I hesitated but my friend forced me to board the bus as waiting in the sun for another bus would be no less torturous. Inside the bus it was suffocating. There was a mixed smell of perspiration due to the summer heat. We must have trod on many boots to find a place where we could get a little fresh air. As students we have the advantage of bearing concessional bus-passes which entitles us to travel by any DTC bus. So there was no botheration of purchasing tickets.
The driver of the bus seemed to be in great hurry and stepped on the brakes quite often. Every time we felt ourselves being sandwiched. This also gave the opportunity to the idiots to misuse their closeness. Irritated we moved a little further. This time a stinking labourer made it almost impossible to breathe. Suddenly the bus came to a halt. My bag went flying onto the lap of a lady sitting in the front seat.
She shouted in anger as I uttered my apologies. Many passengers stepped on my boots in the process of moving towards the front; door to get off the bus. People who boarded the bus were more than those who left. We two had to disembark at the next stop. We gradually made way by pushing others by our elbow. They shouted at us but we preferred to ignore their agony. We managed to reach near the driver’s cabin but couldn’t find anything to hold on to. A pick-pocket had his day and this created noisy scenes.
We could only be sorry for the person who lost his purse. We tried to maintain our balance but then there were those brakes. We fell but only on the people who stood around us. Luckily they just stared and said nothing. We were happy to reach our destination.
When my friend was on the last footboard one of her shoes came off. She stood on the road while the shoe was kicked out by one of the passengers. It was only after the bus had moved that she put back the shoe on her foot. Whew! What a journey! I resolved never again to travel by an overcrowded bus.
Our misery was at an end and just one experience was enough. Even today I tease my friend whenever we talk about overcrowded buses, ‘You had a good time, didn’t you?’ I pity her then, for she is at loss of words to answer back.