ಅವಳ ಮನ್ನಣೆ!

ಉರಿ ಬೇಸಿಗೆಯ ಸಂಜೆ. ಇಕ್ಕಟ್ಟಿನ ಬಸ್ ಸೀಟ್ ಮೇಲೆ ಕುಂತಿದ್ದೆ.
“ರೈ! ರೈ!” ಅಂದ, ಆ ಕಂಡಕ್ಟರ್.

ಮುಳುಗುತ್ತಿದ್ದ, ray-ban company ಬೇನಾಮಿ ಮಾಲೀಕ, ಸೂರ್ಯ,
ದಿನವಿಡೀ ಬೆಂದು, ಬೆವರಿ, dehyrate’ಆದ ಭೂಮಿ,
ಅದರ ಮೇಲೆ ನನ್ನ ಎಷ್ಟೋ ನಿರೀಕ್ಷೆಗಳನ್ನು ಒಯ್ಯುತಿದ್ದ ಆ ಬಸ್ಸು,
ಒಳಗೆ ಇಕ್ಕಟ್ಟಿನ ಸೀಟ್, ಮೇಲೆ ನಾನು.

ಆ ನಿಮಿಷಕ್ಕೆ ನನ್ನ ಆಲೋಚನೆ ಎಲ್ಲ ಉಳಿದ ಎಂಟು stop’ಗಳು,
ಮತ್ತು ಅಲ್ಲಿಂದ ನಾನು ನಡೆಯಬೇಕಿದ್ದ ಒಂದು ಮೈಲಿ ದೂರದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಆಗಿತ್ತು.

ನನ್ನ ನಿರೀಕ್ಷೆ ಏನಾಗಿತ್ತು ಗೊತ್ತೆ?

ಅಲ್ಲಿಯ ವರೆಗೂ ನನ್ನ ಜೊತೆ ಸಂಭಾಷಣೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ತೊಡಗಿದ್ದ ಆ ಹುಡುಗಿಯಬಗ್ಗೆ,
ಮತ್ತು ಹೇಗಾದರೂ ಅವಳ ಮನ್ನಣೆ ಪಡೆಯುವ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನ ಮಾಡಲೇಬೇಕೆಂದು!

ಪ್ರಮಾಣ ಮಾಡಿ ಹೇಳುತಿದ್ದೀನಿ. ಅವಳು ದೇವತೆ!
ಸರಸ್ವತಿಯಷ್ಟು ಜಾಣೆ, ಪಾರ್ವತಿಯಷ್ಟು ಕರುಣೆ,
ಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿಯಷ್ಟು ಧಾರಾಳ,
ಅವಳ ಚಂದವ ಹೋಲುವ ದೇವತೆಯೂ ಇಲ್ಲವೇನೋ
ಅನ್ನೋಷ್ಟು ವಿರಳ!

ಏಕೋ ಏನೋ ಉಳಿದ ಪ್ರಯಾಣ ಇನ್ನಷ್ಟು ಮಂದಗತಿಯಿಂದ ಸಾಗಲು ಆರಂಭಿಸಿತು.
ಉಳಿದ stop’ಗಳನ್ನು ಎಣಿಸುತಿದ್ದ ನನ್ನ stop ಕೊನೆಗೂ ಬಂತು.

ನನ್ನ ನಿರೀಕ್ಷೆ ಈಡೇರೋ ಸಮಯ ಅದು.

ಕಷ್ಟ ಪಟ್ಟು ಸುಮಾರು ಮೂರು ನಾಲ್ಕನೇ ಭಾಗದ ಪ್ರಯಾಣದುದ್ದಕ್ಕೂ
ನಿಯಿಂತ್ರಿಸಿದ “ಸುಸ್ಸು” ಗೆ ಹೋಗೋ ಸಮಯ ಅದು!
ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ಪ್ರಜ್ಞೆ ಇಲ್ಲದಂತೆ ಗಿಡದ ಪೊದೆಯಲ್ಲಿ “ಸುಸ್ಸು” ಮಾಡಲೇ ಬೇಕಾಯಿತು.

“ರೈ! ರೈ!” ಅಂದ, ಆ ಕಂಡಕ್ಟರ್ ಇನ್ನೊಮ್ಮೆ.

ಅವಳ ಮನ್ನಣೆ ಸಿಕ್ಕಿತೋ ಏನೋ ತಿಳಿಯೆ.
ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಯಾಮಾರಿದ್ರೆ ಜೀವನದುದ್ದಕ್ಕೂ ಕಳ್ಕೊಳೋಷ್ಟು ಮರ್ಯಾದೆ,
ಒಂದು ನಿಮಿಷದಲ್ಲಿ ಕಳ್ಕೋತಿದ್ದೆ.

ದೇವರೇ, Toilet ಇರೋ ಬಸ್’ಗಳನ್ನು ರಿಯಾಯಿತಿ ಬೆಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಮಾರು ತಂದೆ!

 

Wooden Planks, Banana Peel

I came to realize that the wooden planks and banana peel have something in common.

Some punk had littered the tidiest of the street with banana peel. Stepping on it, I lost control. To add to the misery there was a little stone on the floor that my my buttocks fell onto.

Oh Lord, it was 52kilograms of pain condensed to 1 square inch initially, and it gradually expanded to about 1 square-palm.
For the first time in my life I realized my lungs can easily reach the
vocal range of an opera singer, and my hands have the reflexes of a mongoose. I appreciate your imagination.

Pain in the ass is really a thoughtful idiom.
Before I get distracted, here is how this incident relates to my realization mentioned early on.

It was from the 8th grade that we sat on wooden planks. Until then, not even them but floor. 8th grade was when the school recognized the beginning of development in us.
I mean, academically!

Two wooden planks were joined for 5 of us to sit in each row. It was quite comfortable most of the time, and we took pride in sitting on them.
But occasionally, when the stars would align, well, we couldn’t see stars in the morning though, the two who sat at either side of the row did something and the 3rd in the row would have his butt squeeze between the wooden planks.
His hands knew exactly where he was hurt, and we could see his pain as his face turned pale.
Knowing that this happened often, the rest of us refused to swap our places with his, in spite of his offer to buy us ice-candy in return, the popular 50 paisa delicacy we couldn’t resist that time.

Although this happened often, I presume it wasn’t as painful as that of my experience today. I say that because my friend from the school could never be heard.
I mean he would never scream his pain out. But we knew when it happened as his hand moved at a pace that violated the laws of motion.

Anyways, doesn’t that prove my argument about the similarly between wooden plank and banana peel?
You may disagree today. But one day, when _you_ step on banana peel and fall onto your buttocks that you will come back and agree with me in regret.
You can’t have the wooden plank experience though, to compare which one stands out.
Not because it is from my childhood and I envy anyone else experiencing it,
but because the school’s furniture has gotten a makeover these day.

No, wait.. They are wooden desks now! So, should you want the slightly similar, but the other experience too, before you agree with my observation, let me know. I will drive you to my home town next time.

I don’t curse the punk that littered the street. No. Not at all. He did a favor. Rather significant one.  After all, it is because of him that I know couple of things I didn’t earlier: My vocal range could match that of an opera singer. I’ve the reflexes of a mongoose!

Pedestrians, Warm Planet

Why didn’t you stop the car  to let the pedestrians walk across the street? One of my friend that just returned from an abroad trip asked me angrily, as I drove past a bunch of  pedestrians waiting to cross the street.

Often times this is one of the most profound observations from
some of my friends here in India that traveled abroad for a short duration have, that if you stop you car to give
pedestrian his turn to cross the street, you are more civilized.

They return from their abroad trip and go, “You know, there are a lot of things that are terrible here in India!
One of them that’s so uncivilized here is that the pedestrians have tough time crossing
roads, and those that drive in their damn cars
don’t stop to let those pedestrians cross the street, like you just did. You never see this happen in Europe, you know.”

I tried contemplating on the pros and cons of this topic and tried hard to agree with my friend.
In my opinion, I don’t have to give a shit about my friend’s observation.  Because,
A. It is not profound, as he thinks it is.
B. He is a bloody murderer in thinking it’s less civilized if I don’t give pedestrians their turn.

Nobody should stop their car to let those pedestrians walk across. I mean it. Here is why.
If I stop the car for you, the pedestrian, to cross the street, it is same as both you and I smoking a cigarette, and dying early, even though neither of us are smokers.

Ok. Let me explain that.

I stopped the car. How did I do that? First, I took my foot off the throttle, and applied the brakes.
I was cruising at 40MPH before I saw you, the pedestrian, and now, my vehicle is halted.
I switched to first gear to allow you to walk across the street. And you, went straight to the bus stop across the
street and started surfing the damn facebook. 

That’s unnecessary traffic, I mean, the web-traffic, and the datacenter that
hosts the facebook servers, and that of your internet service provider just emitted a few milligrams of carbon, into an already
warm planet. Both just because of you.

Me, on the other hand, have to start driving from 0MPH, and all the other noble citizens in their cars right behind me, have to do the
same. Do you know the cars consume more fuel when driving in the lower gears?! Now, because of you, the damn pedestrian,
my car has emitted more carbon than it would have, if I did not give a shit about you and kept cruising at 40MPH.

Now, together, the carbon that’s emitted by both of us is same as both of us smoking a cigarette, and we will be dead a little early than
if I did not cared for you, and kept driving, and who knows we both would have lived a little longer.

This is why we Indians are more civilized than those in the other countries where they stop for a pedestrian to cross the street should they see one! 

You know what to do the next time you see a pedestrian now. Don’t you? And hey, have no guilt, after all you let him live a little longer.