‘Life is a journey and the destination is a place where there is no other place left to go. One may travel across the globe (and for that matter, go to moon or space) and still not find it, while……….’
Traveling in a bus in a city like Delhi can be quite an experience. The humongous mass of humanity, the overwhelming melange of emotions, the nauseating stench of everyday despair and decaying dreams, the uninterpretable, untraceable yet unrelenting noise of constant bickering…. Its like a piece of modern art with a riot of colors splashed across the canvas in a hap-hazard manner like an inebriated orgy, but if you care to look close enough, patterns emerge.
Adults marveling at the technical supremacy of Metro, opining on how Sachin should come on the front-foot more often, thrashing the impotent, puppet central government, blaming petty politics for the Kashmir imbroglio, cursing the bureaucracy for the pot-holes and road-jams……
Two boys going to their coaching class, anxiety and a desire to excel, conspicuous by their forced smile and lost presence, children crying, their mothers trying to allure them with a candy, girls gossiping about movies and cute boys in college, talking, chortling in hushed tones about Ranbir’s towel dance, boys ogling at them, passing lewd comments, women discussing the rising vegetable prices, sympathizing with Tulsi and Parvati, a passenger fighting with the conductor over the ticket fare, the conductor busy giving some unsolicited advice to a girl, the driver in kind of a Formula-1 race with another blue-line, a young couple holding hands oblivious of the world around, an elderly man coughing, a newly married woman, head in her lap, sitting with bruised ego, burdened with new responsibilities, her feathers clipped by the restrictions, two friends meeting by chance after a long time, a man going to the railway station, going back to his village, brimming with anticipatory happiness….. happy accidents, accidentally happy.
An office-goer frustrated with another hectic day at work, fearing another quarrel at home over money, venting out his anger on the man standing next to his seat, refusing to keep his bag, a girl traveling probably for the first time in a bus, tugging at her top again and again, trying to cover her bare arms, two North-easterners sitting lumped together, grown immune to the ugly stares and indecent comments long ago, a middle-aged woman returning with her two daughters after another unsuccessful pregnancy check, her dreams shattered, fear of a divorce looming large, a boy listening to music on his cellphone….. phone…..oh, my phone was vibrating. Sneha again. I disconnected.
A father showing flyovers and malls to his five-year old with a pride as if he owns them, a well-built hooligan-type hurtling all kind of obscenities, two people fighting over their share of the window, children selling coconut giris, newspapers….. childish adults, adult children. The very soul of humanity, corrupt and innocent at the same time, exhausted yet energetic, suppressed, battered down yet vivacious, naively expert, expertly amateur.
Anxious, joyous, regretful, aspiring, desirous, humble, adorable, angry, egotistic…. the faces in a bus can gobble up all the adjectives in any language in the world…. yet it is a faceless entity with no distinguishing features, multi-faceted yet a single holistic entity called humanity. I generally get philosophical like this whenever I’ve a fight with Sneha and mind you that happens at least twice every month, I guess I’m exaggerating a bit, it happens twice every week. And if more than three days pass without a fight materializing between us, she starts apprehending that something is wrong and we end up fighting on that. Love can be like that…… innocently foolish, foolishly innocent.