Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hitotoki - At the Bus Terminus

A follow up to the previous hitotoki.

Location: The Majestic bus terminus in Bangalore
Time: 18:00 Hrs.

The terminus is aptly christened 'Majestic'. It is majestic in an unlikely sense.Commuters sway like a multitude of flies lost in the common din.The buses ;some empty and others straining to balance the weight of passengers dangling precariously from foot boards,hog as much space as they can. There is an attempt, by harried employees of the B.M.T.C. , to maintain some semblance of order.They swirl their batons, directing the movement buses and commuters alike. How they bark at commuters who invite death by sprinting across platforms instead of taking the safe over-bridge.

The platforms are a world by themselves.There is hardly enough room to stand.There are families sprawled along each platform, with all their belongings huddled together in one place.There are small time entrepreneurs,striving to make a living be selling maps,newspapers and booklets with bus timings.There are travelers from outside Karnataka as well as illiterate locals,confounded by the scrawl of the Kannada script (most buses have boards written entirely in Kannada), they occasionally request locals familiar with the script to help them decipher what is written.Such locals themselves wait eagerly for that familiar bus that will take them to the desired destination. They crane their necks so that they can read the route information mentioned on bus boards.

The buses come one by one. Bus drivers and conductors encourage commuters to fill each bus to the brim.They often procrastinate at the terminus till driven out by B.M.T.C. traffic controllers.One cannot help inhaling the smog,the dust and the heavy air.One cannot avoid being jostled around like raw material in a centrifuge.It is impossible to remain placid and riveted to a single spot. One has to accept the discomfort of feeling lost and displaced.There are no individuals, there is no governance, there is only anarchy.If there wasn't anarchy the terminus would be stripped of its hostile majesty.

2 comments:

Gammafunction said...

There are no individuals, there is no governance, there is only anarchy.If there wasn't anarchy the terminus would be stripped of its hostile majesty.

Do I sense a slight awakening of a political leaning or is it just me :-)

there is this half written draft hitotoki somewhere on my blogger dashboard.have been wanting to write one for ever.

La Diva! said...

I wish I were politically inclined. On the other hand can you imagine the bus terminus being called 'pacific'? You should complete that hitotoki. It's the easiest thing to write when you're running out of ideas :p