Friday, June 11, 2010

The last Seat

Alarm tone at 5 AM & the thought of missing the bus, took me off the bed, & out my sweet Sunday sleep, in a flash. I was returning from my Aunt’s home in Hindupur (Part of Andhra Pradesh, around 3 hours drive from Namma Bengaluru). Bus was about to leave when I ran in to catch it. I was cursing myself to have reached late, which eventually resulted in getting the last seat available (luckily). Literally it was the last seat at the rear end of the bus. ‘This is perhaps going to be a tough, humpy-bumpy ride all the way’ I mused, imagining the three hour journey through the rough roads ahead.

I tried to convince and indulge myself in the lush green view along the roads, but the pot holes made sure to divert my attention towards cursing myself, for having reached late & getting the last seat :-(. I was seated right next to the rear door. Bus conductor & his subordinate were taking rest at the foot-board. Most interestingly, the bus conductor was anxiously reading what his Horoscope, Aries, had to offer for the day in the Sunday herald.

The bus had covered half of its scheduled morning trip as it approached a steep hill. All of a sudden there was a sense of emergency among the bus crew. Main conductor asked his helper to get some packets out of the luggage compartment. They started to make small pieces out of the big bread buns they had in around five to six hand bags. Each bag had about ten to twelve buns. By this time, driver started to honk, though the roads were very much clear. I felt there was something unusual happening.

I started wondering what was going on. Their urgency & my curiosity increased, which prompted me to help them in getting the buns into small pieces. The bus driver started to honk even more, as if to pull someone’s attention towards him or his bus.

Now, the conductor sitting on the foot-board started to throw handful of buns on to the road. My guess was on target. Those guys wanted to feed some kind of animals. Few moments passed, no one turned near the slow moving bus. Honking got intense and the conductor started throwing more bread out on the road. I was getting very eager by this time. ‘okka vachindi..okka vachindi’ (Telugu – One has come..One has come) shouted the guy who was sitting with the conductor, on seeing a crow approaching the bus.

I peeped out of the window to see a crow flying down, at its best speed, to grab the small pieces of bun on the road. The bus crew was all smiling upon seeing the crow. They started throwing all the bread they had. In a few seconds, a huge herd of crows had gathered to have their breakfast. The sky was filled with the black crows. Amazing isn’t it? I had never seen such thing before. A couple of monkeys also joined to get their share of breakfast. Missed my camera to capture these moments.

I had no one but myself to thank for having got the last seat in that bus. Otherwise I would have missed such a true picture of humanity. They are doing it each and every day from the last one year or so. God bless them.
I did enjoy the rest of my journey :-). Perhaps, Its the Joy of sharing.