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Of bus travels, Jokers and toilet breaks.

Guide for dummies – If you have an irritable bowel, dont drink a lot of water before traveling. Especially travelling in a bus. That’s air-conditioned. Going  long distance. Mumbai – Pune. And then watch something really dark like Joker …..

‘Train No 02015 has been cancelled due to unavoidable circumstances.’ Msg from IRCTC with love last evening.  So I had to take a bus. This is about that trip.

6 am – curfew over – try Ola auto – Pasha the auto driver zooms during the magic hour. Which isn’t great news for me . Because wind x speed x my condition = Pee time.

Ping.

We reached the bus stand. I pay, ,rush out, take a stand. Ahh relief! Time – 6.30 Bus late – good. 

One ticket Pune station. Dabbang driver his uni tucked in, pointy shoes and fake skin jacket starts engine – the Shivneri roars – we’re off. After a while the familiar tingling again! I press pause on the movie Joker , look outside – barely out of the city , Sheesh!

I worked to a plan. Enjoy reel life, ignore real life. Joaquim, really good actor,  – ignore cute girl boarding bus.. Ignore driver arguing with cabbie, ignore bus slowing  down. Observe Joker lose job, friends, mother – immerse in his life as it goes to pieces , feel for him as he loses it , so so depressing, makes me feel like pe…. Ahhh!

An hour to go before next stop. Okay you can do this. It’s hard, but come on. Think of The Joker, compared to him, this is a cake walk. Till the driver hits the brake, countless cars line up one behind another. A signage reads ‘No stopping on Expressway’. 

Yeah right.

Another board announces 500 meters to toll naka. Meaning we wriggle n crawl to reach the toll point – add another hour to my misery, perhaps more.. my bladder goes comatose, yes that can happen. I want the driver to stop, let me out. If only I had a gun. But I have performance anxiety, can’t do it under pressure. What a Joker!

The driver breaks the impasse, finds a service lane to move ahead. I see visions, my half  empty water bottle in my back pack, empty last seats. But how do you get there without others wondering, the smell, Is this how old people are? Am I old? The bus glides smooth, the landscape outside surreal – it crosses the toll naka

And What’s this? The food court 10 meters ahead, he stops the bus!  He and me are the first one out. Straight to the loo. I pee out a river. Ahh life.

Am back in my seat. 5 minutes we are off, I look at the bag – the water bottle. Cute girl struggling with bag. I help of course.

Where are you headed?

Pune.’

Me too.’

Ha! That – happens only in the movies.

So I watch the end of Joker. Hmmn – okay, Wonder what all the fuss was about? 

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Published by appamprawns

soni writes about children and people in controlled spaces, in his quest for appam stew. homi writes in the hope of being able to buy prawns to make patiyo.

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