October 26, 2005

Dont Sit Next to Me

I travel by the bus. I don't have a choice. No say in the matter. And why would I, when my office is 30 kms from my house? It is economical and safe. I have to keep reiterating that, to myself most of all. And it supposedly is the stress - free way to travel. You guessed it, I live in Bangalore.

I like sitting by myself. In a three seater, if that would be alright with you. But No, you discover its not. Not alright. Why cant they just let me be? I used to sit at the beginning of the bus, hoping the people who hop on will think there will be more seats at the back and head there. That didnt work. So I shifted to a seat at the middle of the bus. Neither here nor there. Neither at the front nor at the back.

Did that help, you ask. Well it didnt. So what did I do? Shifted my place right to the back of the bus. Yippeee! Joy at last! You would think.

Oh no! That didn't work either! There is a breed of people who head valiantly to the end of the bus, fighting off the efforts of the driver to throw any standing person off his rockers. Its a battle, quite like David against Goliath. Some lesser mortals do lose the battle. And by mortals, I do not mean the guys alone. The guys I have observed, will not sit next to a female if they can avoid it. Works for me, I don't want people crowding me. Of any gender.

Its a little difficult to ward off the females though. The ones who do aspire to make it to the back of the bus and succeed, are the persistant lot.

"No eye contact, no eye contact" I remind myself. Some are put away by the deliberate evasion of the most effective tool in communication. But No, there are some who do manage to cross all the above obstacles and do manage to plant themselves beside me.

"Oh she's a thin one, I will have plenty of space" must be the triumphant thought in their minds as they sit down. And then spend a few minutes occupying the maximum space in minimum amount of time. I try to list down ten advantages of being thin in my head.

In the three seater, it is absolutely no problem when another person plonks herself beside me. Its the school of fish mentality that I am worried about. Coz the next female boarding the bus will see two females sitting in the same seat, and make a beeline for it. Even if it is in the back. And then we are back to the cramped seat situation, where I, as the thinnest, get pushed the most. Back to Square One.

And so the journey continues. The interminably long, cramped journey, all the way to hell and back.


Juggernaut said...

Nadandhu po, don't put too much scene.

One thing i observed in B'lore, Walking is faster than commuting by bus during the peak hour traffic.

Sandeep said...

I thought crowded buses are a way of life... After all, everybody needs to get somewhere, not just you. What's the fuss?
If you're adamant about personalized travel, I guess you'd have to get your own car. But till then, the bus is always the way to go!
P.S - No spam comments on your blog for a change??!!

Rush said...

Most people on the bus hate being crowded ;) These are company buses I am talking about(I dont commute by the city bus!) There are plenty of buses plying and so we just hope that the crowd heads to the next one and not ours!
I sound a lot like I am justifying myself!

Sandeep , yup no spam comments! Put a filter on it.