Friday, November 30, 2012

A rendezvous on a bus journey


I ran and climbed into the 170L bus which I consider bliss. 170L meant a direct drive till home with no breaks in the middle. In sheer excitement I hopped in and started my 2 hour long journey home. (That’s how much I travel from office to home every day L poor me) I searched my bag for the document on “Pointers” that I had printed at office and was scanning through it. My IPod was playing, “A thousand years “song from the album Twilight.

It had been an hour since I had travelled. The journey seemed to be never ending from Ambattur to Perungalathur. I had completed half of the ride and the bus had reached the “St. Thomas Mount” bus stop. There was a lot of commotion then and I was annoyed with the background noise which disrupted the melody in my ears. I pulled my earphones and turned behind to notice the hullabaloo. On trying to peep through the crowd from my seat my eyes caught the hero of the clamor; it was Mr. Youth (A guy in his late teens. Named him with this as he play the lead role :P) Dressed in a white and blue lungi that was folded till his knees and a maroon colored shirt, he behaved as though he was the real hero of south India.

“I listened to conductor sir and came up from the footboard. I kept quiet…..” (He spoke rudely in a very local Tamil slang to Mr. Elder .Another co-passenger who along with the conductor had warned him to be careful while standing on the footboard)

The entire argument had started when Mr. Youth and Mr. Elder had got in at St. Thomas Mount bus stop. Mr. Youth was trying to show his heroism by standing on the footboard. The conductor had warned the boy not to stand on the footboard. Mr.Elder who was also concerned tried to raise his voice. He urged the boy to be careful in a strict manner which was when our hero (Who seemed to be a total zero: P) started his speech.

(Translated in English) “Hello, What did you just say? How can you talk to me like that? I listened to the conductor and came up but you don’t seem to stop. I think I need to teach you a lesson “ (All this was merely a chance to gather attention)

He went on in his heinous local slang, “You must be older than me. I am only 20 years old but I have also seen the world. I have gone to Kolkatta, Mumbai, Delhi. I have seen places.”(I kept wondering was this required in the conversation)

Mr.Elder finally spoke, “Listen you must have seen the world. But this is not the way you talk to elders…..”He didn’t stop with this nonsense, instead he continued his so called nonsense. “You are going to get down at Pallavaram, right?” He picked up his phone and dialed a number, “Hey, Machan(in the local slang), Bring our friends and come to Pallavaram. We have to teach a man a lesson

He disconnected the call and went on to abuse Mr.Elder and later the fight went increased to such an extent that caste issues were brought in. I tried to control my emotions and I wanted to do something. I felt bad for Mr.Elder as he was helpless. The entire crowd in the bus was quiet watching the commotion including the conductor who was not at all bothered.

A sudden thought crossed my mind. I had read an article a few months ago where it was mentioned that we could message to a phone number to inform the police of some mischief if it was not possible to make a call. I immediately switched on the internet on my phone and searched for the number.

I text the number to one of my friend in USA(Note this number for your use too:9500099100)He had his Chennai mobile number active which was very useful. I asked him to text to the above number saying, “Problem near Pallavaram” (I thought that would be the least I could do to help Mr.Elder) I had asked my friend to send a message as I was scared my phone number would be leaked if the issue had been blown up.
However, something unusual happened. Mr.Elder got support from three other people which scared Mr. Youth I guess. He dialed his friend again and asked him to come to Palavaram with his gang. And the hero who some time ago was screaming in the bus got down at a stop before Pallavaram.

I was smiling at all this and felt happy that at least two people went ahead to help the poor soul from a few youngsters who seem to be monstrous but actually are not. Mr.Elder got down at Pallavaram and I kept praying in my heart that he should reach home safely.

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