Friday, August 05, 2005

Episode 3

He was not there!!

My eyes scurried round the bus, but soon enough stopped at the red sweatshirt by the door. There he was, talking to the driver. He was not your regular boring hunk with the bulging biceps and a smug face, but seemed more like the guy next door with a Tuesday stubble. Stubble's are good. Umm. As he made his way back to his seat, did I notice a fleeting curve across his lips? I was totally checking this guy out. What more, my subtlety was letting me down. "Behave yourself Dee!" I reprimand myself.

For the next few hours, I kept my eyes out of harms way and on the road, watching the lights run along the bus. Highways are like little children When you are around them, you seem t become a different person. They suck the worldly self out of you. Things seem so simple and clear.

I think it was Stephen Hawking or was it Donnie Darko, who said that if you have a time portal, a metal vessel travelling the speed of sound and water, you could reach the gateway of time travel. Well, I say we can do without the portal, because I certainly did go back in time on a bus on a rainy day. Nostalgia! I get reminiscent on long journeys most of the times. Thinking about the by gones, smiling to myself quietly, an odd tear maybe. I know a lot of us do. May be, it has to do with the fact that man finds his true place in the world when he is by himself.

It was one of those cold uncomfortable nights where the blanket does not seem long enough. Somewhere, sometime in the middle of which, I feel asleep. But around five in the morning, my eyes opened to some rustle bustle along the aisle. People were getting off. I sleepily look out of the window to find us parked at a rather sized station. I got down to inspect the turf. The vendors were calling out in a different tone of language than what I was accustomed to. I guessed we changed states. Well, the board was a giveaway too. It read, "Bangalore".

I had never been to Bangalore before. But it had not even dawned yet for any flamboyant changes in the itinerary now. Moreover, I was still yawning and sometimes really loudly so that I would stay awake while I walked around.

The driver informs us that Mangalore was six hours from there and that he would be starting shortly. So I hurry to the door, hands still tucked in my pockets. In my attempt to board the bus like a limbless moron, I slip my step and bundle at the door. Right in front of.. yes, Mr. Cute Guy. If it were a movie, he would have been behind me, breaking my fall and taking me by his arms. But it was NOT a movie, so I ended up a little red at the cheeks and a sore bum.

Some really green pastures mark the route from Bangalore to Mangalore. The bus travels through a ghaat road as they call it. To get a better view, I take a seat in front. As the bus serpents through the narrow roadlines, the driver becomes chatty. His show and tell stories of the accidents along the way were actually gripping. As morbid as it may sound, but I kept imagining our bus tumbling off a curve. I thought the green valleys make for great graves.

To top it off, it began to rain. I have this strange habit, I try to read patterns on the rain water running down the windows along ridges. Well, it's been more than two decades but am still largely unsuccessful at it.

It was around noon that we reached Mangalore. It was a little too big to be called a hamlet and a little too small to be called a town. But it was just right to be called beautiful.

The slopes up and down the hills, the small houses embedded between carpets of trees, the narrow lanes, the sand walls, reminded me a bit of Goa. But through all the rustic appeal, it did show signs of civilization of course.
As I boarded off, of what is my longest bus journey ever, I saw the cute guy walk off. As he got into his car, he turned and waved. I waved back. Sometimes, great love stories don't need the condition of transpiration.
With my tongue still in my cheek after that statement I made up, I ventured into my net challenge, to find a Hindi speaking taxi wallah to get me to a hotel.

"Madam, yengeli ki podu?" Pardon my Tulu.


Swathi said...

ah! i thot there is more to u n the cute stranger but kya karen? lifez like that naa..
nywayz njoyed the post n totally luv ur style of writing

Sinfully Pinstripe said...

And? And? After that?

BTW, Sometimes, great love stories don't need the condition of transpiration. Well put.

Rat said...

"Behave yourself Dee!" I reprimand myself.

Dee= Deepali/Deepika/Deepti ???

Yours Truly...Conman said...

With you...
I am picturizing the entire journey. It's as if I'm taking it. You write well Dee.

alice said...

u write well..i was engrossed till the very end... its like readinga story the way u write..waiting for more

Eastmancolour said...

why isn't this a book yet ?
ohh...err..still being written :D
awesome !

burf said...

the connection...



Rohan Kumar said...

'Sometimes, great love stories don't need the condition of transpiration.' brilliant....just that one line has earned u a visitor for life on ur blog :)

A Hairy Snail said...

Kewl. and......?

Eastmancolour said...

kewl and awesome dude !

s! said...

suspense.. suspense.. :-)

the cowlick said...

I'm still amazed at your attitude on taking a journey 'into the unknown' all alone. Go, girl!

Eastmancolour said...

didn't anyone tell you you should be more regular !!!

Jeeves,Reginald said...


jax said...

So it was YOU I waved at!!!? :D

The bus rides from Bangalore to Mangalore get really scary in western ghats.I have always imagined a sleepy or drunken driver driving off a winding road! And I've been stranded in the middle of nowhere more than a couple of times, when my bus had a flat tyre, or the windshield just cracked!

Thetis said...

swathi: yeah, lifez indeed like that!

sinfully: aand.. this!

rat: nope/nope/nope

conman: it is glad having you along.

alice: thank you.

eastmancolor: haha, funnyman.

burf: still no link of yours, i see.

rohan: hello there. welcome. :)

mel: and.. after this, you are helping me out with CAT.

s! : where? where?

nikita: john snow's music in the background.

jeeves: welcome to you too, sir :)

jax: YOU?? Hmmm.. :D

Oneirodynic said...

God point about bus journeys.

I think the movies have gloated the importance of bus journeys to points beyond comparison.Sometimes,when you are sitting idle in the bus and watching the road passby,you get into this introspection mood.Now the point is : are you forcing yourself to be in that mood or is that mood coming all by itself?

Ah,what crap.In all my 2 years of bus journeys,i have always dreamed of a sweet girl sitting by my side reciting horrible tales of her ex and we getting married by the time the bus pulls onto kerala.Alas,i have had a clean sheet until now.Wonder why.