Back to the good ol’ days in karaikudi. There were two types of buses – make it three…..govt ‘saadha’ bus, govt ‘pp’ bus and pvt bus…..prices were not too different, but the demand was….if you had all the time to kill, saadha bus was the one to go for….pvt ones if you want ‘sogusu’…..the lazy me always chose the saadha models…..
Lemme chalk out the route that I used to go most often…..scene 1 – have the heavenly coffee made by periamma and then have ur brother drop u at the pudhu bus stand….get yourself an outlook, sportstar or india today and then hop on to one of the saadhaa party…..here you have the luxury of choosing the seat that you want unlike the maddening frenzy in pvt models….these buses take so much time to start that more often than not, even before they start you are almost through your magazines….
Now I listen to the conductor’s whistle…and the bus has willed itself to start much like a kumbhakarna waking up….first stop is periyar selai…some more crowd…then..water tank…and then….ram nagar….hmm now this is some crowd inside the bus…..now we are entering the country side….though our area is supposed to be one of the driest area…I have found it to be pretty green….lots of ooranis you get to see here…..the setting sun adds a romantic angle to my journey…..but the…sun and the scene are the only romantic partners…..
As we cross kottaiyur and near tirumayam, I slowly come out of my zombie like gawking at the roads…and tune my ears to all the chit chats happening inside the bus….it is a mixture of nice, sad, ironic, jovial, and mundane banter….eyes roam this side and that to see if there are any parties worth seeing….then while I close my eyes trying to reason out my existence, our bus crosses khalif nagar and reaches the pudukottai terminus….time for some chaaya…..
Post pudukottai, it is mostly time for recalling fond memories of my school pals….trying to recapture the butterfly in the stomach feelings you get, whenever you are excitedly happy in the presence of a girl…make plans for visiting some of the really close frenz of in the 2-3 days that I would spend in chennai…and trying to figure out where I went wrong with regards to my relationship with my loved ones….most of who tolerated me even though I hurt them….there was one burning desire to be perfect..and there was one foregone answer to it – now way…..but should I stop attempting? Is it the journey in which my victory lies or is it the destination? In due course I realized, journey it is – and onwards I continue in my quest….we cross keeranur…its pretty dark now…..
30 more minutes and I will be at the trichy bus stand…..time to remember the good things in life and praise the lord for this…..so here I go….i thank you my god for my wonderful parents, sisters, brother, uncles and aunties..i thank you for that gy who went to erumai maadu univ…I thank you for laura, for my tamil teacher, that cat eyed child who masqueraded as my classmate, for buddi, for those wonderful comrades of mine who made my benz diaries eventful, for all those thaai kulams in my college who couldn’t escape my pestilence…for those select few who would go on to define my life….i thank you for making me realize there isn’t much of a difference between me and you……AMEN….