What are you doing in Adyar Bus?

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.

Thanks again!

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2012 Syndrome – A Nightmare about an end


A week back, I woke up from a deep sleep early in the wee hours of the morning to find myself lying in the bed, clutching the pillow tight.

Thank God I’m back, Home – This is what I thought for some time and then slowly recalled what I saw scene by scene…

***

The living area seemed to be so familiar.

Yes.

It’s my home. Something was bothering me. Yes, The world outside is going to come to an end. But how? That’s the question which stabbed my heart. I was searching frantically for some book.

I screamed, “It’s there in the book. It is written how the thing will happen”.

I searched the book, without knowing, what the book is all about. I kept reminding myself the page number in which it was written. I looked at all places, and finally spotted my computer table, in which I found the book intact with the surface of the table. I could feel the cold gush of air in the face. I could feel the chilling electric pulse traversing from my central spine to all over the nerve junctions. I crouched towards the table to pick it up and opened the page in which the ‘thing’ was written. I wanted to read that single page which decided the next few moments. I felt, the world outside would get destroyed any time. I could imagine the cracks appearing in the roads ready for its destruction and its journey into the deep unfathomable cavity extending underneath the surface of earth!

I extended my hands to reach for the book. The scene changes!!! **Sigh**

***

I walk in a big campus resembling the Infy campus in MCity. I could see big posh buildings, dazzling in blue and green glasses, reflecting the sunlight which appears to be some known university in a foreign country. I was in my thick blue jeans with a full sleeved turtleneck T-shirt covered with a long brownish cloak, covering my body till the knees. I could see myself walking hurriedly towards a glass door entrance, with an old book with parchment type of hard bounded cover and an ancient symbol beveled in its center. I read a particular page with some unknown symbols and markings scribbled in the top empty space in the page. I kept walking along the pathway into the Corridor, where I could spot a few other boys and girls strolling randomly towards various entrances to halls.

I was about to turn the next page, just then someone who passed by me, yanked the book from my hand closing it with a THUD and then stuffed it back in my hands, snapping, “Don’t read all this here. It’s barred here. Don’t you know?”

I looked at him in bewilderment and snapped back, “Why is it that? Can’t you see I’m reading things and see the symbols I’ve noted down, here?”

He didn’t seem to show any interest in my argument. He picked up his mobile and walked away. I kept looking at him and suddenly I rushed towards the staircase in the corridor and kept walking in it until I reached a room which appeared to be a classroom. It was full of students. I thought I was going to deliver some lectures to them and I did not feel like a student in the university which I had thought earlier. I was about to enter the classroom, just then the scene changes again!

***

I was walking in the streets of Triplicane looking at the things around me. This is my place where I stayed in Chennai for the past 12 years. Now, I had reached the road which was perpendicular to our street. I marched forward looking at the world outside my house. It seemed to be normal but as I crossed two junctions which came in between, I could see the cars and almost all the vehicles are parked in the traffic bringing the environment to a standstill. Nothing seemed to move. Looking straight ahead, I could see an array of vehicles jammed in the road and it was crowded as if some disaster is scheduled to happen.

I walk past various cars and autos parked in the middle of the road. I was terrified. I still couldn’t visualize the disaster that’s going to happen. As all chennaites know very well that, Triplicane is located near the Marina beach and it is walkable distance from the place, I need not explain where the beach is. I kept advancing towards the end of the road. I could see many people standing outside their houses and looking at things very uneasily. There were lots of worried faces which I could easily spot. Almost all of them have come out and were holding feared looks in the faces.

I didn’t know how far I had walked; suddenly I could see the sea and its water level has risen considerably. I didn’t know, Marina encroached this much of land beside it. The water level was deliberately high. Usually, whenever I look at the beach, standing on the shores, facing the waters, I had always looked down as the shores are always elevated. But for the first time in my life, I was looking up at an elevation angle of about 60 degrees above the normal eye sight. I couldn’t digest the fact that, I’m not standing in the shores which will be usually sandy where we can find Sundalhawker, boats, ice cream and Balloon Shooting stalls and a sparsely distributed population of affectionate duos performing the intimate game plays in the vast open space, but I’m standing in the well-polished tar roads which were laid for the last week parliamentary elections.

I could see the waters have engulfed the dry sandy shores into its buoyancy and people are standing in the road that runs parallel to it. In no time, I could hear the waves emitting a mystical hum and the water body visible to my eyes started ebbing out. The clouds above the water body took weird shapes and darkened. I couldn’t control my fearful excitement. The darkened clouds formed a weird image resembled to be a face of a human being, like that of lord Voldemort’s image that used to appear in the sky, whenever death eaters cast the dark symbol in the Harry Potter series. I immediately took out my mobile from my shorts and launched the Camera application in it (I’m still confused as to why I wanted to take the picture of that face in the sky, when the world is actually about to come to an end). How did my mobile find its way into my shorts pocket? I never reminisced carrying it with me, when I started from home. Well dreams always leave you with many questions unanswered.

I took out my cell, gazed the sky and tried clicking the image and the whole devastating scene in front of my eyes that nobody could imagine – A sea ebbing out which is already at a higher elevation than the usual one and ready to pounce on the human population and engulfing the lands, hauling everything inside it. But the time I was to register what is happening, I found myself inside the water, floating in an unknown height and depth. I went unconscious and suddenly the scene changed as usual.

***

I was clutching very lightly without any efforts, the outer surface of a huge cylindrical hollow tower edifice which can hold 2 to 3 persons vertically in its hollow circular enclosure, situated at some safe distance from the beach. I could see the water body flowing into the lands and roads underneath it, getting slowly swallowed by the demonic waves. I still hold the metallic edifice clutching its cylindrical surface on its top and yelling at the image which appeared in the sky.

“Let it happen the way you wanted. I’ll see what can be done,” I challenged the dark face.

I could feel some force which was holding me close to the cylindrical structure. I felt easy to be held in its proximity, with myself at the topmost part of it. I did not hold it tight. I was just spreading my hands around it and the circumference was so large that, I couldn’t hold my palms of both my hands, together on the other side. So you can imagine how I was being held to its surface like a magnetic levitated train in its electromagnetic tracks. To be very simple, I felt like Spiderman sticking to the surface of the tower. Well I nested a small pride in me to have challenged some evil force which was trying to destroy the world by agitating the water body of world’s second largest beach!! (Heights of dreaming!!)

Now I started descending down the pillar and felt as how I’ve been operated by someone. I drifted smoothly on the cylindrical surface without being held anywhere or suffering intense pain or scratch. The bright world outside slowly started disappearing and an enclosure has started appearing around the pillar. I was descending down in the hollow space between the enclosure and the hollow pillar like structure. The darkness has already surrounded me. But I could see an aura of light around me, just me alone. I could see the inscriptions which have been inscribed on the surface of the edifice. I was still descending down. I was comfortable descending down as how the elevators descend down the floors. Suddenly, I remembered something was written beside the image which I saw in the sky, the darkened image formed by the clouds. I wanted to recall that. So in that instant, I was again ascending upward the edifice. I reached the top of the tower again. I could see the sea and the terrific waters flowing mercilessly into the city. The city was getting heavily water logged. Slowly the roads, houses, and buildings have started disappearing in the water. I could again see the face and the text which was formed beside it through the dark clouds. Satisfied, I again descended down the tower effortlessly.

To my surprise, I found this undeniable truth that, it was none other than me who was controlling my traverse upward and downward. Nobody was controlling it. I felt as if I’m controlling my life and my dream. I could clearly see that I’m in a dream and I could do all weird things like controlling my traverse up and down by just giving a thought about it. I calmed myself and held the pillar close to me and started my descend down into the deep hollow black space that lay beneath me. This cylindrical pillar was my only ray of hope and light to this journey of descend, which I’ve been subjected myself to. I found myself getting into a state of mental stability. The downward journey into the vast pitch black hollow beneath me was happening at ease. I was breathing normally.

It would have been some hours of time, ticked away. I still found myself descending into the oblivion. Suddenly the velocity at which I was travelling encountered retardation in the motion and the journey came to a halt as my feet touched a solid base of something.

I detached myself from the structure which was holding me all throughout the journey and looked down to get a view of the staircase. The staircase was made of metal with the most intricate artistic works in its design. The spiral steps looked very ancient like that of the steps in the British style bungalows. I was involuntarily getting down the steps and I reached the doors which seemed to be half open. I reminded myself about preparing for some lecture to be given to students who have gathered in a large seminar hall. I quickly entered the door to find a bunch of university students waiting for someone. As soon as I entered the hall, they started moving towards a particular classroom which seemed to be attached to the hall. The hall was brightly ventilated with the gleaming yellowish ambience spreading all over the hall.

I walked into one of the classrooms. I could see around five to six students who were sitting opposite to each other in the classroom tables and were chatting. The girls were in their sleeveless tights and jeans and were excited seeing me in the class. It looked as if a gang of friends were chatting happily in the recess break after a session of lecture. I happily joined them remembering my own college days. They welcomed me with “yaayyo”. In that group, one of the girls looked at me. I was confused as whether I’m a professor who is visiting this campus for a guest lecture or a student who has enrolled for a course in MS in some weird discipline say Symbology in some foreign university in UK. Images of Dan brown and Robert Langdon hovered in front of me. I could recollect the pages I have read from the “The Lost Symbol” last night in the bus. The way he has explained the interior of the US Capitol building was haunting my mind. The girl came to me. She was nearing me. I knew what she is about to do. She had a titillating looks in her face. She looked stunningly beautiful. I couldn’t resist the delay. I wanted to go and grab her and….

I woke up with a heavy pounding heart. Searched for my mobile and saw the time. It was 3.30 AM. I opened my eyes completely, chafed it twice or thrice and kept thinking about what I saw. I remembered many things immediately post dream – 2012, Movie trailer, 2012 theories, The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown, Robert Langdon, Harry potter,  my willingness to do an MBA abroad, interest in cryptography, passion for getting a new touch screen mobile and many other things which I was so passionate about. These things have collectively shown its face in various events.

***

Well, I recalled everything and dozed off. Usually we used to forget what we see in the dreams as soon as we get up in the morning. But this dream I really wanted remember. I wanted to blog about this. It may look very silly but still I wanted this to write this somewhere and share with others. For those who think this is all crap and I’m so silly, I admit I’m silly and don’t wanted to be in one of those mature grown up frowning serious male category. And for all those who enjoyed this, let me know what you felt about this.