Vantage point

Saturday, June 07, 2003


My project has come to an end. ASn you all know it involved a lot of travel in public transport. Based on my experiences in the past 2 months, I have discovered a gift that I possess. I am seat-ically gifted.

It means that I get a place to sit very easily, no matter how crowded the bus or train is. I noticed this during my first stint in Mumbai. Whenever I got into the Bus no. 461 at Borivali, it used to be crowded. So I would stand at some point, holding the bar overhead and dig into my pockets for the fare. In a few minutes, the person on the seat right in front of me would get up, and YEAH, i would be seated for the rest of the journey, lasting 45 minutes, while folks who had been standing since the first stop would continue to do so.

Most people work hard to get a seat in the bus, at times more than they work to get a seat in a good college. They will observe the public, notice someone fiddling with his bag and rush to that seat, assuming that he will be getting up to leave. But they are mistaken, he was just taking out his mobile, to launch into an hour long cootchie-coo with his girl friend. Others will make an effort of asking everyone who is seated, where they are getting off. Then they will covet that seat. I guess Moses never said

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's seat."

However I have been very lucky. I have never travelled a distance of even 3 stops standing. Invariably, someone gets up and I plonk myself there. This phenomenon extends to local trains in Mumbai, and to buses in Delhi. So my gift is not geographically restricted.

In DTC or Blueline buses, it was the same. Your average Delhiite....a very testy fella by the way.......would spend hours staring at someone willing that he get up. Some people have also tried telekinesis. But to no avail. Moi however, gets a seat as if I am a VIP or something.

Well, I ain't complaining. I still have one more bus journey to make as I go home from here. 8:3 I get a place to sit within 10 minutes. You game?