Do not be satisfied with the stories that are told to you. Unfold your own myth – Rumi.

Bus Rides in Bangalore…

Marathalli to Banashankari 2nd Stage

30th August   10:15 pm

And I give it all away
Just to have somewhere
To go to
Give it all away
To have someone
To come home to

This is my December
These are my snow-covered trees
This is me pretending
This is all I need

Icy cold it is in Bangalore, worlds away from warm, humid Chennai, as I stand on a desolate little bus stop somewhere in Marathalli. I have no idea why I’m here. I just remember that I wanted to get away from it all. From the monotony of dump entries, margin calculations & my always full mailbox. From the meaninglessness of it all. From the astounding indifference I feel towards life.

Someone told me last week that I’m still running away from something. Maybe I’m. Maybe that’s why I sat on a bus to Bangalore, with absolutely no plans, nowhere to stay, nothing to do. Maybe that’s the way I want my life to be. Uncertain, without boundaries. Maybe I really don’t know.

I have been standing here 10 minutes, 15 minutes. Not a single bus stops or even slows. Now I’m thinking a bit. I don’t wanna get mugged again, that last time in Hyderabad was quite enough. I make up my mind to grab an auto next & go to the nearest hotel.

But then, one bus slows down & stops. I get on & tell him, “Drop me someplace from where I can get a bus to Banashankari.” “Why, you don’t like this bus?” he asks drily. “Sit down; I’ll take you there.”

Bangalore is quite like every other city at night, except that it’s a lot colder. I zip my jacket up to my neck & look out into the darkness of the night. And my soul.

Banashankari to Majestic

31st August 2011   9:35 am

Manathunnu cheelum vilakkae
Keezhe ninnu njaan kandathalle
Kaaru vanne kolettum vanne
Kattu vanne pinnem paranje
Kunnum kadannu njaaningu vanne
Pinneyum nokkumpol njaanangu poye

thera kaanaanju theeram nadanne
therayadikka kadalum kadanne
maanathoonnu vettam pozhinje
maaru moodaan theeram kamanne
thera thallum theeram pada thallum thaalam
thaalam polinjappol neram veluthe

I’ve always loved mornings. There’s something about the breaking dawn that’s almost magical, like rebirth, a daily event that signifies hope like no other. Bangalore is dazzling me this morning. The bus ride is easily one of the best I’ve been on. The weather’s perfect, the sky’s crystal clear & the cold, crisp air refreshes me to the core. There are a few moments in life when you suddenly are aware of how lucky you are & how beautiful it is to be alive. This is one of those moments.

I’m going to meet a friend & her family. She was my friend long before I knew the word “friend.” We grew up in Jamnagar together, defence kids in the 90s. We lived together, her family & ours, in an atmosphere that’s so different from the world I live in today. Life was so much simpler then.  Dudu was 3 years younger to me & a year younger to Sahaana, so I was more of the big brother to them both, but we still have a lot of memories together, captured in the old lenses of Dad’s ancient Kodak. She’d found me on facebook. I suppose modern technology does have its benefits, some of which are abstract, like this one, immeasurable by any kind of metric, priceless.

The bus rolls on towards the Majestic Bus Port, as fresh flowers bedeck both sides of the street. Its Id today as the holy month of Ramzan ends, & it’s Ganesh Chathurthi tomorrow. Festive season in my great country. Believe me, you’d want to be nowhere else in the world.

Deve Gowda to Brigade Road

1st September 2011    4:40 pm

Raining heavily. I sit on the bus, wet & water drips from every orifice.

I’ve just completed the third & final book of Steig Larsson’s “Millennium” Series, “The Girl who kicked the Hornet’s Nest.” Had been reading it all morning.  It’s an intriguing, captivating tale of a Swedish girl who has to fight the world just for her right to live a normal life.

I’m thinking about her as I the bus moves, how would it feel to have no one on your side, no one to call your own, no one to fall back upon, and at the same time, have an entire entourage of people wanting to, almost desperate to make you disappear. This is a theme that appears in almost every crime or mystery novel, but somehow this one struck a chord.

I’ll leave you with this poem I read when I was at school in Petit Seminaire, and which now features as the VO for the Levi’s “Go Forth” campaign. It remains of my all time favorites.

A Laughing Heart –  by Charles Bukowski

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

*The lyrics featured are from Linkin Park’s “My December” & Avial’s “Ettaam Paatu.”


8 responses

  1. liked it 🙂

    September 4, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    • Sairam Krishnan

      Thanks Shweta..!

      September 5, 2011 at 9:24 am

  2. That’s a nice piece you’ve written, with a stream-of-consciousness feel to it that matches the dreamy weatherscape that you’ve painted. It’s possible to find joy even as you carry out your duties related to work and family. There’s a space in your head that no one can take from you. Ultimately, the greatest freedom is found when you look within.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    • Sairam Krishnan

      Thanks a lot Ma’am..! I’ll remember that.!

      September 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm

  3. Aswathi Sasi

    Hey great post 🙂

    September 8, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    • Sairam Krishnan

      Hey thanks Aswathi..!

      September 8, 2011 at 5:57 pm

  4. kotla

    “why you dont like this bus” lol!

    October 6, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    • Sairam Krishnan

      I know…!! 😀

      October 7, 2011 at 3:47 pm

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