eventually he ran through, a passenger toppled and stamped on my feet. I was about to yell "Don't fall on me, move!" when he apologized "Sorry Sir! I lost my balance!", to no one in particular.

Jan 12, 2012

Nithya

Nithya closed the book she was reading, kept it on her table, put her reading glasses inside their box and moved to her bed when she got the text "Hi dear! How are you?".

The text came from an unknown number. "Could this be my long time friend whom I lost touch with? Must be one of my school friends! It has been so long!"

"I am fine! What took you so long, my dear, to know that a friend exists in this remote space and has been waiting for long to get in touch with you?", she replied.

"I am sorry! You must have mistaken me. I am Ajay, and I am not the friend you were expecting to get in touch with"

She read the last reply twice to make a head or tail out of it. He is surely not her friend, for his number is not in her contact list. So what does he want from me? When her thoughts reached a dead end, she asked him "Who are you?"

"I am Ajay. Am working for a construction company as a design engineer. And I am currently located in Singapore." After a few minute pause, she got another text saying "Can I know about you?"

"I don't remember if I know you! How did you get my cell phone number?", she asked him.

"One of my friends gave me your number and asked me to talk to you. Is it okay if I call you now?", he asked.

"Who could he be? Why does he want to talk to me? And who was this friend who gave my number to him? Does his friend know me?" Before asking any of these questions, her cell phone alerted her of an incoming call from an unknown number. After letting it ring half a dozen times, she took the call.

"Hi! Who is this?", was all she could manage to ask him.

"Hello again! This is Ajay! May I know your name please?" replied the voice.

"You don't even know my name! What do you want to talk to me about?"

After a momentary pause, he replied "I know I am not your friend. But can't I become one now?"

After much contemplation, she said "Nithya".

"Sweet name! By the way, I am 26. May I know how old you are?"

Age? What next? Size? Well, it sounds fun. Let me see how far he can get.

"23"

"23? Strange coincidence! I guessed you would be 23!"

"Oh really? How come?"

"From your voice. It sounds like a 23 year old girl's"

She giggled for a while. "What else can you guess from my voice?"

"I guess you don't have a boyfriend?"

"What makes you think so?"

"Its a hunch. By the way, do you have a boyfriend?"

Do I have a boyfriend? What should I tell him? That I had one, who passed away recently?

"Lets agree to a condition that I will not ask about your past and you will respect the same?" she said.

After much thought, he replied "Sure". She figured out that his "Sure" sounded like "What the hell".

"Well, we haven't seen each other. We do not know anything about our likes and dislikes, dreams and passions and so on. I know its too early and premature to ask this question. But I have a feeling that we are meant for each other. Do you feel the same way about me too?", he asked.

Is he proposing to me? Not so early! We don't even know what the other one looks like! When she was about to reply, she heard the door knob click, and the door open, through it a girl in her early twenties entered.

"Grandma! Aren't you sleeping yet? Whom are you talking to, at this hour?"

Jan 4, 2012

Sunset at Alappuzha beach

 Prasanna and me at Alappuzha beach

"I guess it will take another hour for the sun to set. Do you think we have enough time to witness the sunset?", I asked Venu. The passenger train that would take us to Kollam was scheduled to arrive in ten minutes.

"Don't worry Jam, passenger trains are always late. Moreover, its a single track route, so the train has to wait till the route is clear from the other direction", he assured.

I had seen the sunrise at Elliots beach on several occasions, but the fact that I was going to witness the sunset for the first time in my life excited me beyond measure.

"Is this like Mangalore beach?" I asked Prasanna the question, with the curiosity of a child. He graduated from NIT Suratkal.

"Beach is beach, Jam", he replied. After a momentary pause, he added "but this place is serene and neat. Mangalore beach is like the Elliots, full of people".

With not even a soul in sight, we sat on the sand facing the tides, contemplating on nothing, until our thoughts were interrupted by Venu suggesting "let us take some photos".

"My camera battery is down", I replied and gave him my mobile camera with instructions on how to take a shot.

While Venu was shooting the last picture of Prasanna and me with the setting sun background, I asked him "What is that train which was just crossing us?"

"Train? What train?", he gave me a quizzical look, looking towards the level crossing then. The last compartment made a slow crossing making the guard light visibleto us.

"Gosh!!! We should be on that train! Run!", he said. And then we ran like mad towards the train, as if a pack of wild dogs were chasing us.

The station is about half a kilometer away from the beach. We reached the level crossing, and ran on the track following the train which had already made a halt, dispersed the passengers and was taking in the ones commuting towards Kollam.

When we were about a hundred feet away from the train, I asked Venu what our plan B was, pointing towards my footwear which had lost its gripper. "Grab it in your hand and run barefoot", came the reply from him.

We reached the station, stopped a while to catch our breath. "I did not see any train running in the opposite direction, so the passenger will stop for some more time", Venu said. Taking his word, we walked towards the train, hastening all the while not taking a chance. By the time we got into the last compartment, the train pulled off from the station!

I uploaded the picture we took at the beach on facebook, joined Venu and Prasanna who had already found the seats for the three of us on an empty partition and hi5'd them for making it to the train. When I was about to lay down, I got a text from my cousin with a question "Where is the setting sun? :P"