Life’s lighter and remarkable moments…..Two incidents on buses

Apart from a train journey – which is not a very regular feature for me, a bus ride offers the best way to observe a rich and colourful kaleidoscope of life and can sometimes feature incidents, seemingly insignificant and ephemeral in themselves but on reflection, proving to be a vivid depiction of various remarkable facets of life, featuring many people, otherwise obscure or confined to their own routine quotidian existence, in a refreshing new light – altruistic, witty (some cases of repartee you could have never thought of outside a stand-up comedy show – as my examples will show), in some cases, nasty too, it must be said but overall, memorable and the key sentiment being that they are definitely out of the ordinary…

Isn’t that what we look forward to and sometimes desire fervently in our life – through books (in my case, mostly), through films and TV shows (for most of the people – at least in this benig.. this country), through travel for some. But the best examples I have found are the ones you come across in daily life – all you need is to be in the correct place at the correct time, an observant eye and ear and some attention to what is going on around you – in the jargon of my trade called situational awareness. (Experience tells me the last is getting more and more uncommon by the day – thanks to the wonders of modern technology taken up the youth. Who hasn’t felt irritation – well to be fair, I have – at those people walking with earphones or talking into the phone as their lives depended on it, utterly oblivious to what’s happening…. well not let me get sidetracked.

Coming from the general to the specific, let me tell you about two incidents on a bus I was on – one happened yesterday…. oh I guess day before yesterday now, since its early Friday – well on Wednesday, the 13th of April, 2011. The other one happened on September 30, 2010 – also a Wednesday, which you must know is my weekly-off from work and is mostly spent in the old parts of the city, looking for Urdu books. This Wednesday, it was no different – and I was more relaxed since my fortnightly flag meeting was at a place close to where I browse – which meant I could take my time there and then casually saunter to the assigned spot. However, the incident…

As happens normally, I got delayed in leaving and this meant a long wait at the bus stop before I could even spot a bus. eventually, one was espied and as I wondered whether it be the correct one – taking me most of my way to a point from where I could even walk to my destination or take a short ride on another bus – or the other one, which would entail a short ride to a point from where I could get a wider selection of buses taking me directly to the point mentioned above. Meantime, it came closer and I found to my joy it was the first one only.

Well, I got in and most of the journey was uneventful. I peacefully read some stretches of a book I was carrying with me (unlike last time when there was an ancient wallah next seat who engaged me in for a conversation about the state of the country and society until he drifted off to sleep and I could turn back to an engrossing thriller I had  – why I mentioned this was because a stop or two before my get-off point when I reluctantly closed the book and kept it way, he (the ancient-wallah) told me that he had seen me and did not want to point it then but I should not read in a moving vehicle since it put strain on the eyes – now he tells me not knowing I had done it all my life) and it was the bus stop before the one where I had to get off that the incident occurred.

So it took all of two minutes – between two stops roughly a 100 metres apart but with a traffic light in between on the road named after the last Mughal emperor, whose dynasty was rubbed out at the point where my account begins…

I and some others also to get down had got from our seats to restore circulation prior to moving under own power when this ancient wallah (new one)…..

To be continued……


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Pooja Shah on April 15, 2011 at 16:39

    Apropos your piece on the Major General’s song – you may like to hear Sir Andrew Davis’ adaptation for his valedictory speech on the last night of the proms (in 2000?). Anyway, it ought to be available on youtube. ‘In addition, satisfying more than usually heightened audience expectation, he repeated his witty Gilbert and Sullivan take-off, first heard a few seasons ago and now part of Proms lore, in place of a traditional speech. Some of the gags and gruesome rhymes were new, but the refrain stayed the same: ‘This is the very model of a modern music festival.’


  2. Posted by Pooja Shah on April 15, 2011 at 16:40

    And I meant to ask, do you watch any Pakistani telly? other than bakran qiston ofcourse.


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