Solo Travel Diaries – Bus Driver’s Whistle

This time, when I was traveling alone, going back to my parent’s place, my two forms of writing mixed up. I had another almost while waiting for the Bus driver to whistle.

… …

My bus was to arrive in about an hour. I have had my dinner and it was an overnight run, so I was desperately waiting for my bus to arrive. Nothing exciting was expected from this travel, as usual. It was supposed to be one of those travels that I don’t write about, that I hardly even remember. Guess I was wrong about that.

The bus-stand was about a few meters away from the waiting area. And for informing the fellow travelers about a bus’s arrival, the driver used to blow a sharp, loud whistle. The fascinating thing about it was that people in the waiting area always knew whether the bus driver’s whistle was for their bus or not. Or so it seemed. Or maybe the buses were all strategically timed that no two buses coincide on a single time, making a whistle unique for that time.

I was wondering about all this as I had nothing better to do. My phone was about to die and I had to keep it at rest for it to live up till the morning when I will reach my destination.

I was humming a song, or a tune, I don’t really remember. But I remember that instant when a bus driver’s whistle made me look towards the exit of the sitting area and then quickly back to the wall infront of me, as if I had seen a ghost.

She was dressed in peach-colored some-kind-of-top and the legendary blue jeans. And yet I felt a blurry outline around her persona, I saw a live-portrait of her. Her hair was rolled up hurriedly, a bodkin was visible. And she was wearing no makeup at all. Yet she managed to portray such an eye-candy.

I looked away as soon as I looked at her, and she had already caught me looking at her in that 2 seconds of time-line. I stared at the wall opposite to me, and continued with my humming, which had increased its pace to several beats up the bar.

Every time such a situation happens with me, me and some stranger, either I fart words so bad that the other person runs away or I don’t do anything at all. And I wished this time wouldn’t be so. I prayed…

With almost impossible turn of events, she came up and sat beside me. I figured that all other unoccupied seats had some weirdo sitting on the next seat. And I looked a good guy on my first impression, to be honest.

I didn’t want her choice to be proved wrong. So I didn’t do anything impulsive or stupid. Really, I did nothing. I casually sat there, and just sat there. She was listening to some sort of music and was deleting multiple pics from her phone. I came to know it afterwards that my humming had stopped somewhere in the middle of this chaos.

But then somehow I found that in proving her decision to be right, I was just letting go of this opportunity. I liked her and wanted to know more of her. And if I do not speak, I won’t ever find out if I had a chance.

So I started rehearsing our conversation in my head, several iterations, several scenarios practiced. I gathered up my courage and straightened up my posture to bring out my voice which had gone deep down my guts, and was hidden somewhere in my intestines.

The bus driver’s whistle blew, a bus’s arrival was announced. Everyone around me got up and went towards the stand. I watched her go as she gathered her luggage and glided towards the bus.

A fly flew inside my mouth and I choked on my open mouth, ready to speak “Hi”. I coughed continuously till I had the damn fly out of my food pipe and got up clumsily to see her climb the bus. Even if I ran, I didn’t stand a chance to reach there in time, if I ran that is, hypothetically.

Next in half an hour or so, my bus arrived and I got the usual boring seat beside a fellow who snored all the way to my stop. I couldn’t dare to sleep and see the whole episode of my failure all over again. So I decided to stay up, watch through the window, the objects fly by me, in a blink of the eye, like the opportunities in my life.

This time, my solo travel diary was almost an epitome of me being a loser, well, almost a loser.

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Solo Travel Diaries – Strangers

While I travel seldom, of the times I travel, mostly I travel alone. Solo travel diaries are my weird experiments and experiences from incidents during my solo travel.

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Don’t talk to strangers. Stranger is danger.” something that we are taught since childhood.

But still, it happens, often, that you meet someone on your journey, you talk with them, and they leave a lasting impression on your mind, sometimes on your wallet.

I was standing near a charging booth, refilling the juice in my phone, which would help me stay alive that 9 hours solo journey.

While we don’t have anything to do when we can’t use our phones now-a-days, I usually have a lot of fun when my phone’s not in my hand.

I was whistling the tunes of some of my favorite songs, sometimes singing them along. I was observing the people around me and started noting down the types of people that one can find on a common station (probably future post ๐Ÿ˜›).

While doing all this, I had my one hand fixed on my mobile phone while the other on my bag. I just couldn’t let go of the fear of someone stealing things from me from that crowded place.

Suddenly, a man in his forties came from behind me and started talking to me.

“Hey. You’re a local resident of this place?” The man said.

Rather hesitantly, I replied “Yes.”

“Actually, I was here to meet my friend. He’s at the platform 10. (We were at platform 1). But the problem is I forgot my wallet at home and I need to buy the platform ticket. Can you please give me some money?” The guy continued, in English. Yes.

He was dressed decent and was speaking to me in a sophisticate manner and in English, in a state where very few do that. So, his first impression on anyone would be that he’s a genuine case. And he was asking for a nominal amount, so one would just give him money, with intentions to help.

“Actually, I don’t have change for that amount. Sorry.” I said the truth, but even if I would have had change with me, I would have lied to say the same thing.

“How much do you have? These shops can give you change.” He said pointing at the nearby shops.

I said bluntly “Why don’t you go and ask them directly? They would probably give you some money.”

This would have offended a genuine man. But he went on to talk to the shopkeeper.

While he walked to the counter, I watched him from the corner of my eyes. He walked to the counter, looked at me, and then was standing there for a while. There was confusion on his face. And it looked very genuine to me.

“He would give change if you buy something from him.” He said to me when he came back.

“I already bought what I need for the journey. And I gave him all the change that I had against those stuff.” I shrugged.

There was silence, a weird silence for few moments, after which he was about to speak something. But I interrupted him – “Why don’t you ask them? They might be having change and they might help you.” I was pointing towards the station officers.

He looked towards them. His face showed hesitation and he left, slowly looking around him, as if finding someone.

Then he boarded the train standing on Platform 1 itself. While moving towards the train, he briefly glanced back towards me.

I was watching him, indirectly.

He was obviously not a genuine case. He didn’t need any platform ticket. The train that he boarded left soon thereafter, and I never saw him come out of that coach. He might have needed money for some other reason, but he lied about the whole friend thing.

And I didn’t fall for it, being a cold hearted person. Had he told me the truth, I might have helped. Probably, still not. It’s hard trusting people nowadays.

While we may make friends out of those strangers while travelling, we have to be vigilant too. Not everyone’s the same.

Friends vs Friends

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The ball came bouncing at Grandpaโ€™s head, while he was sitting in the garden reading his newspaper. He looked from his crooked specs at the boy, who came running behind the ball.

The boy said, panting, ‘Hi… Hi Grandpa… I… I am… Sorry. I couldn’t catch the ball… when it…’

Grandpa interrupted ‘Never mind.’

Then suddenly, he stopped reading and asked the boy with inquisitiveness ‘Why aren’t you playing with your friends today?’

The boy said sadly ‘I don’t have friends…โ€™

Grandpa kept looking at him. The boy said ‘My friends are cruel. They tease me on things I don’t like even after telling them not to. If they are my friends, can’t they understand my simple request?!’

Grandpa said simply ‘May be they’re not your friends. Or maybe you are not theirs.’

Boy looked confused ‘People in my school have hundreds of friends. And my list is just one paper long! And in those too, no one cares for me. They always fight with me over the game and go away if I don’t let them touch my things… How do I know who’s my friend and whoโ€™s not?’

Grandpa smiled and said ‘So you too have fallen in the Friends vs. friends dilemma…’

Boy looked confused.

Grandpa continued ‘Dear son, listen carefully. Friendship is not a relationship. It’s a feeling that you share, be it in any relationship. A friend is like a cheerleader, who’ll always be right by your side, whether you need her or not. You don’t require to please someone to become their friends. Doing that only makes you vulnerable to people’s selfishness. Friends comes in all shapes and types, but they all make us feel alive. With them we don’t have to fake ourselves. We always have something to talk about and laugh on. Becoming friends with someone is just a matter of one incident, which makes you realize their worth. Lucky are those who get to face that incident before they lose their friendship…’

The boy said ‘But then, they always fight and leave someday…’

‘Yes. But that doesn’t mean you can’t call them back, does it?’ replied Grandpa with all his wisdom ‘Friends stick together, even after a fight, although with a punched face.’ and they laughed.

Continue reading

Restauropedia

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I stay away from my family and usually eat everyday at some or other restaurant or food stall, as I’m too lazy to cook.

When you eat outside everyday, and there’s no one to assort you, then all you can do is observe the surroundings and people around you, while eating that not so delicious dish in front of you.

So here is synopsis of my observations for single visitors (not considering people in groups):

Noisy Muncher
Crip.. Crap.. Crunch.. Munch.. Tik.. Tak…
With all such different sounds, this guy here could be the next best background musician! He can’t gulp even a single bite of food without first making several dozens of weird and irritating sounds with his mouth.

And just to take your irritation to a higher level, they are found sitting very near to your table, or is the sound travelling faster than light here? ๐Ÿ˜•

Cute Table-for-Two
These are recently bonded in the bondage of love. So instead of chitchat, silence pleases them more. They find it better to sit quietly, looking into each others eyes. With occasional talks and several minutes of blushing and trying to touch each other stuff, these guys here are your sweet dish, which is way too much sweet to take in for long…

And for some people, they might stimulate jealousy, due to the big void of relationships in their life. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

Cool Table-for-Two
Now these are rare, but they are amazing to watch. They inspire you to find and settle with someone, instead of buzzing around the flowers. They look cool together, make fun of everything around them and can’t seem to stop talking and laughing.

They don’t care whether they are audible to the whole crowd or if they are in limelight, they’d have fun anyway! But take care, their chats may require parental guidance. ๐Ÿ˜œ

The Social Net(no)work
Looking at this guy, you’d wish God to give him another hand instead of fulfilling your wishes first. He would be constantly busy trying to rush through the trammel of notifications on his phone from social apps.

While he eats his food with one hand, he uses his other hand and those non-dirty fingers from the first hand to touch his phone. He might even use his nose to touch. If he eats one crumb without using his phone, it would be a miracle! ๐Ÿ˜‰

(Un)fortunate Boyfriend
I feel pity for this guy here. His girlfriend speaks a lot, and a lot means A LOT! She keeps on blabbering about some or other thing, which has no relevance to this guy. But as she is speaking, so he has to listen – according to the General Rule Book of Relationships.

He concentrates on multi-tasking by looking at her – constantly nodding and giving mixed expressions of shock, surprise, disgust and amusement. At the same time, his mind is on the food, people sitting at other tables and what would be the score in the semi-final highlights going on at that time… ๐Ÿ˜†

(Un)fortunate Family Guy
After being exhausted of the daily trouble at work, this one works yet another shift to take his/her family out on a dinner.

There can be different types of people in this altogether, but one thing is common in all of them. They are hardly interested at all. They are either glued to mobile screens, or some other table or on the match on TV. Their family consists of their spouse trying to grab their attention and kids ruining the table like mad people, and probably another person who is not happy of anything. ๐Ÿค

The Flash Eater
While you might have just ordered a starter and were thinking about what to order next, this guy here would have finished his dessert even. Yes, you both would have started at the same time!

He eats his food as if he has a million dollar deal to attend next. His food is just a piece of energy, fat and nutrients for him. He will cut it with a strike and crunch it in just one bite, without any feelings for those tiny little pieces.๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Mr. Foodie
This guy loves food. He has tasted every dish in the menu and knows about food in detail. He can instruct the waiter to tweak the food according to his style to enhance the flavour. If you wanna find a good place to eat, he’s your living Zomato! And if you are making your own dish, he’s your recipe book.

If it is a new dish, he would analyse each bite slowly and would try to guess all the ingredients. He would eye-gaze at the food well enough before taking his first bite.

Even a tinge of mistake in making the dish and you wish he wouldn’t notice that. Things have to be perfect for this guy. Or at least, he can make them perfect by adding extras himself.๐Ÿ˜Ž

The Cutlery Drummer
His spoons are his sticks, and his plates are his drums. And no matter what his dish is, he will produce a not so tolerable drumming sound while eating his food.

His spoons hit the plates so hard, you almost fear the breaking of the chinaware.๐Ÿ™‰

The Waste Machine
Well well well… Look who’s here! They are responsible for the food problem in our country. Or at least blamed for.

They will order things way beyond their capacity. Just because it’s their first date, or a big party, or ‘cuz the boy’s paying, they will order with a big mouth. Then they will take a tiny piece of everything and say “Oh God! I’ve had too much…!” If only they would just consider that before ordering, others would have got fresh cooked food instead of food off their plates! ๐Ÿ˜’

The Dirty Toddler
He’s not actually a child, but his behaviour might just confuse you to think of that. He eats in a way that one cannot tell what way! He has no sense of using spoons, and he gives his food to his shirt more than what he eats himself.๐Ÿค’

The Rule Book
He’s just the opposite of Dirty Toddler. He knows his spoons correct and eats in the most decent way possible. A complete gentleman to assort on a dinner, while you might feel a little inferior about yourself if you’re not into such rules kinda thing.๐Ÿค“

Master Chef Thief
If this guy comes to the restaurant, he takes something back with him, other than a full tummy.

Spoons, crockery, salt-pepper holder, napkins, complimentary mukhvas or even a bunch of toothpicks – he will definitely bag something. (^_-)
(just came to realize that there’s no one-eyed-pirate emoji…!)

The Stare-crow
Do you feel like you’re been watched? Like a wild cat watches it’s prey right before it strikes then down… Yeah? Then definitely you’ve been having dinner around this fellow here.

He will stare at you every now and then. And when you look at him, he will casually look away and eat his dinner. Or may not. But his eyes will pinch you and you better stay away from that stare-crow. ๐Ÿ‘€

Mr. All-alone
He is so desolated, but still has to eat his dinner alone as he has no one to accompany him. His facial expression would imply that he’s the only sad person in the world. Usually, you’d find him drinking too.โ˜น๏ธ

The Fictional Someone
I’m putting this up here just to please my little sister, but this fictional character is your dream.

You are eating your dinner quietly. And everything’s ordinary until your eyes meet with this character. Your heart skips a beat and either you go up to her or he comes up to your table. It seems something different than the usual. You guys have a great time together…๐Ÿ‘ค
(Remember sweety, it’s just your fantasy!)

P.s.: The references to he or she doesn’t in any way make reference to masculine or feminine genders. It just indicates a person I know… ๐Ÿ˜›

Dancing with (Un)known

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It was last evening of Year 2015. I was sitting in my office and was waiting for the call from my friend about the confirmation for the night’s plan. My friend had invited me to join his group for the new year party.

He called and confirmed about the time, place and people invited. I knew no one except my friend. I agreed anyway…

It felt like ages since I had been happy or had lived my life fully after completing my studies and have joined the race of earning money. So, even if I had to join a group of complete strangers, I would not have resisted that night.

When we reached the spot, they recognized me; probably my friend would have told them about me. We introduced each other. I tried to get their names, but the music was too loud… ๐Ÿ˜› I couldn’t think about anything else but to go inside and start jumping (my form of dancing :D)

I was about to dance on DJ music – something that I hadn’t done publicly since junior school. Incidents from past life had made me so that I couldn’t be myself in front of anyone…

With little hesitation in the beginning, I started dancing to the beats. It was easy to dance (which I am very bad at) in front of these people as I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t care what they will think about me. I didn’t care ifย theyย laughย at my bad steps. I didn’t care about anything but just letting myself go crazy. The beats created rhythmic waves inside me and I couldn’t stop enjoying myself. Oh yes I missed this…!

Soon the strangers turned out to be great friends and it never felt like we were meeting for the first time that night.

While I was dancing, a person from my behind nagged me. I turned around and she said “Can you dance away from me? You’re hitting me constantly!” in a language crude than this.

I apologized and switched places with one of our group member on the opposite side of our circle. After some time, I felt that hits again from my behind. When I looked back, it was the same girl with that same group. They moved all the way from one end to the other of our 12 people circle…! And not only that accused me for touching her, twice!!!

I switched place again. And inside I felt totally vulnerable. There was no one who would trust me that I didn’t do anything to her! Only my friends trusted me as they saw what happened. But what about others? Everyone around me would have thought that I was the bad person. Being a male, it was so easy to get accused of something (as everyone would have assumed that), and so difficult to accuse someone in the opposite gender (as no one would believe that such a thing can happen)! I wondered about women empowerment for a while and then continued dancing…

The night continued till early dawn. It had brought me thrill, laughter, silent smiles, understanding nods, shouts and shocks, chilly winter winds and satisfaction of the night. But above all, it brought me freedom from the fake self that I had build around me. It helped me come out of that closed box and live my life fully, without considering anything about people around me… It helped me overcome the fear of “What will others think?”.

As the countdown began, I rejoiced the change in me…

Truly, a ‘New’ Year for me… This year of mine is dedicated to breaking the rules that I made in my life, to breaking the boundaries created around me.

Happy New Year folks. ๐Ÿ™‚

(Almost…) Nightingale

It was the last day of our batch. We were soon going to part ways and probably never meet again. So we decided to go out somewhere where we can have fun in our own silly ways…

We went to an old ‘museum cum art gallery cum restaurant’. It was peaceful place and could be said to be beautiful, if said with a little note ๐Ÿ˜›

We were examining the pieces of art with deep critical notice so that we could come up with some weird comment on it which would be added to the list of remembrances for today, the last day…

I wasn’t much interested in those art stuff, as I didn’t see any “art” in it. So, I went away from there and concentrated on the other people… What else to do? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Several groups came and went. ย  Friends’ Hangouts are so much fun, assuming you have decent combination of all the characters in this world inside your group, one for each moment ๐Ÿ˜›

At the end of the (cave-kinda) way, I saw a group of girls sitting around a girl. Each of them was watching the one sitting in the middle. I was instantly curious. So I went there and as I came closer to that group, I went farther away from everyone…

That voice had engulfed me so much. The girl in the middle was singing. She was singing beautifully. She had that mesmerizing voice that anyone would love to listen. And she had that music-sense too! So bingo combination. I stood there with my eyes closed and enjoying her voice and the melody.

She sang songs one after other, some on her own, some from demands from her friends. Her voice spread to others in the cave and everyone was getting attracted to the spot I was standing at. My friends too came to me and they stood there enjoying her show.

Guys in my group were more interested in ‘her’ than her singing. But I just stood there with my eyes closed and singing along (humming actually). My love for music was more than my attraction towards girls. But as soon as I opened my eyes, she had her magic on me. I never knew when my moth was open and my eyes fixed on her. I came to know when my friend closed my mouth, giggling while doing it, with her hand. I smiled at her and she gave me that approving nod, which meant “Happens…!”

The Pensive: Bad Manners…!

Once me and my mum were travelling in a bus. We were going home after a vacation at my uncle’s place. We were sitting behind a girl, probably 3-4 years elder than me (I was probably 5).

At school we had a subject called “Moral Science”, in which we were taught all good things and to not to do bad things using short stories… I loved stories and hence found that subject very interesting.

The girl in front of me started shouting all of a sudden. She wanted something. Her mother bought her what she wanted. It was some packed food item. I was looking at her keenly… she was eating that and throwing the waste so generated on the floor of the bus!

I told my mum “Look mamma! That girl is throwing waste on the floor! BAD MANNERS!”

My mother told me to wait and that we’ll shift our seat.

I continued looking at that girl and kept on thinking about her bad manners…

As we got another seat availability, we switched to that seat. As usual, I slept in my mum’s lap peacefully…

After sometime, the bus stopped and the people started to get down the bus. The girl tried to get up, but her frock belt were tied to the seat (it was a humble attempt to tie a knot). She fall hard back on her seat and started crying again. Her mother shouted at her “”What is wrong with you! Always shouting, always crying! Learn to behave! Learn your manners!”

All this while, I was peaking at the scene from my mum’s lap, which my mother observed. She smiled and asked me “What did you do to her?”

I said “She was doing bad manners. I tried to teach her good manners…” and I slept back in her lap with her patting me on my head..

I had always been a naughty one… ๐Ÿ˜‰