The most difficult and yet the most enthralling part about a ‘college day’ is my ride back home. The most convenient vehicle to reach my home is a mini bus which we call ‘force gaadi’ in our area. It was only a couple of months later that I realised the vehicle was called Force because of a logo on it.
The best part about the ride is that we never have to hold on to a seat or grip a pole or anything else to stand straight. The continuous push and pull automatically keeps the body upright. However, one must have a very lucky day to get a seat in that vehicle during peak hours (except if you are boarding it from the first few stops).
But this daily struggle is one of the most fascinating parts of my day. I get to witness various sorts of people. I don’t get this opportunity while going to college in the morning because I am often fortunate enough to get a seat. I prefer to indulge myself in something else rather than observing others while I am seated.
After getting on Force, I try to squeeze myself to get the best spot to stand on. I find the space behind the driver’s seat most comfortable as I can lean against the bar behind the seat and the conductor doesn’t ask you to adjust your place.
One of these days, on a normal college day, luckily enough I managed to get my favoured space to stand on. The driver was playing ‘Shape of You’ at a very low volume. I wanted to ask him to increase the volume but I felt quite shy to do so. The feeling of ‘what would others think’ began developing within me. I didn’t want to fall into any awkward situation. In the meantime, a small chubby boy climbed the bars and went on to stand beside the driver. He was busy playing with his cap and with the dolls placed near the steering wheel. The next song was ‘Prem Leela’. The boy probably recognised the music and without wasting any time he asked the driver to increase the volume. The driver smiled and followed the orders of that little fellow. I couldn’t help smiling.
At that time, I felt that I think a lot about things that are actually unnecessary. I am frequently imagining people’s reactions to the petty decisions that I make for myself. I remember how I had once thought for an entire night about how my classmates would react to me wearing a kurta the following day. The next day, only a couple of them noticed that I was wearing one. This happens to me quite often. Sometimes, I feel helpless about my random thoughts. Mostly though, I enjoy my secret imaginings.
That day, I looked at the boy who asked the driver to increase the volume again. I saw him singing another song as the previous one was over. The most amazing part was that he was singing the female part in a high pitch, and the male part in a low pitch. It was very amusing to see him switch. I was so occupied observing the boy that I almost missed my stop. After hearing the conductor shout out the name of the stop, I stepped off the bus, paid my fare and started walking home.