Time: 9.15 PM
Place: KempeGowda Bus Terminus
I was one among the 50-70 odd people waiting for a glimpse of a bus rounding the corner of platform #25. Ah… at last there was a bus rumbling towards us… I lost no time in jostling my way through the crowd to be ready to jump in at the front door, when the bus would finally halt. As I and another girl were waiting to get in, with a largely male bastion pressing in around us (literally!!), there were passengers struggling to alight from the bus amidst the crowd. Suddenly we heard cries of “Make way, make way… help this man out”… we looked up to find the conductor trying to help a man stumbling down in drunken stupor (thoorad-ing and thathad-ing describes it best :D). As we all stood back, crinkling our noses at the stink emanating from him, suddenly this man’s eyes fell upon the girl who stood in front of me. He rushed towards her saying “Aye…. Putti!!” The girl simply shrieked, her eyes and ears shut , I exclaimed “ayyo…Rama” (no clue what ever made me do that!!). Soon the others had pulled him away and we raced into the bus. I plonked myself down into the very first seat next to the window (the safest seat in a bus at that hour) and saw the girl ease into a seat across. Inexplicably I had this unholy desire to laugh out loud!! I looked at her and saw that I wasn’t alone in feeling so, the next minute we both burst into full-throated laughter.
This post is not just about this incident, though I must admit, it brings on a bout of giggles even now, when I recall the expression and words of that drunkard. It is about that unseen and unspoken bond that got forged between me and that girl in that one instant when we both laughed together. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there are several people with whom we connect in such small but special ways, every day of our lives.
Be it the lady in the bus-stop everyday whose mere presence and smile reassures u that u haven’t missed the bus or be it the simple display of trust that the conductor places in u by not asking u to show the pass everyday. It could be the grocer at the corner store who hurries to have the milk-packet ready, even as he sees u venture out of your house and walk down the street or it could be the lady from the house-keeping staff in your office, who greets u with a smile each morning, even as she cleans the lobby. There are scores of such people whom we bump into everyday.
Friends? Acquaintances? What do you call them? Whatever it is… thanks to this nameless relation, I know I shall never miss a smile whenever I look at that girl again 🙂