Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Bus Journey

‘Hi Sameer, you are looking really happy today, is it love or is it dove?’ mocked my colleague as I entered my workplace.

‘Neither’, I said with a smile ‘I’m going back home for a week.’

‘Even better, enjoy the holidays.’

It was my first leave after 2 years and I was delighted. The day went as usual and I completed my work by 5 in the evening. I carried my luggage to office that day not knowing if I’d be able to finish my work early. I had forgotten my mobile charger and the battery was already a bit low. I left office and started for the bus station. In about 30 minutes I was at the bus stop. I had booked my tickets for the 7 p.m. bus and was sitting idly reading my book. Almost 1 hour passed and the bus arrived at 6:45. As I was getting up, I saw a well dressed man hurry to the ticket office. The bus cleaner took about 10 minutes to tidy the bus and by that time I called up at home and told them the bus number MH31 5055 and the time of arrival 7 am. As I was about to pick up my luggage to board the bus, I saw that man again, this time right in front of me.

‘I know I am troubling you, but I really need to get on this bus. I have an emergency and the next bus is at 10 pm. Please help me out. I would pay double the amount for the ticket, please let me travel on your seat.’

‘But even I need to be home early tomorrow’, I tried to argue.

‘I have purchased the ticket for the 10 pm bus, you can take this too.’

‘Not a bad deal’, I thought and agreed, took my fare and the 10 p.m. ticket and started reading the book again.

I had dinner and boarded the bus at 10 p.m., tuned in my IPod and went off to sleep. At about 2 a.m. the bus stopped in the jungle due to a flat tire. With nothing more to do I dozed off. In the morning I got to know that they took almost 2 hours to repair the puncture and we were about 3 hours off the scheduled time. When I reached the destination it was almost 1 in the noon.

The bus stop was walking distance from my place, so I decided to walk. When I reached home I saw a big crowd gathered around my house. A chill ran down my spine. What must have happened? Was papa alright? He didn’t keep well these days and that was one reason for me to come home. Even my younger brother rides the bike rashly? Did anything happen to him? I almost ran to my house, trying to push everyone aside as I tried to go in.

I could hear murmurs all around me.

‘He was such a good man.’ ‘How can god be so ignorant to good people?’ ‘God bless his soul.’ ‘This is such a great loss to the family.’

And suddenly I heard a shout from behind me, ‘Sameer’s here.’ There was pin drop silence for a moment and everyone turned to look at me.

The murmurs started getting louder. ‘What happened?’ I asked ‘tell me, is everyone all right?’

I glanced around the room to see my brother and my mother sitting at the far corner of the room. They stood up and ran towards me. I could see multiple emotions on their face at once. ‘What happened?’ I thought trying to clear my mind. And then I saw a small framed photograph on the table besides them. I squinted to see it clearly. It was my father’s photograph. He passed away this morning when he heard that the bus number MH31 5055 had met with an accident.

I wish I had not been ignorant and charged my mobile. I wish I had informed my family that I had changed my schedule. I wish I was responsible enough to understand why my father would always tell me ‘Keep calling, wherever you go.’


Epilogue: This story is dedicated to the several youngsters who get irritated when their parents ask them where they are. They feel the parents are not giving them the ‘FREEDOM’ they deserve. Please think twice before you switch off you mobile or ignore calls from your parents.

18 comments:

Shraddha said...

GOOOD 1...!!! now i understand y paa keeps callin us every now n den wen v'r out-of-town... nee...
n u'v understood dis only coz u'r a father now...
i rmbr how alwayzzz papa kept callin u, n ur answer would usually b "m i a kid..!!!"

Sunny said...

@Shraddha - Now I understand, I was, I am and I would always be a kid in front of my Father. Thanks Dad for making me what I am today.

neil said...

As u have rightly said,we as individuals many a times forget that the freedom and independence which we enjoy in our life is cause of our parents who have been taking care of us since our childhood n continue to do so...a small ignorance on our part can take mighty turns in their lives n off course in our lives...

Deepa said...

Hi. Thanks for your comments on my blog. This story is nice. Parents never quit being parents and always worry about you no matter how old you are. My father is like that. Worry wart. In fact, I got my first cell phone after an incident where the office phone went dead and my dad couldn't contact me. As luck would have it, that day I had to stay late and couldnt call to inform them about it. He called up practically all my friends to know my whereabouts. After that, I got my cell phone so that dead phone lines did not get in my father's way!! :)

Nethra said...

Hopefully this is only a fiction. I enjoyed read it. Good narration. :)

Nethra said...

Sorry. That would be "enjoyed reading it".

Sunny said...

@Nethra - Yes, Its just fiction, thank you.

@Neil - I hope the youngsters understand this fact.

@Deepa - We are what we are because of our parents, make their day today. Go to them and give them a hug and say "Thanks for everything." and see it would do wonders.

vamsi said...

awesum man..I liked the moral in the story..too too too good..:)

Sunny said...

@Vamsi - Thanks bro ...

Anonymous said...

very touching...seriously it gets annoying wen mum n dad keep calling me bt now i guess i learnt my lessson..:) thankz mama

James said...

Hey sunny ur story will really teach a big lesson to all youngster.Sunny u should promote promote ur valuable blog , I knew a website called blogerzoom.com for advertising and marketing, They are offering very unique features with cheap prices. They will promote ur blog through all over the network, all u have to do is choose ur pack and rest leave it to blogerzoom advertising team to promote ur blog in every network. And see how u enjoy a lot of traffic while blogging. Finally happy new year to u and ur family ...

Vibhuti B said...

Hey,
Really fabulous story again..
A story that most definitely belongs to the chicken soup for the teenage soul series..
WHy dont u go ahead and send your entry??

Karthik said...

Very nice story, Sunny. Loved the narration.
We are so irresponsible sometimes that we tend to forget the most important things. Especially when things like these happen, it's inexcusable.
A thought provoking story. Keep 'em coming. :-)

Sunny said...

@James- I'll surely look into that website.

@Vibhuti - I hope to send some stories someday. Thanks for all the kind words that keep me going.

@Kartik - Thanks Kartik

Anonymous said...

it was fabulous i almost thought ur family thought they lost u and were crying and then they see and and a happ ending, but as ur other storries even this was thrilling... Thanku.. A wonderful job done for the society.

Sunny said...

@ Anon - Thanks, I dont know but happy endings really dont go well with me. Some 'Chemical Locha' in my mind .. I guess. Anyways, thanks again.

Naren said...

damn .. it jus hit me once i read it .. felt sad .. n kina guilty ..for all those times when i have jus ignored/avoided/not-cared for my parents call .. thanks fo writing this story man .. kudos

PS : i really wanted to read the comments and hoping it was a fictitious .. and am glad it turned out to be fiction only .. but still lesson learnt ..

Sunny said...

@Naren - I'm glad the young crowd is liking it and taking the hint. If I can make a difference with the small pieces of writing I hope to go on and on. Please do forward the post to all the youngsters so that we can spread the word. I hope I'm not asking for much.

Yes, this is fiction but honestly I dont know, there may be real cases too where these kind of things have been happening ... So please, Please dont ignore calls, just say i'll talk later but dont ignore.

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