Monday, May 22, 2006

The Bus Rides I Take

Over the last one week, I have travelled quite extensively in buses around the city. It had been many years since I did that here; and I am not being snobbish. Thankfully, its not too hot and the smell of sweaty bodies is one less thing I have to deal with. I normally nod of to Dreamland in buses but right now, its a matter of survival for me to be alert. Ok, that, I know, was a little bit dramatic but I do have to keep my eyes open to know where to get down.
In the meanwhile, I have been observing people around me. I normally don't take crowded buses. When the bus is near empty and in bus stops, I have come across a variety of people.
There are the couples, safe in bus shelters from the moral police who frequent the parks. These are obviously oblivious to the world, hold hands and gaze into each others' eyes; the guy says something not so funny and the girl lets out an extra loud laugh to boost up his ego. A prettier girl walks by and the guy can't help but turn his head. The girl, depending on the stage of their relationship, either scolds him or ignores. Once inside the bus, they continue staring into each others' eyes.
There are the young women and girls going to work or college who normally listen to radio on their phones and stare out of the window. An uninteresting species.
There are the mothers with over zealous kids pulling at their sarees, putting their hands and faces out of the window, jumping from one seat to the other, pestering the other passengers, making nuisances of themselves. Some mothers try to pipe them down with stern words or a smack on the hand. Doesn't help too often; there is a limit to how much you can scold a kid in public, even if its your own.
There are then the men, going to work or elsewhere. Would have been an uninteresting species too but they look everywhere else but out of the window. The lecherous looks and groping hands of some perverts makes it hard not to be wary of them.
By no way is this list applicable to everyone. It has just been a week for me. I am coming across strange and thus, very interesting people. Will keep you updated, of course.
I went to a temple today and got stuck in a traffic jam on the way back. A little boy came up to me and asked me to take his picture on my phone. He wanted to buy a phone too and kept asking questions until his parents called him to go sit with them. Behind me was this family of four, parents and two little children. I was forced to listen to their conversation because they were so loud. From what I figured out, they were going to a birthday party. The wife was cursing the husband for taking the bus. This lead to a fight about adjustments and being snobbish between the two. The son was way too arrogant and used abusive language in every sentence! I failed to understand how parents could let him go on like that!
Moral of the story: I should buy a pocket radio and use it. Atleast some inane discussion on the present length of a mini skirt by an overly perky RJ followed by noisy songs is better than listening to family fights and sweet nothings and stupid questions and comments and cries and all that you see and hear....on a normal bus journey.

5 comments:

San Nakji said...

People watching is great! It's a pity you can't secretly take photos of those around you ;o)

So on the bus in Bangalore do most people speak Kannada or something else?

Deepa said...

bangalore is in karnataka, so most speak kannada. but the city is such a melting pot today that you can also hear a lot of english, hindi, urdu, tamil and malayalam. its all the more fun because i can understand all these languages.

San Nakji said...

Wow, that's wonderful! I am so envious!

VENU VINOD said...

For next few days just observe people around you. Most of them would be either busy or pretends so. Nobody takes interest in talking to anyone. they would be just sitting with pocket radio/head phones in their ears. when i was there i felt life there in B'lore is a bit more mechanised than in my place. Have a nice time there.

Shiv said...

Deepa,
Interesting topic..
And a good observation of happenings in the bus.

Few months back I wrote something like that, but for the buses here in US & then there was an obvious comparsion..u may find it interesting..check it out
http://shivhn.blogspot.com/2005/06/namma-bus.html