For some time after my wedding (actually, make that three years!) I was out of sorts. My creativity was at an all-time low, I was blasé about everything. On the outside, I did put on a happy face, but the insides were weeping for some sort of artistic release. I often wondered what the reason could be and many a time, I attributed it to the wrong one, yet I could never put a finger on what it was.
Until the day when I did something comforting , something that I used to do everyday a few years ago.
I took a bus ride.
A window seat in a bus and a nice paperback to read always put things back in perspective for me. Some music to go along with it and it becomes the perfect recipe for happiness. It was that solitude (even in a crowd) and time away from my problems that I had been missing all along. The solution was but a simple bus ride.
It can get quite hot and sticky in a bus and the conductor does harass you for change; but the inside of a bus is another life. It is another world, with the same joys, the same setbacks and the same gifts that we receive each day. People talking, laughing, pondering. Irritated, playful or tired. Every mood, every facet of human life is reflected.
The college kid with her DKNY bag, or the flower-girl stranding her jasmine for sale at the bazaar.
The leering jerk on the lookout for a dupatta askew or the geek on his laptop at the end of the bus.
Someone’s father on his way to the temple or a tired mother returning from work, wondering about things at home and what dinner to make.
The old man with a hearing aid on his way to his daughter’s place, or the young bride visiting her mother a month after her wedding. Both tremble in trepidation, both brimming with excitement.
As the bus ambles on, the school girl mugs up her trigonometric formulae, the college boy ogles at girls, a group of young women giggle loudly and the quiet guy in the corner reads his book, the vendor women pick a fight. The baby coos in her mother’s lap and the husband dozes on his wife’s shoulder.Vita vadit in, life goes on.
When I look out of the window, it is another world altogether. a world that gets away from you with every second. One minute there was that tree full of flowers, the next moment, the bus comes to a halt at a signal. A reminder saying, cherish the moment, for it slips by too soon.
If there is a friend next you and they get off, I only think of how each of us have our respective stops in life. We travel together, we laugh, but some day you have to get off. Let go of the baggage. Be free.
Each ride is an experience, with so much learn. I write, I think, I let off steam. When I get off, I am at peace.
Feels like death doesn’t it? If peace is the destination of our life’s journey, I am not afraid of death.
And to think that I came up with all this during a bus ride.