Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mylapore Masala and Bus-Kisu-Kisu

I have a problem with driving in Chennai. But let me not begin with that, considering I'm posting after really long and might as well start off not complaining. So, I’ll start with a rather amusing thing happened this morning on the way to office.

I missed my Siruseri office bus, something as unusual as the sun rising in the east or girls torturing guys' eyesight with Friday casuals. So here I was, waiting for subsequent TCO (Thoraipakkam branch) buses, so that I could catch an inter-office shuttle from TCO. As the first of the many TCO buses came, a confident me took out and wore my id card, and waved for the bus to stop. Now, I have no clue if Abhey Kuruvilla ever faced Waqar Younis, but if I were Navjot Singh Sidhu, I would've probably exclaimed, the bus passed by me like a Waqar Younis outswinger missing Abhay Kuruvilla's leading edge! Since I am not Navjot Singh Sidhu, I'll just stick to saying, the bus passed by me without stopping.

The next bus came in a span of four minutes. Don't ask me how I know that it took exactly four minutes. Four minutes is a fine time to remember to note, absolutely befitting the time it should take for a TCO bus to come after the previous one's passed by. I waved. There's something disconcerting and irritating about being noticed by the corner of the driver's eye, and noticing that the driver's looking at you from the corner of his eye. Split-second-"corner of eye"-to-"anxiously waiting for bus-eye"-contact, you may call it. Immediately the driver turned his gaze to straight ahead, as if straight down lay the answers to all the questions about the purpose of his incarnation on earth. Bus two passed, without stopping, noticing yet pretending not to notice a soul waving for it to stop.

By the time the third bus came, which was again in four minutes (call it coincidence or pure creative liberty that I chose four minutes again) I was almost in the middle of the road. If it came to that, the driver would have to at least run over my shoe to get past me (assuming I'd chicken out and make a dash for the footpath if the bus didn't stop). Thankfully the bus stopped. I got in.

The third TCO bus driver posed a rather difficult question:
"Enga poganum?" *where do you want to go*

I have a really bad sense of humour, which you've probably figured out by now. But little know that it gets worse when I'm in a bad mood. You might wonder who the hell would even care to HAVE a sense of humour in a really bad mood, but yeah that's how pathetic mine is. It just won't go, good mood or bad mood. It'll just stay there and get worse.

So, while one half of me screamed to give an imaginative reply to the driver's question, the other half which also happened to control my tongue functions replied "TCO".
"Athu theriyum, ethukku intha bus la yerineenga" *that I know, but why'd you get into THIS bus?*
"Siruseri bus miss pannitten" *I missed the Siruseri bus*.
I requested his highness to allow me to travel by this bus, to which he asked
"Aren't you the guy who sings on TV?"
"Antha orey kaaranuthunaala thaan ungala bus la yethinen. Naa romba strictu. Nalla paadineenga" *that's the only reason why I let you in the bus. I'm very strict. Good singing*

Talk about the fringe benefits of television!! That too almost a year after the aforementioned television appearance!

Little did I realize this guy actually meant what he said! I could make out from the way others in the road, and a rather unfortunate bus driver who happened to be on the wrong side of the road, and in the process blocking our way were treated.

Now back to the complaining part. This morning, I drove to Mylapore. The kind of setting one of those sappy romantic novels that I don't read would begin with: an orange sun, like the warmth of the tender heart, playing hide and seek through the golden leaves of trees lining either side of the road, their branches holding each other in a lovely embrace, forming a tunnel of glittering green... Till I took the left turn and came to the signal.

It was sunrise, and traffic was sparse. Doesn't mean one shouldn't follow signals. I have a habit of stopping my bike before the STOP line, because I believe that's what the purpose of the STOP line is. However, I seem to be rather lonely in this opinion. I also believe the timer in signals counts down successfully to 5-4-3-2-1 before the signal turns green, and doesn't countdown to 2-1-0-(-1)-(-2) when it turns red. However, most people seem to be blind to the last 5 seconds of the countdown to green, but turn surprisingly insightful in seeing shades of green even after the signal's turned red!

I decided to have a little fun. At the expense of the lorry driver right behind me. I stopped right before the STOP line, forcing this bloke to stop behind me. And even as other vehicles zapped off before the timer counted down, our guy was furiously honking, perhaps expecting me to follow suit. Till a couple of seconds after the signal turned green, I stay put, much to the chagrin of our truck driver.
In the imaginary words of a certain imaginary celebrity blogger with a tendency to self dramatize: I might have spoiled his morning, but I might have saved his life!! :D

Once again, after long, a misleading title just for readership sake ;-) So long suckers!

More posts coming soon (I hope!)