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Magix 'n' Curses
..the argument continues

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Bus. That's enough.


After having performed one of my best manoeuvres, I felt extremely pleased with myself to have pulled out a tricky move like that under immense pressure.

Hmph!! Like Li'l Red Riding Hood would say, "My! What a dirty mind you have!". I was talking about something I did in the bus. Gosh, stop smirking! I know it sounds bad, but it isn't. Trust me!


Travelling in Chennai's public transport bus is an experience by itself. Ah, I see a few of you nodding your heads. Those of you who didn't nod, what a shame. You're missing out on something amazing in life. Awww, don't feel bad already. Tell you what, I'll teach you something fun. Look up at the ceiling, and try to make out any black spots. Done? Now look down at the floor and look for the same black spot. Can't see anything? Then try repeating the whole exercise very fast. Aaah, I see you nodding. You don't feel too left out now, do you? :)

So where was I? Yeah, travelling in an MTC bus. These guys at MTC have so many things to be proud about.

Everywhere we go, we have banners and posters urging us to keep the city green. But it's also an unwritten rule that only an MTC bus can give Rajnikanth a run for his money when it comes to emanating smoke. So what do they do? They paint their buses green. Ingenious!

They also have the dubious distinction of being the only place where my Airtel network has absolutely no signal!

Developed countries boast of buses with automatic doors. But buses in Chennai go a step further, and have an automatic ushering system in place. In plain terms, it means you don't have to move a muscle, and yet you get off the bus and on it. All automatically. Jus make sure you're positioned strategically near the door. And a surging mass of human bodies pushing against each other will do the rest.

A bit like apparition in Harry Potter parlance. You stand near the door and stare hard at the position outside you wanna be in. Destination, Determination, Deliberation. Everything goes black. You're pressed hard from all directions. You can't breathe. You feel as if there are iron bands tightening around your chest. And before you know it, you're outside. Experiencing the indescribable delight of finally having enough space to move your little finger.

Chennai buses also boast of being the only ones in the world possessing a physics-defying centre of gravity. It travels tilted at 45 degrees, and still doesn't topple over. The drivers are known to tilt their faces at an awkward angle and stare wide-eyed when back on firm ground. This has also known to have earned them a few slaps along the way from ladies who suspected the poor drivers to have ogled lecherously at them. The poor devils.

Trust me to completely forget what I start off with and ramble on about matters immaterial. You've already forgotten what I said in the first para, haven't ya? :) I don't blame you!

So there I was, suffocating in a bus packed like a can of sardines. And stuck right in the middle, not able to move an inch either way. I could sense I was two stops away from my destination. But there was no way I'd have been able to get to either of the doors. Before I knew it, I'd reached my destination. It was now or never. There was a huge bunch of kids huddled together with their big schoolbags near the door. They were making things worse for me.

*Clink*. The sound of hope. The sound of reassurance. The sound of a one rupee coin falling to the floor. The man next to me bent down to pick it up. I saw light. A bright, streaming beam from the doorway, showing me the way. The next thing I knew, I had R Kelly's "I believe I can fly" running in my head as I took the leap. Like a slingshot, coiling back with the overhead bar for support and then.. That perfect jump over the guy's head to land at the doorway shocking a few kids in the process.

The Automatic Ushering System took over. I apparated outside to breathe the fresh air of freedom. To move my little finger. And more! :)

Sigh. Why do they call it MTC if it's anything but empty?