Mornings and evenings in Mumbai are very social events, we meet people at railways stations or bus stops from every part of the city and they put their arms around you push you and take you places. It is one of those evenings for me today , I am waiting for my bus, bus no 512 at the stop . The better part of waiting was that I had company,a beautiful girl.
We had nothing much to talk but after every few seconds we would look at our respective watches and then turn around to look at each other. It was all of 5 mins of wait before the bus arrived. In a fast paced city like mumbai , doing nothing for five long mins is a cruel waste of time.
The bus was not crowded but we got into bus in a huff even before it had come to a complete halt. Boarding a bus or a train in a hurry is a ritual in the city and has to be followed under all circumstances , no exceptions allowed.
As luck would have it only 2 seats were vacant and that too together. We took the seats, she took the window seat , I had underestimated her agility.
For a moment I thought of extending my hand and saying "Rakesh , naam to suna hi hoga", but better sense prevailed and I desisted from saying anything. I decided to close my eyes and go to sleep , best thing to do in a BEST bus. I closed my eyes, rested my head on the bar extending from the seat and went into my thoughts.
"Kiske saath hoga chamatkar"..."aaj hi hai woh khaas din". The words of the India TV anchor kept coming back to my thoughts. With some useless graphics and a bearded baba they were hell bent on proving that some cosmic changes today are going to cause magical changes in our lives. How all the moons of all the planets formed a formation (they are always in some formation anyways) which would emit special energy and would effect the magenetic balance of the living world on earth. It sounds baseless in itself, but with the added spice of the "breaking news" and "CHAMATKAR" and other such tags jumping on the TV screen, it looked insanely comical.
I felt something on my shoulders , I woke up to see the girl in her sleep had rested her head over my shoulders. Now this is the the kind of dilemma I am not used to . If I wake her up it would seem rude and if I dont it looks as if I was taking advantage . For once I wanted the driver to hit a sudden break or miss a bump or may be just honk loud. But he wanted the best driver award today.By now the bus was crowded , end I thought every one was staring at me and waiting to see how I react. Her head stayed on my shoulders and I did the best thing I could , closed my eyes and pretend to sleep.
Who was that , I thought and opened my eyes. I saw a guy , my age , looking at me non-chalantly.I looked around to see if anyone else heard that. But no one was reacting .I looked back to that guy again.
"Why do the biggest of the jerks get the most beautifull of girls?"
It was him. He was saying things without moving his lips. Is this some kind of joke. And why is no one else hearing anything.
"What is he looking at? Is he gonna get down?" That guy again was talking .
Suddenly it hit me . Cosmic magic. I did not know how to react. I thought of getting off from the bus. But then thought of having some fun.I looked back at the guy. Straight into his eyes.
"What is he looking at. With such a beautifull girl next to him why is he looking at me. Shit... he is gay. I knew it the moment I laid my eyes on him."
And he fought his way through the crowd to the other end of the bus. I liked the idea that he thought the girl was my girlfriend , I know it was crazy to think so , but guys are guys.
I was wondering what was next. I did not had to wait much longer.
"Guys are such losers."
Where did that come from? I asked myself.I found her after some seraching in the over crowded bus.She was standing a little distance from where I was sitting.
"They are only after skin deep beauty."
I smiled and wished I could ask her what should I look for... a beautiful kidney or a nice liver.She probably did not hear me . Not sure if the magic was working only on me. But I was the one enjoying it the most.
"How I miss the good old days....."
Now who is that? .I turned my head a little to find a couple standing there. The man shielding the lady from the crowd. He looked at me a couple of times and was thinking ."College days were fun. How I wish I had the guts to tell my parents I do not want to marry.Atleast not then."
The guy's looks were what I called every kids biggest dilemma. He was too young to be called uncle and too old to be bhaiyya.
"I wonder where she is now." I was still hearing his thoughts. He was missing someone,ex-girlfriend may be. He turned to look at his wife and smiled at her. I thought he felt apologetic for thinking about his ex when she was still around . It is tough to be a guy in this world.
"Besharam" some one screamed into my head. I almost reached out to close my ears , but then realised the futility of it and stopped.
I should have expected this. An old man with tilak on his forehead staring down angrily at me.
"The whole generation has lost its respect for our culture and traditions. The western influence will destroy us some day. See the way they are sitting in a public place. No restrain."
Restrain? I thought of reminding him that at my age he was married and father of two. So he can keep the gyan about restrain to himself.
All this feeling about being antaryami brought a smile on my face. As it happens in life that was bad timing. The girl just woke up and saw my smiling face.
"Sicko...... how disgusting are these guys"
Whattttt..... I just did not want to be rude. I wanted so hard for that girl to hear my inner voice. The girl adjusted herself on her side of the seat and
started looking out of the window. The smile from my face was wiped clean.This eventful journey was anyways coming to its end. In another couple of
mins I will get out of this bus . I closed my eyes and decided I want to hear no other thoughts than mine.
I got down from the bus and got to business. "sorry yaar the bus was stuck in traffic" I said.
She was not even looking at me. I wonder why I was not able to hear my girlfriend's thoughts. I wasnt complaining. The mood she was in , she wasn't thinking very well of me anyways. I think the cosmic formations had changed . Good for me.