[Editor’s Choice: The Three Passengers – Hilarious Short Story]
A seat of a bus is the aim of your life and it should be the central point like sun of our solar system, around which, the other segments of our life revolve ,like the planets of the solar system. If you have not thought about it until now then , I am not sorry to be judgmental, you have not truly imbibed the soul of India.
The people who are ignorant about the importance of a seat on the bus are not the part of the mainstream society, yet to discover the realms of true India and needed to be thrown straight into the bus number 732 going from Marathalli to Koramangla , in Bangalore.
The red colored bus is travelling on the roads like an unleashed bull, running with the mind of its own , with only one rule in its mind, which is to cover the immediate distance visible. The bus turns swiftly to prevent hitting any nearby car or auto as if it is bouncing off an invisible surface which can be located hardly an inch from the adjacent vehicle .
The passengers inside are the daily passengers which are coming from their offices and heading home to celebrate the occasion of accomplishment of one more day of their slavery to their Indian middle class dreams.
The passengers can easily be identified with their appearances, gait and appendages. The passenger who is flaunting branded clothes with matching shoes and a tie, which in itself is expensive than the accouterments of the adjacent passenger and yet travelling in the bus to save the money on petrol is surely working in a service industry like banking or insurance, where the welcoming personality is a must for acceptability among the customers .
The middle aged passenger with a half sleeve shirt -which is hanging loosely and not tucked inside – with contrasting trousers and sleepers ,wearing a decent strapped watch on his arm , holding a shining steel lunch box is a government employee.
The guy with disturbed hairstyle, t-shirt , jeans, back pack and head phones in his ear is the IT guy.
There are hoards of others but they do not bother us because they are also the same as these three. They all are in the same physical posture, same trance and their mental, emotional and physical balance is matched with that of the bus. They all are holding the yellow pipe of the seat in front if they are sitting or black rubber handles suspended from the pipe attached to the ceiling of the bus if they are standing.
They are deep into their thoughts of whatever subject they chose but the flow of their thoughts is the same. A passenger gets in the bus, buys the ticket, holds the suspending black rubber handle with one arm, immerse deep into his world and his body matches the rhythm of the bus .The thoughts are brought to a halt by the jerk caused by the sudden breaks applied by the driver. The breaks tends to throw the passengers ahead as their body is still in motion where as the bus has stopped . Then again the bus moves , their body matches the rhythm and they immerse into their thoughts.
“The bus will take another hour to reach Koramangla.” the smartly dressed young banker looks at his watch and says to himself.
“I must locate a seat. I should sit down or else I would be too tired when I get home and will not be able to reply all the emails from the boss. I also have to make the synopsis of the job profile I have been handling. ” The banker’s thoughts and body has started to match the rhythm of the bus.
The middle aged government employee is also looking for a seat. He is feeling tired now. “Mr. Aiyyar has been too smart in his financial planning. I will spend more time with him to learn the complexities of the matter. I need to sit to relax, the day had been too taxing!”
“How can I forget you Smitha? You have been my inspiration whole life. Now I am rich and capable and you are no where me.” This is the disturbed IT guy.
“I feel sad without you Smitha. I am no hero without you. I feel so weak.” The disturbed IT guy is looking here and there for the seat.
The three passengers finally saw a passenger who is looking outside the window, trying to understand the location by reading the glowing boards . Their eyes suddenly glow with the gleam of opportunity. A man’s spirit are kindled by the presence of opportunities and they die with the fading chances.
“I need to achieve the target within this week because they will be sending the appraisal forms within this week. No point in scoring after the final whistle!. Oh God! I just need a single account. I just need a single lead.” The young banker shifts towards the seat.
“I should have been careful before hand. I already gifted the car to my son but a lot needs to be taken care of. So much of money is lying in my name here and there and CBI is about to raid the office. Oh Murugana! help me !” The middle aged government employee takes a step forward towards the seat.
“Smitha oh Smitha , why don’t you return my calls. I want to talk to you just once. I have seen love in your eyes for me. God just for once I want to meet her and tell her. I know I couldn’t gather the courage up till now but this time I will.” The IT gy also moves forward.
The three tigers moved silently towards the common prey. Man has been a hunter and will remain a hunter till the rapture. Their hunting instinct warned them. They noticed each others movements and inclinations towards the seat. The war was in the air. They could sense it. Their eyes met and the tussle was confirmed.
“I can’t leave this chance. If I let it go without performance then I may not get another chance.” It was difficult to distinguish whether the young banker was thinking about his job or the seat.
“I have to fight for this. I can’t loose now. Now I am a respected member of the society. This is such a small hindrance now.” The same was with the middle aged government employee.
“Smitha I can’t live without you. I feel so weak.” Although the IT guy tried to move towards the seat but his thoughts were clear.
The young banker was very alert. He looked at both the competitors. They were looking at him too. Nobody knew in whose favor the game would go but this was a strong competition for sure. The middle aged man didn’t budge and was looking at both of them. He seemed to be a stiff fighter. The IT guy seemed too intense. He seemed as if he has ignored the presence of the two competitors altogether. He was in his own mind.
And the result which came was very shocking. In a moment faster than the strike of lightning the bus halted for a brief second, the seated passenger got up and could be seen on the road within no time. No body cares if he jumped through the window. The seat was seen vacant for some fraction of a nano second. There were many people who tried to lower their waist and point their behind toward the seat to present their candidature for the seat.
The most prominent behinds were only three and they were no doubt ,our three passengers. Nobody knew what their fate will be but they fought due to their own reasons and because the man is a hunter. It seemed there was going to be a tough fight between these three which sometimes erupt in violence also. But the young banker was the hero of the day who surprisingly changed the game. His behind was the best candidate for the seat and was about to possess it when he withdrew the candidature and the seat was automatically filled by the second best behind. It was the middle aged government employee who got the seat but he noticed the gesture by the young banker and looked in his eyes for thanking him and also to ask him that why did he withdraw his behind from the competition.
“Please sir, you have the seat!” the young banker said to the winner.
“Thank you young man”
“No problem sir. My pleasure.”
“You seemed to be doing quite well. May I ask where you work?”
The young banker’s chest swelled with pride. The pride was not of his job, it was for the confirmation of his anticipation that this fellow would surely ask about his job.
“Sir, I am a banker at XYZ bank. I look after investments and accounts” The young banker immediately gave him the card.
“Oh, my, my ! Would you mind if I ask for your service?”
“Of course not sir.”
The young banker was still holding the black rubber handle suspended from the ceiling of the bus but he was very happy now, he had a prospective customer, a lead. He saw the watch in the hand of the government employee . It was a golden watch at least worth ten thousand rupees. He was right. This could be government servant at high post.
“Oh God! I could have at least gotten the seat! Oh God! This is not fair. Please bring Smitha to me God…”
The IT guy was still standing too!