Honk Honk goes the bus!

There was nothing normal about that day. It was the wrong time of the day to be on the road and she was heading off in a route she normally does not take. But like all stories, incidents and memories doing something out of ordinary made the difference. It did make a difference that day.

The jam-backed road she usually took at 5pm was empty at 9am. For once, she could let her mind drift and enjoy the music and not keep her eyes peeled to the highway. And then she saw it, 2 no 3 school buses painted yellow filled with laughter. The carefree laughter and the childish giggles filled the air. And she drifted into the time when she was on one of those buses.

Prim and proper in her strached and ironed, green pinafore and white top. The green and white tie and belt, the black shoes polished in a hurry this morning, the tell-tale hint of Kiwi black shoe polish on her otherwise white socks, the hair neat in two ponytails, with black ribbons on top. The prim and proper school girl.
Weighed down by the school bag on her shoulders, she walked to the bus stop every morning with her friends. It was the time for her to catch up with friends, the latest dress X got, the smile of the guy in the other class, the strict Math teacher, the tough Physics paper, the latest Bollywood music,the news from the grapevine and laughter - we drove the bus driver and conductor crazy.

Uncontrolled, carefree unless it was the morning of an exam.Exam mornings were sober days, eyes glued to the books. Somehow we mastered the art of eating, getting the hair braided by grandmother, walking to the bus stop, climbing the bus, standing in the moving bus all with the book open and the eyes scanning the words faster than ever possible. The bus was silent with muted whispers of equations and history facts. The bus driver and conductor lived for these days. It was their time to bully us, tease us and treasure the silence.

Evening rides back from school were much more fun. It is suprising how at 4pm she used to get hyper with no sugar in those days. Today, at 4pm she wishes desperately she had half the energy she had in those days. Evening plans were discussed with much gusto on the bus ride back home - hindi classes, music lessons, Oliyum oliyum on TV, special dinners menus, visiting friends, bike rides, a game of throwball... the list was endless.

And as I saw, the yellow school bus go past me, filled with kids laughing and giggling, I remembered picnics and school day-trips from long ago, the race between the old bus, the new bus and the yellow bus as we named them, the mesai driver, the jollu conductor and the list is endless...

Sweet memories of those by-gone days...lost in the layers of grey matter....

3 Comments:

Lavs said...

Tagged!

sementi said...

Oh yes!! While mornings were always spent hurrying to the gate so as to not miss the school bus, I spent my evenings enjoying Kuchi ice and kulfi, chit chatting about everything under the sun..those are memories one can never let go of.. And your post brought it all back!:)

Pooh said...

How did I forget the kadalai karar and the one rupee, pori-kadalai mix? Thanks for reminding me of it sementi