Archive for December, 2007

A bus ride

Posted: December 27, 2007 in Personal

 

I boarded the bus, this evening, to get back home. My car was in the garage and I was compelled to use public transport. There were a few minutes for the bus to depart. Passengers started filling the empty bus but the seat beside me was empty for a while. The driver was having a rather loud conversation with a few frequent travelers. The clamor was unbearable and I was getting impatient. An old lady hopped into the seat beside me and the bus started moving. The old woman was in her mid-fifties. Her clothes were soiled and looked greasy. She carried a gaudy striped purse which was mended in many places. The black hand-made stitches holding the pieces in place had loosened and a wad of old one dollar bills stuck out of the purse. Her face was heavily painted with cheap make-up. The eye-liner was shapelessly used above the lashes. One of her dull eyes had turned opaque with cataract. Her dark purple lips parted revealing her half crooked, half pale brown teeth as she smiled and greeted me. I greeted back.

“Indian?” she asked. It was quite obvious. I smiled and nodded. She looked at me and smiled back. Her gaze rested on my ears. “Nice earrings!” She said. I smiled again. After a while, she repeated,” Very pretty earrings, are they real?” I shifted uneasily in my seat and lied “No, not at all.” She sat quietly. “Then why do you not give them to me?” I looked at her trying to sound calm, “They are a gift from home.” Silence. “I will give you a dollar. Give them to me.” I froze and did not reply. Her expression turned cold. Her eyes glittered as she continued looking at the shining metal. I could see immense rage in her eyes. She hissed,” I have a sister, she is so mean. Some people are good, they give, but some are so mean, they do not give! You know, I feel like pulling her hair and beating her!” I cowered back. Had she asked me one more time, I would have given them to her. I gathered courage while she was still seething in anger. There were quite a few people in the bus. That comforted me. I quickly got up from my seat and alighted at the next stop not bothering to know which stop it was.

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