This is precisely the reason I love public transports – the many people and their varied conversations and the multitude of expressions makes the journey more interesting!
I got into the bus in the bus terminus. All the window seats were already taken. Sigh. Now I had to choose who will make interesting conversation among all these people in the window seat.
And I chose this young girl…should be around 20 years. I made eye contact with her and my smile was reciprocated in full josh. I liked that. I sat next to her.
As suddenly as a storm brews up, came this bus conductor who was in a hurry, for sure. And he looked stressed…God knows what was stressing him! As he started issuing tickets, all he got was 10 rupee notes in succession from the passengers. That put him off. He refused to give tickets if he didn’t get exact change. Everyone quietly put the ten rupee notes inside their bags and started their search for coins.
I saw the girl next to me with a twenty rupee note while I had exact change. This was my chance to start that conversation.
“Take my coins and buy both our tickets with your twenty rupee note” I offered. She was mighty pleased. We got our tickets and looked like we both are going to the same destination.
I started my question spree. I loved it. One answer leading to the next question. Starting from “Are you studying?” to “What is your native place?” and also smiling happily to know that her father is a farmer. I was also happy to know that she is doing a teacher’s training course for differently abled children. The younger generation is not only the blindfolded engineers and doctors but also selfless teachers to special children. I felt so proud to have met her.
Our stopping came and we got down.
I couldn’t resist giving her a hug 🤗
I was at the bus stop. There was an old lady selling flowers and the fragrance of mallipoo wafting towards me was so strong which I loved so much. Maybe it was magnetic too as I inched towards the fragrance to take in more.
I was so preoccupied with my nose inhaling the fragrance that I was bolted to reality by the screeching sound of an yellow Vespa scooter. A couple all dressed up for a function stopped before the flower shop and their little girl in pattu pavadai was dozing off with her head leaning on her father’s back. You know it used to happen to my daughters too, as kids; as soon as they sit on the bike and the gentle breeze hits their face combined with the warmth of the enclosing parents, its a sure thing to doze off.
The man was wearing a helmet but still I could see he was annoyed or upset. Maybe some disagreement with the missus?! Or anything…but he didn’t look happy.
The wifey got down from the scooter and bought mallipoo from the same lady towards whom I was inching slowly. Cut the mallipoo string into two. Took the smaller one and pinned it on the hair of the sleeping girl. That fragrance made the little girl to open her eyes. She touched the mallipoo, felt its softness and made sure it was longer than her shoulder length hair. She was satisfied with the inspection and closed her eyes again to lean on her father’s back.
The wifey pinned the balance mallipoo in her hair, made a sweeping gesture with it. And suddenly the whole scenario changed. The husband took some sudden interest in the whole mallipoo thing. He smiled with affection at his wife and gave the money for the mallipoo.
Somewhere the annoyance was lost…maybe forgotten.
The mallipoo made peace and helped in the bonding.
Sometimes all we need is a smile and a word of love and maybe mallipoo 😉
I absolutely loved waiting for the bus because of which I could watch such a beautiful language of love spoken through the eyes of that couple, all wih the mallipoo mediator.
I got into the bus at the bus terminus, which means that I got a nice seat to sit and I got to choose it too among the many available. I chose the one next to a young girl with nerdy glasses. Somehow students attract me; maybe because of their inquisitiveness! And this girl smiled sweetly which created a warm feeling inside me.
And like long lost pals, we started talking. I should say that I am mighty pleased to have met her even for that brief 30 mins bus ride together. She hails from the town of Kumbakonam and is doing an internship. And may God bless that lovely girl for she and her family have moved to Chennai to enable her to study the teacher training course for physically and mentally challenged children. I just sat astounded hearing her talk very gently about her passion to help the challenged children, while she didn’t even make a great deal about it.
The conductor boards the bus and he was showing his annoying face and vocally disapproving anyone who was not giving him the exact change for the ticket.
While I had already kept the change ready in my hand, my bus pal had a twenty rupee note. As she started searching her purse for change I told her that we will buy our tickets together and then there won’t be an issue with change. She was so happy to have the “change” problem solved and we continued talking.
That nerdy glasses girl with her humbleness and gentle voice is someone who will stay in my memory forever!
Sitting in the bus I get to hear conversations between two people or over the phone. I heard them all in Tamil, but here is the gist in English!
Amma….how are you? Yes, appa spoke to me. Am fine. Blah blah blah.
Yes ma…I ate. Did you eat lunch?
One lady is screaming on top of her voice and I realized it was over the phone. She was very upset about something that happened and she was being very vocal about it. As the minutes progressed her decibel came down.
She ended her call with a subdued caring voice “listen, eat lunch and then go”
It reminded me of my conversations with my girls where my first question will be “Did you eat kannamma?” It makes me totally happy that my child has eaten and all other things can be faced by her.
I think the many people out there always show that they care through food, through enquiries about lunch or dinner and absolutely revolving around food.
“Pls eat….I made your fav.”
“Be angry with me later but eat first.”
For its difficult to be angry or unhappy when the stomach is full. And then a tummy khush feeling is also the adrenaline to keep one happy.
And I love conversations that weave through our lives esp our food.
Today I travelled by bus. Somehow, the travel by trains and buses are more to my liking as I enjoy watching people. And this day was no less.
The first sight I saw was of a little boy. He will be hardly 6 years. First he ate some snacks and then drank some water. The best part comes now. He started setting up that single seat as his bed and his mother’s lap was his pillow. And he dozed off. The tiredness of spending the whole day in school made him sleep like a baby. And maybe to recharge himself for the playtime after reaching home.
Even though its not fair, I sighed at the blissful sleep he was enjoying on his mother’s lap. I even envied it a little bit.
Then this girl came and stood next to me. She saw the boy too. And I heard a sigh from her. She said “Such a nice sleep for the boy”.
And we both smiled at each other in camaraderie!
“Mama, do you remember this smell? This reminds me of the shampoo we used when I used to go swimming as a kid”
“And that reminds me that I love the smell of chlorine as we loved swimming”
“And what about this smell? This is the smell of the first facewash you got for me”
“Aaah! I love this smell Ma…the smell of tadka in ghee for rasam or dal…sigh! I missed home”
“You remember the smell from patti’s sari? I so love it. I still can smell it while thinking of it”
“I love the smell of these old books” (opening and closing every book in the bookshelf)
“I still remember the amazing almond cookies you made after watching it on Nigella’s show…the whole smelt so good”
“WOW…maavadu smell is amazing”
“The mango smell is the best in the world”
“This is home…its smelling so wonderful with coffee”
“OMG! I love this ghee smell”
“Ma, you are making me drink tea! But guess what? I like it”
When we think of home or any place, its the smells that immediately transport us to that place. We can remember some childhood smells so well as if it is fresh.
When the daughter is back home after a long gap, she brings out the fragrances of our home when hit with nostalgia!
Does it happen to you? Do you remember people, places, food associating it with smells?
Its a childhood thing – this love for hibiscus. We used to have the red hibiscus plant at home and it was always a treat to look at the blooming plant!
And in the apartment I stay, the gardener has taken the place by storm by planting these hibiscus plants of different colors and the whole place is smiling and happy with these flowers!
See for yourself!
Hope you are having a happy day!