Time at present is an elusive enigma for me. The duty fronts have encroached all my waking period and ‘me-time’ often sounds like a cruel jest. A considerable amount of these precious, limited hours of my life is spent in the shuttles or shared cabs, a long journey to and from the office. But, it is not altogether a bad thing. With a daily commute of more than two hours, the most private time of my day is within a moving vehicle, rubbing my shoulders against a co-passenger. And it is mostly this company that decides how blissfully I will spend those personal moments. The experiences are of many kinds and today I have decided to categorize my fellow commuters based on the myriad experiences. There are many special kinds, but here is my top five.
The Humming Bees
So imagine, you are trying to catch a wink after the day’s hiatus. But, your nap is disturbed by a prolonged humming whisper. Trying to find the source of the buzzing bees, you discover it is your fellow passenger speaking on a phone. You try to sharpen your auditory skill to decode it but, nothing is coherent beyond a persistent hum sound. Your sleep has alluded you and you start wondering what kind of sorcery is this. The lips are moving, no words are coming out, but the caller on the other side is listening! Then to add to the imagination, a particular sentence like “You know what I saw there?” crosses the zero decibel threshold and piques the interest further. But, to your dismay, the voice has returned to its original version. Despite several attempts, you fail to decipher anything and start imagining the plight of the caller on the other side who might be also struggling. And ultimately waste a peaceful sleeping hour for nothing.
Another day, another story. You are busy scrolling the timeline when an exciting voice whets your attention. An interesting story is brewing and you cannot help but start listening to the conversation, while still posing to be busy with the mobile. The tale has all the right spices – a feisty girl, a ferocious boy, a steamy extramarital affair. The storyteller is a complete stranger, and you might never meet them again. But, the details are so vivid that you start feeling that you already know these characters all your life. Then the story approaches the climax, some office scene or a family drama is about to unfold. You have now stopped pretending and listening with apt attention, when suddenly there is an interruption.
“Hey, please hold. It’s my stoppage. Let me get down.”
And just like that, the storyteller will walk away from your seat, leaving the story at a vantage point. Your inner self screaming to stop her, demanding a valid closure, a return for your valuable investment for the past hour. On the other hand, you maintain a graceful poise on the outside, as if you have not suffered a doleful injustice. Then, with no option left, you spend the rest of the journey imagining and writing the end in your mind.
The Unfortunate Adieu
A similar situation like above, the only difference being, your stoppage has arrived just when the climax was unfurling. Your heart tells you to linger, and miss your stop. But, your mind reprimands and ask you to be practical. Confused, still toying with the idea to stay back, you glance at the watch and understand time is playing a spoilsport. With a heavy heart, you drag your feet towards the door, leaving an unfinished tale behind.
These are a typical set of men, that strive for sharing is caring. They do not believe in using earphones. They usually watch speeches by Modi or Mamata or tries to catch up with some spirituality by watching videos of Sadhguru or even an episode of Big Boss! That too on loudspeaker. Because they believe, that all knowledge should be shared. You try to make eye contact, shift within your seat, or make an exasperating sound to convey your irritation, but, he is adamant with his well-intended baloney. So, your journey becomes a little more boring and you increase the volume of your earphone to the max.
As sinister as it sounds, this is one the best kind of co-passenger you can have. The person next to you just drifts away to the dreamland, leaving you to fend yourself. The best option would be to catch up on your sleep too. But, the choice is yours. Obviously, they can come with their own set of baggage like falling on you at the turn, their bags hitting you at unsuspected places. But, after a chaotic day, you might just enjoy this hour of silence and prepare yourself for the battle waiting for you at home.
Do u have any such experiences? Or am I the only lucky one? Share your journey stories with me because after all sharing is caring. 😁
Note: This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.