Is there a bus from here to go to Thiruvanmiyur?
I blinked. I did not know if there was a bus service to Thiruvanmiyur from my locality, where Ive been staying for eight years. My not-so-young relatives from the south were surprised that I havent traveled by a Chennai public transport bus in twelve years.
To relive that long-forgotten experience I decided to take a bus.
After waiting for what seemed an eternity, a bus with men spilling from its doorways appeared. Just when I managed to put one foot on the step, the conductor blew the whistle, with an angry kaiya edumma. Though I took my foot off, the bus started moving and my saree was caught amidst all those legs. One of the owners of the legs was kind enough to wrench my saree. I had to be happy that it was only a torn saree and not a fractured knee.
A few weeks later I took the train to visit my mother in Tambaram. As I was about to get into the ladiescoach, there was a scuffle and a voice shouting that the alighting shabbily dressed woman had tried to snatch a chain. As I stood there rooted with shock, the train had started moving and the woman in question had fallen down on the platform. No one helped her up. Inwardly praising myself for being a Good Samaritan, I bent down and offered my hand. I was in for another shock as she took my hand and nearly brought me down, simultaneously hurling abuses. As I tried to free my hand, I realized that she was drunk. No wonder no one had offered to help. There was nothing I could do to escape the sympathetic looks from bystanders.
This train journey reminded me of another, when my friend gave a ten paise coin (when it was very much in circulation. A soft drink cost Rs. 2.25 then, to give a comparison) to a man seeking alms. After a while, we saw him coming back towards us. With an angry and arrogant Keep this, he thrust a twenty-five paise coin in my friends hand and walked away!
To experience more, ve decided to travel by public transport as often as possible. Saves money. Reduces my contribution to the pollution. And hey! I get to share my experiences through my blog.
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