Tuesday, 22 October 2013

On the road, for a day!

So I start, about 7, early bright sun rays piercing against my eyes groggy from another bout of insomnia last night. It's all very quiet around , with the sound of my own footsteps being the only noise. People had slowly started milling around, and dogs , who were up too last  night, recede in the background, handing over the world back to humans.  
Air is cold, with a slight nip, yet it is almost pleasant, especially in the sun which had now quietly started getting hotter.


It felt pretty strange in the bus, I was going nowhere , I guess for the first time. It didn't matter much whether there was heavy traffic or not, nor did the stops matter,  it was a confusing joy. Perhaps a more certain joy was on the face of the conductor , rustling around in his khaki dress, with his head neatly parted the other side, the way one of my teacher used to. That shiny steel punch , hanging from his neck, shone intermittently in the golden rays that played hide and seek amidst the canopied streets of Bangalore. Perhaps they were the Midas's arms, turning into gold every leaf, every flower, and every thing else.


Sitting on a bench next to the lake in lalbagh I drink the cold breeze forcing itself through my throats. Two eagles cavort over the surface of the lake, now diving, now swooping jut above the surface , leaving behind a faint trace of ripples. Joggers have started to clear now, middle-old aged men in groups of two and three speed along, discussing the future of upcoming generations, while couples nestle together although warily on the adjacent benches. Except for some photo enthusiasts and weekend celebrators , the park is almost empty now. Eagles have flown away too, now circling the sky from high above. 
I am getting drowsy from the lack of sleep, yet there being no other option , I persist. I almost feel like the delirious Raskolnikov, from Dyostovesky's  Crime & Punishment , such that the voices and noise around me, seem to play themselves in a dream, or at least appear to come from far distant places. Images? They too are playing around.  Just now I saw a slovenly, slight man,  bearded in a rough thin strip  running from left to the right ears. He was squatting on a low wall, just as I crossed , brushing his teeth, that shone brilliantly as he opened his mouth to spit. And he spit right beside me. Almost! Uncouth vagrants!  However something did amuse me  about him. I guess , it was freedom, or something like it.

An elderly couple sits beside me now, tired of circling the garden. They talk mostly about their children, and grandchildren. The woman tiredly complains of not having been able to talk to her daughter today, which , her husband considering unimportant. The woman continued with other litanies, perhaps used to her inured husband's uninterestedness in her recitals. I wonder, what if these recitals, fake as they were anyways, taken away from them? Catastrophe!


There are several things that bother you when you are on the street, away from the comfort of your home. The early ones being a location to defecate, which as the pressure within increases panic sets in.

Well, after a few tense scouring minutes, I managed to find a pay and use toilet, just when the attendant almost killed me by throwing an inquisitive look as I rushed to it. "Toilet?", he asked .I said, "No". He looked befuddled, while I was on the verge of collapsing. " no. 2 ?" , he asked again, and all heavenly joy came rushing to my lips  that threw an effervescent "yes", and rushed to open the toilet gate, which to my pleasant surprise was a clean, western toilet. I dislodged the shit!

Well, I felt like a king , almost having won a kingdom for myself, when my thoughts rushed to the plight of men in cities that don't have a place to defecate. How such a simple thing, a simple discharge can enfeeble man, and yet how simply feasible it is to ensure that to every citizen . 

I left lalbagh!


Sun now shone through the azure sky, it was going to be a sunny Sunday, true to its name. Having walked almost about a kilometre and bought a magazine at the doors of an MTR shop, I took another bus, which in most probably was going towards silk board. Well , at least bus was cooler than outside, and playing radio on which Chandni's title song blared. A beggar stood in the bus, who didn't appear as one. I refused to dole out alms, while typing on my iPhone. Felt guilty!


Landed at Koramangala, wandering its streets. The roads are quiet, and appear somnolent, almost all of the shops are closed, or are just about opening. Koramangala wakes up a little later than lalbagh. Feel tired , and almost a little bored of walking in hot sun. However , I still walk. Strange thing this walking is, it dissolves all the difference within you, such that you may be aware of them as inner difference, but as a nice Hegelian point, it is the outer that as certainty of inner dissolves all the differences within itself. The self differentiated being arrives at its certainty of being a bone, the walk. It proceeds from this material point.
Off koramangala now.


The initial euphoria of early morning , although somewaht dazed, has evaporated now. It's not a romantic bus trip across the city , romancing with its streets anymore. If anything, I feel tired, and bored, sitting here on domlur bus stand. But  I must go on , if early euphoria was not the motivation, why should a hot afternoon be the dampener  Perhaps , I will take bangalore metro today. 

At the metro station now. To take  a metro is an occasion in itself. Prior to that drank tender coconut milk at CMH road junction, the seller being a middle aged  semi bald man, who was playing with his kid. Kareena shone through the poster of a jewellery on on the other side of the road, clad in  saree in such a way that her bosom bulged over on one of the sides making ambiguous claims of modesty in her sensuousness. Metro arrives.

Metro felt same from inside as Delhi metro, not very crowded though, which is understandable , considering the short distance it covers. View of the city from metro made bangalore appear  a similar concrete jungle as Delhi. Perhaps that is the way city is headed.

I get frustrated. I  had got down at M G road station, the last stop and went into Bloomsbury shop, nothing interesting. Piqued, I walk on relatively empty roads , when suddenly the idea of having an ice cream hits me. It's DBC time. 

Full with chocolate now. I feel a little better . 

I am at Sapna book shop on residency road, same place where crossword stood earlier. I liked crossword better, and perhaps it was due to crossword that I started reading so broadly. Sapna is more of a bundle of books, with less concern for aesthetics, and book lovers feelings. 

Tired. Legs ache.


I have grown wearied now. I move towards brigade road, a bus in green and black stripe stands there , I board it. I wish to just sit and travel now. On the diagonal seat, young college going kids gossip about their friends etc., with strong exclamations! You  almost get the feeling of a serious life and death issue being discussed. Bus fills up pretty soon, and it feels better when it's in motion. The hyperactive kids are almost getting on my nerves,or perhaps I have grown old! I marvel at the variations my emotions have undergone since this morning. Yet, I know it's foolishly sentimental to draw such comparisons, the consciousness of a moment is exactly the moment's consciousness .  Bus moves pretty quickly ,today being Sunday. Pretty soon, I have reached army school. This conductor wears a darker khaki dress, and is less enthusiastic and less concerned with aesthetics than the one on the morning bus.


Aborted the plan to go all the way to EC, walked from Agrahara bus stand to silk board. I was feeling groggy, and calf muscles were cramping, I guess hamstring. Not sure. Silk board bus stand was milling as ever, swarmed with people of all hues and age.  There were primarily Volvo buses, and no sooner than a regular bus arrived, crowd thronged into the bus. Found a seat, feeling really tired now. Somehow, I love this feeling of tiredness which is something of a kind of madness. A good sleep last night would have made the sojourn more energetic, but there are factors beyond ones control, and there is no point in cribbing over them. Ignore the negative energies and just materially do , what you must do.  It's Jaydeva. I will get down now. Oh it was one stop before Jaydeva. Never mind. I will walk . 


My journey of the day is about to end now. Sitting on the bus to Apollo hospital. At the bus stand the groundnut seller was marvelling at the pictures from a magazine, which he must have bought from the garbage sellers. There were dreams in there. Polished men and women, radiant faces and regal dresses must have spell bound him. His dreams , alive in flesh and blood, for everyone to witness. 

As I near my stop, I wonder what did I think about my bus trip in Bangalore , and I could only remember the tiredness that remained with me, and perhaps a little dose of confidence in myself. But in a way, it means nothing, for it was an action that was complete in itself, perhaps I like this latter aspect more.

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