Magix 'n' Curses
..the argument continues

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The day we walked...

I had the strangest feeling today... that my life bordered on "boring". It was then that my friend reminded me of that fateful day - The day we walked...

It all started when a test was announced in class. It was scheduled to be held in the afternoon session. But fate intervened, and our seniors announced a trip to The Chennai Trade Centre where an IT fair was being held. We were to be dropped there by our college bus, but had to find our way back home ourselves. That was when the action started.

The 3 of us (my friends B & M and moi) trooped out pondering how to get back. Thiruvanmiyur seemed so distant all of a sudden. We couldn't help but be disgruntled about the way they'd named the damn place - Centre, my foot. We walked for at least a quarter of an hour before we came to a bus-stop.. and were quite puzzled about it, considering that Chennai Trade Centre's quite an important place. We were to learn, the next day, that we could have jus walked 50 yards to our left instead of all that distance to our right! Anyways.. perhaps that walk was just a sampler of things to come.

We didn't know the first thing about bus routes there. We figured that taking a bus to Guindy or Saidapet was the best bet. Guindy seemed the more practical option. After a long wait, we did get one that dropped us off opposite the Sangeetha Restaurant, Guindy. From there-on, it was gonna be easy. Or so we thought.

Along came ECR-Pondy, a bus that was going right through our town. But we, especially my friend M, redefine paranoia. We clarified w/ the conductor that it indeed went through Thiruvanmiyur and got on. (An
ECR Pondy bus has no other route to go!) B went to buy the tickets. M's house was quite close to a boarding point on the ECR, and he asked the conductor if he could get down there. The conductor's face twisted into a look that was somewhere between annoyed and insane! He said "Thiruvanmiyur poravanga ellam keezha erangunga". We just blinked back at him, thinking we'd misheard him. Was he asking us to get down? And unfortunately, it seemed he was, for all of a sudden he shouted "KEEZHA ERANGA SONNAEN-LA?" and literally shooed us outta the bus!

We didnt know what hit us! We stood there, in the middle of a busy intersection in Guindy, w/ our minds completely numb w/ shock. Shoo us, he did, but couldn't he have chosen a better spot? :( We were at the head of the Sardar Patel Road, and not a bus stop in sight. And where did those damned share-autos go when you need them the most? We started walking, figuring there had to be a bus-stop
somewhere. It was then that the injustice of it all hit us. Why the hell did he push us out? How rude! M, who's quite obsessed w/ bureaucracy (dont know why!), commented, "That guy's thrown out a future Bureaucrat, a future technocrat and a budding Corporate Autocrat.. He's got it in for him one of these days". B was fuming. He looked as if he'd never been insulted like this before. He kept shaking his head. And I, "the future technocrat" :), just found the whole episode amusing! M was still mumbling something like "avan seat kizhiyum da, paarthunde iru", when B said "You know what? Gandhi was thrown out of a train. And he became a famous man. Perhaps...". He trailed off, as all of a sudden, our disoriented minds clicked into place, and we found the episode a 100 times funnier! I said "Aamam, nee vena paaru.. Pietermaritzburg-la avarukku selai vecha maathiri, ippo nambalukkum Guindy-la vepaanga". And we broke into hysterics , laughing till our jaws hurt, kneeling down on the pavement, blissfully oblivious of people staring at us!

We realised how long we'd walked only as Anna University loomed into view. We'd actually walked all the way from Guindy railway station to Anna University. And believe me, it's a long distance! We called it "The Guindy March", and are still pretty certain that our statues are gonna be installed at that busy intersection. Oh, and I should add, with an umbrella over our heads (damn birds!). The incident has rankled us to such an extent that we still give dirty glares whenever an ECR-Pondy bus goes by.

And I still wonder,