Many of us assume that we are conscious enough and are aware of things happening around us. But things happen to us without our control and we inadvertently go through the situation, in spite of us being fully conscious that, we have done things right. Let me narrate an incident that happened on Friday (19th Feb 2010) that was hopelessly funny and persuaded me to give a deep thought about it.
It was Friday and I left my cubicle around 5.07 PM to catch my 5.30 office bus. I walked past the array of buses which was in the bus bay. The bus numbers decremented one by one from 128 and I located the bus number 105 which takes me to Triplicane. The bus driver was standing near the entrance with the bus register. I smiled at him and boarded the bus. He was a familiar guy as I used to take this bus in the morning near my house.
The bus was sparsely filled. I spotted a three seater and placed my bag. Just then a guy came and the person sitting in seat said that he already placed his bag. It is difficult to sit in a three seater with three people in it. So I looked for other seats and found a girl, sitting alone in another three seater. I quickly occupied the aisle seat. She was sitting by the window seat. I always find comfortable sitting beside a girl in a three seater. The reason is not because I can flirt with a stranger woman, but because the probability of the third seat getting filled is very less compared to a situation in which two males sitting in a three seater and the third seat is empty. Thus only two persons in a three seater can travel comfortably, a two hour journey towards home.
Both of us exchanged a “Hi…” and a smile as we know each other through this bus journey to and from the office campus and Home. As speculated, other seats were getting filled and no one occupied the third place in our seat. The bus started at 5.30 pm sharp and picked up speed. As the bus covered a few distance, she plugged in her mobile ear phones and was looking outside the window. I too wanted to listen to songs in the mobile. But I was feeling damn tired. I was feeling bored too. So I took my mobile from my pocket logged in to the DABR website to access twitter. Checked few tweets and later posted few tweets about bus journeys. I felt sleepy a bit, so logged off the twitter API and dozed off.
It was 6.57 PM when I opened my eyes and peeped outside the window and found that the bus is near Anna University and it crossed IIT Madras. I took the mobile from the pocket and thought of checking twitter again. Just then I got a message from my friend. I get lots of forward messages daily from friends. But I know that this is not a forward message because she never usually sends any forwards. I know that is going to be some personal message intended for me. I opened the message, it read,
“Wat are u dng in here in adyar bus? Luk bak”
I didn’t understand first. As I woke up from sleep, I didn’t know what this message all about . I turned back to see her sitting in the two seater. I was startled to see her because I know she never boards my bus and both of us catch different bus in the evening. I was totally confused and was in complete mess. I looked outside the window. The bus had already reached the Sangita Hotel in Adyar. I quickly grabbed my bag and went to her seat and sat beside her.
“Hey, I boarded the wrong bus” I said.
“Ayyo Kally, what happened, you are realizing it only now?” She asked.
“Anyways, I can get down here and catch the state transport to reach home. Tell me where this bus stops now. Will this stop under the flyover near L.B. Road?”
“Yes, you can get down in the next stop. It takes a right turn under the bridge and goes to Besant Nagar” She said.
“OK, see you Sou” I said in hurry and rushed to the front to get down.
I was so confused. Why did I board the wrong bus? I was confident that I got into right one. Even the girl sitting beside me used to come in the same bus. I thought, “OK I would have got into the bus number 112”. This is the bus I used to take at 7.30 pm. I reassuringly recalled the bus number. I had made a mistake it seems. I know 112 bus goes to Adyar at 5.30 pm. I would have boarded the 112 bus as I used to get into it at 7.30 pm. But how did I make this mistake. I remembered that few of the folks who used to get down in Triplicane were present in the bus.
I haven’t got an opportunity to use state transport from Adyar as I used to use my bike to commute till Adyar for shopping or for lunch with friends etc. I wanted my bike badly. It will take around half an hour from Adyar to Triplicane. I enquired few people standing in the bus stand about which bus may take me to Triplicane.
The office bus number 105 will drop me right infront of the street where my house is. I thought may be the girl who was sitting beside me is having some work in Besant Nagar or somewhere after that or she is going to meet her friend. I cursed my forgetfulness and carelessness of not noticing the bus properly. It was Friday evening. I wanted to reach home early, not that I had an appointment with my girl friend or I have a party in the local club at my place. It is just that I wanted to reach home soon.
After some twenty minutes of waiting and enquiring, I saw a bus which came to a slow halt in the bus stand. It was 21H.
I enquired the conductor, “Is the bus going towards Beach Road near Vivekananda House?”
“Yea this is taking the beach road but it will not halt in Vivekananda House stop”, the conductor replied.
After a quick thought process, I enquired him again, “Kannagi Statue stop?”
“Yes, get in, get in”, he signaled and hurried in his tone.
Thank God, I at least got a bus to my place. From the Kannagi Statue stop it will be twenty minutes walk to my place. I got into the bus and the conductor handed me a ticket to Kannagi Statue. I paid Rs 7.00 and there was no place to sit. I leaned over a pole and took out my mobile, logged into twitter and tweeted,
This tweet even appeared in the Google Buzz the next day, in the wrong time line as I’ve linked my twitter account persuaded by the laziness to use Buzz and twitter separately!
I decided to call her and informed her that I got into the bus. I thanked her for messaging at the right time. Otherwise I would have slept and the bus would have crossed Besant Nagar. Both of us spoke for a minute and I disconnected the call.
I was thinking about the ordeal of walking till my house from the Kannagi Statue stop in the beach road. Suddenly my mobile ringed and it was Sou who is calling me. I thought she is going to inform me about, she reaching home safe. I picked up the mobile and she spoke
“Kally, I’ll tell you one thing. You shouldn’t shout at me” She said giggling.
I was puzzled. What is that she has to say which will make me shout at her at this point of time? She has really helped me today. How can I shout at her or get angry? I thought.
“Tell me Sou, what’s the matter?” I was so much curious to know what she is going to say.
“Kally…actually…” she fumbled, swallowed few words and finally said those golden words, “I was the one who boarded the wrong bus!”
I was into total bewilderment. I didn’t know what to say.
I was in mixed emotions, “what the hell!!!”
She was laughing madly.
“So I was in the right bus and it is you who got into the wrong one” I replied wondered.
“I guess it is true Kally” she said, “I was so confused today and I guess, I boarded the wrong bus. Sorry Kally”
“Adi paavi, I would have peacefully slept in the bus till Triplicane” I spoke at her cursing myself.
Later I found that, it is her friend who accompanied her in the auto till her place told her that she had boarded the wrong bus. Her friend asked her, “What are you doing in the Triplicane bus?”
Only later she understood that she was in the wrong bus and I was in the right one. Her friend asked her to call me back and inform me about this confusion and making this poor boy get down the office bus, killing his peaceful sleep and subjecting me to run for the city buses. One has to understand that a person who is used to taking office bus, from Mahindra City which is situated terribly outside the city, which drops him exactly near the house, will find it extremely difficult and tiring to catch a state transport, get down in the beach road and walk some few kilometers into the Triplicane.
As most of the office bus used to go till Adyar then take different routes, she didn’t realize that she was in the wrong one. But it is not going to make any big difference for her as she stays in Adyar. It is I who has to travel some kilometers to Triplicane.
But all this did not make me furious. I was only laughing myself for making a fool out of me and not for being cautious and conscious. Before getting down, I could have asked the driver, just to reassure. I did not do it. It is because our sheer confidence and the sub conscious control of our mind that makes us believe things that are happening around as correct.
I was bit confused after seeing her in my bus. She had never played a prank on me which made me believe her words. This one incident I would never forget in my life as in my 2.6 years of corporate work life, I had never boarded a wrong route bus. A simple SMS from a close friend came as a bolt that hampered my peaceful journey.
The point is, we are not governed by external factors. We are simply governed by internal stimuli. We are controlling ourselves. We are responsible for things happening to us. We simply blame others or things which hamper our work or even the day. But people forget that everything is within us. I do not want to blame her for spoiling my way back home, delaying me by half-an-hour to reach home, making me run here and there for bus, making me walk a long distance. But I want to thank her for giving me an opportunity to understand life, to understand the human behavior. She has given me an opportunity to understand self and the way of life. A lots of introspection went into this.
Life is all about learning things. But as some SMS says, life is a good teacher because it teaches us things only after putting us in that situation in real time. We learn the lesson not just by reading or looking at it, but by feeling and realizing it from the incidents which happens to us.
She promised me a chocolate or even a bigger one for not telling this to anyone as this may lead to insult to her dignity and may pose a threat to her respect among friends. She even said, she will return the “Thank You” that I conveyed her for messaging at the right time otherwise I would have slept and reached a different place. But I really wanted to share this with many of them as I wanted to show how things happen to us without our control in spite of us being on the right side and so this post. Since she was my college mate and a very good friend of mine, I respected her words and concealed her identity here. Sou is just a pseudo name I gave her, though this resembles a short form her real name that we used to call.