Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Humor - Ticket to Ride

By Gaurav Parab

Let’s discuss the bus ride back home. We start with the event most of us who always are on time to board the bus face nearly everyday. The Answer Seeking Soul (A.S.S for simplicities sake)

A.S.S after A.S.S comes up to your window to ask: “Where does this bus go to?”


“Does this bus go to Pashan?”

“Hmm….Kothrud. Not sure about Pashan”

“Through Pashan?”


“Before going to Kothrud?”


Then he will turn around and shout to the rest of the herd. “This one goes to Kothrud”

There is frenzied movement towards the bus. People in Afghanistan have been timed to be slower when running towards air-dropped food packets.

“Through Pashan?” everyone questions back while walking. Then they come to me again for confirmation. By that time, I have a faint understanding about what drives nations to develop atomic arsenals.

With experience, I have restricted my involvement in these sessions to a simple “Yes” or “No”. So, these days, when someone asks me,

“Where does this bus go to?”

“Yes.” Is what I reply back with.



The pack then boards the bus. One of them comes and depending on the day – melts or chains himself to the seat adjacent to mine. The big guys usually melt, gracefully dropping on to the seat, arms flowing around my shoulder and solidifying over and around my neck. The chained types are the convicts under torture therapy. Their arms, instantly spread wide – tied to invisible chains that are connected to magnets repelling each other. Before you can say Abu Gharib, you are pushed out of the window to face the incoming traffic from Kothrud.

As you wait for the driver to turn up, you can’t help but notice the sheer individuality associated with the way people enter the bus.

· The confident guy who knows exactly where he is going to sit. Having planned that activity months in advance.
· The swinging hippy whose performance appraisal is linked to the number of people he can hit with his bag.
· The unsure ranger. Should I sit on the seat next to the beautiful girl? Will it be too obvious, since half the bus is empty? Is the helmet I am carrying a giveaway?
· The girl who asks for directions to empty seats inside the bus. Through her mobile phone.

Now, I understand that people get inspired to be at their best in the strangest of places. Call it coincidence or call it bad karma, I always happen to be in the vicinity of high performance programmers who can only write codes in the air circulating in my bus.

“The LDAP server seems to be the problem” Programmer # 1 says.

“Could it be UNIX related?” Programmer # 2 says loudly.

“Nope, looks like an automation issue.” Programmer # 1

“I checked today. I have the access rights [Rest of the bus please note that I am an important guy]… Programmer # 1 thinks out aloud @ 150 decibels.

… but I was not able to log-in” he adds.

[Your team changed the passwords to prevent you from logging in you dumb moron]

Do these guys wait in their cubicles all day long and practice smart things to say in the bus? Or is it more than just loose talk? If so, I am all for AFECXO provided Working Buses – with computers and all – just driving slowly around the city for programmers who can only code while sitting on a half ton diesel engine.

Thousands of years ago, somewhere in the Mohenjodaro area- there was a bus with a group of people trying to get their UNIX server working. The discussion was pretty animated, and as is the case always – a few groups could not understand what the other groups were saying. More people boarded the bus and joined the different groups that were seemingly talking in different languages on the UNIX problem. Since they had already run out of seats – and some group members were hanging on to the windows- one group decided to leave the bus and resume their discussion outside. That is how the first Indian State was born. Soon other groups left to form states of their own.

Almost as an after thought, the bus driver enters at the last possible moment. He looks slowly at the crowd, and as is directed under the Starting the Bus section of the Tata Motors User Manual - dutifully curses under his breath. And then we are on our way.


Anonymous said...

Wicked! :) Well thought out. I get really annoyed by these endless phone calls people seem to have on the bus. And they are always talking so loudly - bombarding us with their project details and/or personal life. Believe me, the latter is worse. I had a real problem with one woman (who has either quit or is onsite at the moment - I have my fingers crossed that should be the former). I used to live in mortal fear of her coming and sitting next to me. Atta booming voice she had! Not that it would have helped if she sat anywhere else. Everyone on the Koramangala bus could hear her loud and clear irrespective of where they sat! Her discussions about 'pammi chachi' and 'arun bhaiya' and 'binni mausi' had me at my wit's end! (names not changed!!)

Oreen said...

why aren't more ppl reading you?

will read the rest of your blog soon...


mayank said...

lovely man - as usual! :-)

Vaish said...

Hahah! :)

Anonymous said...


Enjoyed it. J. Keep posting.

- Nirmal John

Anonymous said...

Wonderfully written! I could so relate to it… :)



Anonymous said...

Hi Gaurav,

This is awesome! J

Enjoyed reading it!

Waiting for your next article J

Thanks and regards,

Arun Narayanan

Anonymous said...

Yeah…awesome it is..

I hope there is a part-2 coming about the actual ride home…

With special mention of people who suddenly decide to open the window and then after ramming the pane into the person’s shoulder sitting in front of you decide to ask the humble and innocent question “ Did I hurt you??”

And also the other rules of Tata motor’s user manual like

” thou shall always overtake even if it means driving with the wheels on either side of the divider”

Kartik Rama Rao

Tambourine Girl said...

"Yes" Lol!!! Only I'm usually one of the answer-seeking-souls :|

Maanya Ravindra said...


Really good stuff. Well, a lil of your wickedness has rubbed off on me...

A few additions:
Mr.I'm-the-life-of-the-gang, who talks (instructs rather!) loudly to his giggling Sunsilk gang of girls and tells them where to sit. Rants about his weekend in Mumbai escapades and how a certain shop in Vile Parle is the cheapest place to buy mobile phones.

Ms.Gosh-Im-so-pretty-everyones-lookin-at-me. She walks into the bus looking around for a seat acting like everyone (read drooling male species) is bending over backwards to offer her a seat.



Anonymous said...

U r good man.

Winner said...

Great one
Exact experience of mine
Are you a mind reader!!!!

Anonymous said...

It's hilarious. Should vie for the title of "most-read" blog in India :)

- Apurva

Anonymous said...

Simply Awesome dude. Keep writing.