Small Bus. Big City.

We often find ourselves grumbling about the crowds in Kolkata buses – and God knows how much of a daily ritual this is for me!

This morning, while I was on my way for my classes, I got onto a bus laden with the usual office-rush crowd. The ‘sardines syndrome’ kept increasing as the bus proceeded from one busy stoppage to the other – anyone who has commuted by public bus during peak hours would know that there is nothing unusual in that.

As I stood in the diesel powered pressure-cooker, hanging on to the overhead rod as if it were the metal manifestation of my very being, I gazed through the nearest window and watched the cross-currents of passengers get on and get off in methodical madness.

When the bus jerked to a momentary halt at Ekbalpur, I noticed a young girl with a baby in her arms get onto the bus. I began wondering how she would manage to make it through the crowd, when an old lady seated near the driver volunteered to keep the baby on her lap.

The bus soon reached Dharmatala, and had, by then, become relatively empty. The woman had managed to wriggle into a seat by now, but the old lady waved her hand and offered to keep the baby on her lap.

I resumed my favourite task of taking in the scenery outside, with John Denver for company.

As the bus drove on and soon reached Manicktala, I noticed the young girl get off with the baby.

The old woman turned around as she craned her neck, and wave at the baby for as long as the bus stood at the signal. She continued waving for as long as the baby was in sight.

She then resettled herself in her seat and resumed her earlier task of gazing out of the driver’s window. I noticed a reminiscent smile on her face and a gleam in her eyes. It seemed as if she was wishing every happiness, all the love and luck in the world for that baby - a baby she hardly even knew.

It then occurred to me that there are so many people we meet in our daily lives - people who may not matter to us, who we may never encounter again. We randomly cross each other’s paths each day, never knowing that they might just be saying a silent prayer for each one of us.

And, perhaps, it is these good wishes – the numerous silent prayers, which serve as the real fuel for the pressure-cookers in my city.

[Read previous posts on Metro Channel  >>]

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Comments (4)
aritra Reply
November 29, 2013
pen picture... nice :)
Kallol Reply
November 28, 2013
And that is what makes our city so special...
November 29, 2013
Exactly so, Kallol
Burning Ice Reply
November 28, 2013
"real fuel for the pressure-cookers" - amazing!
Anamika Reply
November 26, 2013
It is these silent prayers from the unknown that keep us moving... lovely :)
November 28, 2013
Thanks a lot Anamika :)
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