I had to board a bus from Vashi to Pune. I was familiar with boarding point and hence chose to travel from there. However, I noticed some slight change in the address while choosing the boarding point on the website. As I realized the address was less than a km away from the old address when I reached the spot. There was a board there to explain the travelers about the scenario. A huge number of buses were blocking the road at previous boarding point as it was in mid of bust square. Hence, it was shifted to a place where there were no shops or houses around.
Traffic jams are a usual phenomenon in monsoon season in Mumbai. So, I had reached the place almost half an hour before the scheduled time. As I waited there for some time, I scanned through the people around me and noticed there were only two people who were passengers. The remaining crowd there included a beggar, two snack sellers, and few porters to board parcels on the buses. The bus got delayed and I had to wait there for an hour. I didn’t make any attempt to talk to the crowd around. Why would I, right? Those passengers and I were exchanging gazes in between though. After standing there for 15 min I just asked a fellow passenger, “VRL?” (The name of bus) and he too just nodded affirmatively.
I tried checking the bus location multiple times on a link provided but it kept showing some errors. So I called the bus driver and found that it was running late by around 45 minutes. The bad news was accompanied by rain, which was making its presence felt by now. Rain and Mumbai are like bff’s in this season. Initially, it was just drizzling. I looked at that fellow passenger and he too expressed helplessness through his expressions. In the meantime, the coolies put a plastic cover on boxes and they themselves too hid under the same plastic.
We stood there like ‘dudes’, as if we chose to stand in the rain. But then rain had its own way to break that attitude. It started increasing its pace slowly. We looked at the tree behind and tried to adjust below the thickest branch it had. By that time, the snack sellers too chose to get under plastic covers. The fellow passengers exchanged gaze and we smiled at our incapabilities to cover ourselves.
After a few minutes, suddenly it started raining cats and dogs and we were finally frustrated. I was looking at my formal leather shoes and feeling sad about them. All I could do was put my mobile in the bag and try to protect the bag as I wasn’t completely sure about its capabilities to resist water. I had given up already and assumed I will go all wet to Pune. Already my mind was flooded with thoughts that the passenger next to me on the bus will be irritated and all. My thought process broke as some voice fell on my ears. I looked in the direction of the sound and there was this person who was calling us from below the cover,
“Jaldi se aajao, aajao, aajao”
(come fast, come, come)
I thought for a few seconds and then ran towards that plastic sheet.
The guy asked me, “why were you getting wet when you could have covered yourself here “
I said, ” just like that”
I thought to myself.
I got wet as I had created an unnecessary constraint around me of what’s right and what’s not
I got wet because I was reluctant to associate with those people
I was reluctant because I had some self-image
Out of everything I realized I was hesitant to take the offer, whereas he was ready to share whatever resources he had. I won’t have expected that from someone having good resources like an umbrella.
It’s not about what we have but how much we are really ready to share. 🙂