It is actually fun to travel by bus after a very long time, even if it is a very short distance. Nothing beats watching people and building little stories around them. My favorites are the school kids though, and their chatter or non-chatter. Some of the younger ones seem in a stupor – and I don’t blame them – what with the huge bags they carry, which seem ready to topple them any minute. But I suspect that sometimes the frail kids stay anchored because of them.

A couple of days ago, a less than three-foot high kid stared at me all the way, throughout the journey. I got the feeling that she was really not seeing, you know – I just happened to be in her line of vision and she was looking through me. The seat next to me got empty – and when I invited her to sit, she gently shook her head and pointed to the door – indicating she had to get off at the next stop. She was sweet, with a silky cap of straight hair and doe-like eyes.

The best part is – two days in the same bus, and the conductor recognizes me and hands out a ticket even before I could ask him – and when I hand over the change, he grins like we’re old friends. Reminded me of those 27E days in Madras – oh boy – college! Swaroop once asked “got bread?” because there was a traffic jam ahead. We had unlimited tokens with which to travel – what, Uma? All of Mount Road and every deviation possible up to Perambur! What fun it used to be.

Today 8th main freaked by developing a traffic jam all the way and I was sure we’d be late for school. Somehow we managed to take some twists and turns and made it in time. Likely reason could have been the traffic lights not working, and a traffic policeman optimistically thinking he could control the flow. What hopes. It is a fact that whenever a policeman is in charge, there’s a jam, and traffic’s haywire.

Like Sury says, traveling on foot is best for reasonable distances. At least we don’t have to lug a vehicle around.