A sudden urge to want to pee hit me along with the cold as I was staring outside the KSRTC bus from Kolar to Bangalore. I put on my tattered, faded, orange-black jacket, front side back and the sleeves hung limp and empty on my back because the zippier was broken.
I like all the songs on my playlist, just not at the same time.
My uncle (mom’s third oldest brother) with whom I started the journey this morning wanted to sit next to the bus drivers seat and watch the road back to the city. A few months later I find out he has motion sickness and was sitting there to avoid it. He told how it’s been twenty years since he last bus ride, his wife and him were going to Darmasthala after their wedding. Like a lot of love stories from my family, theirs too was filmy. There was drama, romance, violence and even eloping. My family belongs to a lower caste and my aunt belongs to the upper caste, her family was against it, and that’s different story for another time.
The cold seemed to be making my hands numb, the songs on the playlist reminded me of car journeys with my family during family vacations where I’d sleeping on my mother’s lap. Either exhausted from all the puking because of motion sickness or trying to not let the motion sickness get to me. They were good times, the relationship with parents was simpler, life was easier, and the most complicated thing then was how to ask my crush out.
“ಗಲಾಸ್ ಹಾಕ ಅಪಾ”
The man sitting behind me in a sweater, looked at me through his monkey cap, patted my head and asked me to shut the window. My seat was next to the bus window where two windows meet, so I didn’t have a one but two windows but most of my view gets cut off. I looked for a colour about this memory that would strike my memory like hammer when walking down memory lane. But everything and everybody was black except for all the yellow handles that were strapped from a rod that ran on the centre of the bus and was illuminated by headlights of the vehicles behind the bus.
All the flashes of colour from the decorated cows from my farm, the shades of green, red and yellow in the vegetable and flower were like a pretty salad in a bowl. I feel very proud of the pictures I took today.
I heard voices, so I took my earphones off and looked behind and heard two men talking to each other. I turned around and found myself staring at the two empty seats next to me for the sixth or seventh time and realised how it and laughed at the universe for trying to tell me to move on or just laughing at me because it’s funny.
The lights in the bus got turned on, the man in the monkey cap behind me got up to leave and his seat was taken up by an older man with a long white beard, and balding head also with white hair. We stopped at a toll booth and an ambulance passed by, the driver honked because the line didn’t move and it woke the sleeping family of three in front of me.
I hope this bus journey was the start of my travelling life, the on my own. I’m enjoying the song and wondering about what to write for my project and the writing contest.
I wrote, observed, photographed, and enjoyed an hour long bus ride, a little over 100km journey from Avani in Kolar district to Bangalore. Yes the bus driver drove like a mother fucker and I didn’t pee till I got back home, exactly an hour after we got off of the bus. So held it for two hours, my kidneys were fried for sure.