Monday, May 15, 2006

Reaching Home, Via Koyembedu

When good old Ramaswami selected a bus, I was so overjoyed, I forgot to read the signboard... which bus number destination what.

The breeze felt heavenly, when the bus finally moved after loading half of Chennai into its belly. The driver, must have been suffering from piles or fistula, since he kept honking uselessly at an hour approaching midnight. People can see the huge glare of the headlights, but he would honk shrilly, get madder and swear at them. One tanker in front broke down, our driver leaned on the horn for something like seven minutes which seemed like seven lifetimes to me. I wanted to go and strangle him with my bare hands, this sort of intransigence is common with the Puneites, deliberately becoming a pain in the ass. They seem to be doing it here too.

After a small eternity, whilst I tried reading Tamil signboards when passing through areas I didn't know, Ramaswami kept staring at one point in far off space, thinking heavily, so heavily I didn't have the heart to make small talk. The bus finally stopped. He had gotten off long before me, having explained patiently that his destination was something like 20 minutes before the last stop of this bus. He told me repeatedly to keep sitting till the bus finally reached its last stop. It did, and to my great relief, the stop was a stone's throw from Koyembedu from where my bus to Pondy had started in the morning. I was overjoyed. I wanted to sing and dance, but unfortunately my sugar level seemed dangerously low and the toffees in my jeans pockets had been consumed long back.

I caught hold of an unwilling auto-rickshaw driver who wanted roughly fifty percent higher charge to take me back exactly where I had started from. Haggling didn't help, he would lapse into Tamil, make faces, act out some emotional scenes that I couldn't interpret... finally I agreed and he dropped me near Roundtana, within walking distance of my place. The only place open for eating at nearly midnight was Arabian Delight, a small shop with a huge oven that remains like all through the evening. There was no choice in the menu. Only grilled chicken, so had one, couldn't finish half of it. My father used to rave about 'posht-e-moorgh' or the skin of the chicken, usually we feed that to our cat. The damned thing turned out to be terribly tasty.

Trudged home and collapsed.
(c) Max Babi, 051506.


At 9:37 PM, Blogger Sucheta said...

Good that you finally made it home. But wasn't the end a bit too abrupt?
LOL, but overall, good fun. Besides, bringing out the irony in such sad, frustrating moments of life is not everybody's forte. You rock!

At 8:20 AM, Blogger Max Babi said...

Thanks a lot, Sucheta. Someone rightly said that when life gets to be unbearable, turn it into a story...believe me, it helps.



Post a Comment

<< Home