Twang! Twaang!! Twang! Twaang!! The brain went on an auto-pilot – ‘4AM! It is the alarm! Hit the Dismiss button’. I use the expensive – relatively – android phone for almost everything including waking me up every day.
Today isn’t every day, though. Today is Monday. The day I travel from my home town to Bangalore, where I work. I had arrived at my home town, three days back. After putting in an extra 0.5kg to my already bulging pot belly – thanks to my mother’s extra helpings – I am ready to leave for the war zone in some time. I ran through the motions, got all dressed up and encountered the matroness at the door, by 5AM. My mother has a glass of hot milk and a satchel containing my breakfast ready by then – Sweet Mom!
My ticket for the 05:30AM train has been booked some days in advance. Just knowing I wouldn’t have to wait in queue or jostle for space makes me feel lazy … and happy. I leave home at 05:05AM and walk down the road, where I hope to meet a dozing auto-rickshaw-wallah, wake him up and ask him to drop me off at the Railway Station. Unfortunately, there seems to be no auto-rickshaws parked here today. A couple of auto-rickshaws that are on the road are already engaged. The time is already 05:15AM and my train leaves in fifteen minutes. Though it takes less than 10 minutes to reach the railway station from here (in clear early morning traffic), from where will I find the elusive auto-rickshaw? … or a bus!? Then, suddenly I see the headlights of what seems to be a bus coming down the road. As my luck would have it, it is a city bus and most buses do go via the railway station. So nice!
But, the bus stops at the designated bus stop down the road and the next bus stop is still some distance away from my current position. I couldn’t possibly run that distance and catch it at the bus stop – no, really! These days, buses have been very strict in stopping only at designated bus stops, opening and closing the doors only after stopping, being on time, etc which are infact good things.
I frantically wave my hand – right in the middle of the road – signalling the driver to stop and open the door. The driver stops and does open the door. I get into the bus. Hand over a Ten Rupees note to the conductor and ask him for a ticket upto the railway station. The conductor hands me change of Six Rupees and walks away.
I ask him for the ticket. He simply says “You’re getting down in a few minutes. Why do you want a ticket? Leave it”.
Should I have got into a fight (and risk missing the train, starting the week on a jumpy note) with him over the ticket, the non-issual of which was actually corruption?
Should the driver have stopped for me in the middle of the road, which was in-a-way, out-of-the-way favor for me?
Unfortunately, I do not have any answers.
Please, Kindly Adjust!