Holding on to dear life in a city bus, my mind had to go off on a romantic tangent. What better time to think of childhood friends and work culture than when in a city bus in rush hour. It’s not like the bus was suffocating and the conductor could not hear what I saying. So yeah, my head rolled, lazily, on sunny, grassy planes while I was inhaling poison.
My mind flooded with snippets from three years ago. Walks with Dixita. Dixu knows me like an open book and the best part, she finds it fascinating. Dixu, who used to drag my overweight flabby self through the coastal city of Vizag, in winding lines, in broad daylight, with me huffing and puffing beside her lithe, graceful form.
Not very different from the bus I was in. Maybe a little bit slower, but the rest matched. I blankly stared at people from the Windows after that little jump into the past. Some stared back, some turned away. When all hope of ever getting down from the bus was slowly vanishing, my stop came. In nineteen rupees, I would call my experience , exploitation. I had exhausted the little journey of all it’s character and was very exhausted.
But I was there to meet someone. A someone I was very curious about and strangely had a soft spot for. This someone was also down with the flu. I met her and we clicked. I thanked all the gods, weird and eccentric for that. I couldn’t commit the crime of asking her how she felt every 10 minutes for the entire time I was there. Thankfully, I didn’t.
We walked in circles, alternating between busy roads where her voice was barely audible and quiet streets where I could hear murderers lurking in the dark. No paranoia. I wish I paid more attention to quranic verses when I could.
So scared, irritated ( is traffic always that annoyingly loud? Sheesh!) and strangely drawn to her, I walked. Trying not to trip. It wouldn’t really sync if I fell in a pile of leaves while talking about why men are lustful idiots. I emerged victorious. I didn’t fall, I tripped only once.
I remember how she stepped back a small step, every time she spoke of something she felt strongly about. I found that new. I never saw someone do that.
I bid goodbye after a good immersion therapy of 14000 steps and took an auto this time. I have had it with buses and nostalgia.
Although this isn’t about you, Dixu, as much as it should be. This wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t think about you then. I owe you this. Beautiful, ever patient Dixu. She always asked me to write about her. Her curly hair, big eyes, her music, none of that inspired me. Only her memory does. The memory of the most loving girl I know. I know you wanted poetry, but this is all I have got. So, Dixu, there. I wrote about you. After three years of asking.