A Ticket to Ride

The ride by a local bus to office, would take me a half hour. By the time, the bus reaches our pick up stop, it is already brimming with people, tilting it precariously to one side. I manage to get a foot in and before the bus starts moving, find myself sandwiched between bodies. Literally, standing on one foot, flamingo like ( definitely not as beautiful a sight), coming up for air, I hear the conductor of the bus, shrill, over the din, ‘Tickets, tickets, duddu kodi’(tickets, tickets, give change), to the clicking sound of the ticket holder.

From where the voice sails, all I can see is an outstretched hand, above a sea of varied coloured heads. I pass the required money, shouting out, ‘ K.G. Road ge ondu ticket kodi’ (one ticket to K.G. Road). Watch, how the change is transported from one stranger’s hand to the next, finally reaching the conductor’s extended arm. Instantly, a ticket flies back, taking the same course, to land on my palm.

The rest of the journey is spent on putting a face to the conductor’s hand and building a character. Soon, ‘K.G. Road bandide, bega iliri (K.G. Road reached, get off quickly), the commanding tone of the conductor can be heard. There goes, a scramble of feet and hands, intent on alighting.

Written for Sadje’s What do you see # 147 August 15 2022.

3 thoughts on “A Ticket to Ride

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