My father always told me that observation is the best teacher ever. He repeatedly reminded me of this at different stages of my life but I realized it to be a genuinely applicable fact on one fine busy day .This was one of those days when I had to travel by the public bus; one bus can fit in as many people as one can or rather cannot imagine. I never got into a bus that tilted to one side because of overloaded people, No matter how much I tried, this was one phobia I could not do away with. The idea of travelling by a bus is not something that I liked very much.
I took a bus from TC Palya to Majestic along with a friend in Bangalore. The wait for the bus was long but when it finally arrived the ride was thoroughly entertaining and educative as well. It was a long journey that I had to undertake but it was assorted with a lot of interesting instances that made it a joy ride. The bus was stuffed with people when it reached our stop, since this was one bus that came after a long wait we decided to get into it reluctantly. People from different sections of the society heading towards destinations on one route shared the same transport system to get from one place to another. Those few minutes spent in the bus were extremely eventful.
As soon as I entered, I felt like I was part of a hugging spree. To move to the inside of the bus and get a safe spot with a handle to hold was quite a challenge. We had to cross a sea of people rubbing against them, embracing them and also pushing a few in some cases. Thank God they have separate sections for men and women I thought, but this separation did not leave all the men disappointed. When the bus is full of people, the men get to stand closer to the women and get their share of entertainment as well. While one man stared at all the pretty girls getting in and out of the bus at different stations, another had the audacity to pinch a girl’s bottom; another man tries to become the hero in this situation by defending the girl and fighting for her. Before I was conscious of it, I started to observe people and their mannerisms. Since I was in the front which is considered to be the ladies area, I could notice more of women than men. When two female strangers meet, there are two extreme possibilities; they could either be amicable acquaintances or enemies. One young lady entered the bus and hurried to a place where she found an empty seat and sat there panting, another lady came in with a fractured hand, seeing this, the former seated passenger got up to offer her seat to the wounded co passenger but before this could happen another lady grabbed the seat. The two women got into a verbal spat which grabbed a lot of eyeballs and ear drums to their attention. Simultaneous to this incident was a man getting molested by a eunuch. My focus shifted from the women to the men, or I’d rather say man and the eunuch. The eunuch spread a pang of fear amongst most men in the bus. Few did not even get down at their bus stops as the eunuch was standing at the door. I felt like I was watching a blockbuster movie live with all the elements to make it a hit. The twists, suspense and the adrenaline rush while watching people interact with each other is extremely intriguing. One white shirted man got into the bus, carrying a flask full of tea alongside the white shirted man a lady got in following him. She tripped over something fallen in the bus and spilled the tea on the white shirted man. I saw the man’s face turn red with rage before I could witness his reaction it was time for me to get down. It was difficult for me to leave the incident half way through and get down but I had to. I got down following the two people with my eyes for as long as I could and the bus finally left leaving me with the story incomplete. I hoped the man would not admonish the lady too much as she appeared to be naïve and old.
I started perceiving bus journeys in a different manner from that day on wards. Books, games and conversations, nothing can beat the entertainment obtained by mere observation of people at public places.