Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bus 108,Privatization and Reminiscing

After grabbing a cup of watered down cold coffee with Reema, at Churchgate station, i decided to walk with my packet of random,"fresh" popcorn to Crossiants, across the subway. The subway is in interesting place by the way. People hawking their wares, from undergarments, to little tennis bats, that kill mosquitoes or some sort of insect, never understood how they work! (IMAGE: ME IN THE BUS!!)

So I grab a nice sandwich at Croissants, and remembered about the other day, how I was sitting there with Ambarin the other day, and spotted this pretty gal at the table opposite us, who kept looking my way and randomly smirking.odd... anyhoo, well yes, I did try to get her number, used the ol' "i have a project, would you like to be a part of it" jazz... didn't work...Ambarin had suggested that I say I'm an artist, and I wanted to paint a picture of her, but that just sounded cheesy..coz A) I'm no artist and B) I CAN'T PAINT IF MY LIFE DEPENDED ON IT!. She'd end up looking like a stick insect with an oversized head!

Anyhoo, after the sandwich, I walk past this sign which says, "BUY ORIGINAL TRANSFORMERS TOYS ONLY FROM FUNSKOOL"... I ran to the store..rummaged through the toys... they sucked.. dissapointed.. I pondered, about asking dad to get me some from the US. I just saw the movie recently, and though I'm not much of a sci-fi fan, I liked the movie, I was a transformers fan, at one point in my childhood, dont quite remember when though!
So then after that short stint of eating and reminiscing at Croissants, I walked to Marine Drive,all the while talking on the phone. Priya called, all her random train jewellery shopping stories and plans for the day. Stood about on Marine Drive, the sea lashing below me, and then I suddenly spotted the 108.
I thought, "Hmm.. should I take the bus or should I take the cab??"
Decided to run and catch the bus instead.
It was like I was entering a shrine or something. I mean I cant remember when I last took the bus back from college. Well the seats for usual, the conductor had changed, I remembered there being an older man, but anyhoo.
Bus was mostly empty, some teenagers, listening to their iPod's and girls talking on their cellphones. A connected world yes, but nonetheless, distanced!(IMAGE: VIEW FROM BUS WINDOW..THE BEACH AND THE SEA!)
I decided to make the most of my bus journey, looked out, saw the sea(yup I saw the sea!), looked at people walking on the promenade, looked at the flashy cars whizzing by.
Then started looking around the bus. Saw the conductor, his usual brown khadi uniform. The bus, well, red, and everything looked pretty much the same. There was the usual allocation of seats for women and for disabled persons.

As my eyes glanced across the bus, I noticed something I hadnt seen before.
A public phone?? In a bus??
I walked upto it, and look at it befuddled!! Many people, stared at me as though I were some alien. I looked at it again. "HUTCH PCO". Well i'll be a monkey's uncle! It was an actual public phone, in a bus. Wow! Who needs a cell phone?
I went and sat back in my seat. I looked at the conductor again, and pondered.
Is privatization a boon or a bane?
I mean our BEST(Bombay Electricity,Supply and Transport System) is government run and stuff, and there have been many talks about privatizing the sector. But in a sense, when you privatise, since everything is based on rules and regulations, and following norms, you get a very artificial atmosphere. The true emotions are those which are visible in any government run setting. Be it happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, whatever, it's all crystal clear. Privatization sort of veils these very essences of humanness in us. After all it is the image of the corporation that matters, and everything must be moderated. So in a sense, is government control good?(IMAGE:THE SCHOOLKIDS TRYING TO CROSS THE ROAD..sigh..memories)

On this question, I got off the bus, and diagonally bolted across the road.Saw these kids on the other side, still waiting to cross.Reminded me of when I used to get off the school bus, and see adults crossing the road. Strange feeling.

So these plethora of thoughts plaguing my mind, I walked on home, as usual, deep in thought, and this time, sweating profusely.

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