A bus journey to remember.

Getting out of the KSRTC, I started walking towards Shaktan Stand. I passed by some street vendors who were selling mangoes.

3 Kilo, 100 rupees! Varoo Varoo*” (*Come!)

I looked at them and continued walking.

“Mole, molkkum venemengil medikkam! 3 Kilo verum 100 rupees.” (You can also buy it! 3 kilos for just 100 rupees.)

I smiled thinking how they looked at everyone as a prospective customer.

Walking over to the usual place where I find the buses that take me home, I dodged so many school children crowding over different buses. Little did I know that this was foreshadowing.

The bus wasn’t in it’s usual place and I asked a bus conductor standing beside me , “Chetta, Peechi Dam bus evide?” (Where is the bus to Peechi Dam?)

“Aa anjamathe bus. Neela bus . Kandille?” (That fifth bus. The blue one. Saw it?)

I got on it and the seats had been taken already. I stood by the door, kept my bag by the feet of an old lady, hoping she wouldn’t scream at me.

A couple more ladies got on the bus. And finally, so did the bus driver.

This began a 20 minute journey that’s hard to forget.

As soon as the conductor stepped foot in the bus, there was a swarm of school kids starting to file into the bus. It was probably around 20 or so , but felt like a 100 kids minimum , in that already packed bus. I clung on the metal bar in front of me for dear life, literally. They started dumping their bags on the laps of the people sitting. One by one by one the pile grew until someone said “Mathi mathi! Oru paruthi ille makkale!” (Enough! There’s a limit to how many I can hold kids.)

The bus slowly started it’s way out of the bus stand. Between all this commotion a lady tapped on my shoulder:

“Mission Hospital ariyumo?” (Do you know where Mission Hospital is?)

“Aa ariyam.” (Yes.)

“Ethiyal onnu parayane.” (Please let me know when we reach there.)

The bus had moved for , maybe, 50 ft when it reached it’s first stop. A few more school kids got in.

The Conductor : “ullil po pillare. Malayathil alle parayunne! Aa bag okke evideyenkilum vachittu ullilekk po ellarum.” (Push inside! Keep those bags somewhere and move in.)

A small shuffle from everyone trying to move in. The Conductor seemed to think we were inside Hermione’s bag from Deathly Hallow, unlimited space inside. Honestly, How far can you go in a small private bus?

The second stop, again was filled with school children looking expectantly at the bus. It stopped and the conductor said only 2-3 students, out of the almost 20 waiting there, shall be allowed in.

Of course that was a lie and he let in as many kids as he could.

As of now, people were going in, nobody was moving out. Fun.

Then, Mission Hospital loomed in front. I tried to turn around and let the lady know that this was her stop. When I turned around it was just school children. ALL SCHOOL CHILDREN. I couldn’t find anybody else.

The bus stopped at the Hospital Bus stop, around 2 people got out and 7-8 more kids climbed on.

The bus started moving again.

Thankfully, the lady figured out that the big red building with Hospital written over it was, in fact, her stop and I heard her yell from the back,

“Ivide iranganam! Aal iranganund.” (I need to get off here.)

She started making her way through the sea of school children, still yelling that she needs to get out, reaching nowhere because they were all fully grown solid human beings and it’s difficult to push yourself through them. Somehow she made it to the front, stepping on numerous feet in the meanwhile. But her greatest obstacle was still yet to come. Getting down.

“Kutti onnu maroo please” (Kid,please move).

Which kid? Move where?

She danced around in that small space between people’s feet, their bags, tugged on their shawls and somehow reached the stairs of the bus. Everyone was waiting for her to get down to return back to their normal stance.

The Conductor was opening the door to let her out.

Everyone waited in anticipation. If she gets down, people can breathe properly.

He pulls on the handle. It’s stuck.

Everyone who sees it, groans.

He tried again. And again. And again.

The lady looked nervous. Everyone looked nervous . The same thoughts went through everyone’s minds, I’m sure.

What if the door doesn’t open and she will have to go through the back door?

I shuddered at that thought. Voices everywhere telling the man, who operates the door daily, as to how to operate it.

The driver is getting impatient.

After what seems like forever, he put his entire might and pulled on the handle . The stubborn door swung open. The lady out the door instantly. The Conductor’s face spelled out R E L I E V E D. The bus seemed to breathe properly again.

We continued the journey. And as if to increase the difficulty level in this weird game everyone was playing, it started raining. Great.

The bus halted again soon and the conductor tried to get off to go to the back of the bus. But as he rushed down the stairs , his trademark-black-money-bag got caught in the hero of the evening, handle of the bus and he slipped , and the bus started moving. Everyone screamed for him, the driver put on the sudden brakes and he fell back on the lowest step on the bus.

He was pulled back into the top of the stairs and he seemed shook. The schoolgirl beside him asked if he was okay

He replied : “Daivamme, brake ittath nannayi. Allenkil naalathe paperil kandenne enne” (Thank God he hit the brakes. Otherwise I’d be dead.)

As we approached my stop, I started digging into the heap of bags trying to find mine.

I pulled my heavy bag up from the bottom as the conductor screamed “Ollukara! Ollukara!”

I moved to the door, the bus stopped and I got out as soon as possible, making sure none of the straps were stuck anywhere on the bus as I didn’t want the Conductor’s incident to happen to me as well.

The fresh air after the rain hit my face . The door closed behind me and the ‘Neela’ bus took off leaving me with a strange set of memories about my own town.

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A new year, a new me. 

A new year,  a new me!

I cried out to the world

But do you see

Do you see how vague was that phrase. 

I did too. 

However,  the most magical thing about adulthood is, 

You learn something new every moment, 

And so imagine;

Imagine what 366 days could do. 

A year ago, 

I was a different person. 

A person who was afraid, 

A person desperate to get out

A person unsatisfied. 

A year ago, 

My happiness did not  depend on my actions,

It was stuck in the hands of others

Friends, family all the same;

played hide and seek with it. 

My worth wasn’t determined by myself

I looked at them for approval

Needless to say, I didn’t think I was worth that much

In a world of diamonds and rubies, I was a pebble. 

But oh its a wonder

What 366 days can do to someone

A year ago, I gave up hope

I decided, I was destined to be mediocre,

But these 366  days was a wake up call

Not exactly a call; more of a slap in the face

Each of the 366 days taught me how to be a young adult in this world. 

It taught me to be passionate, 

Be adventurous, be spontaneous. 

I learnt to be kind to strangers, 

Show my affection and not bottle them up, 

To try new things, to take some risks. 

The past 366 days taught me to keep my happiness in myself

My happiness belonged to myself.

It taught me not everyone will love you and that’s okay

The important thing was that I loved myself. 

That everyday I looked in the mirror and said, 

I’m happy to be myself 

Finally,you see

It dawned on me, 

You needn’t wait for a new year, 

To turn your life around. 

My new year wasn’t January 1st

My new year is today, 

My new year is tomorrow

My new year starts whenever i make a change, 

My new year is everyday. 

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Dear younger me

Hello me. How are you? Probably super happy. That’s good.

I’ve got some things to say kid, listen up. 

You’ll never be society’s definition of beauty and you’ll be constantly reminded of that even when you’re 19. But learn to embrace yourself. It must be easier for you, because you’re young now. I’ve already grown up believing it was cool to hate myself. Don’t make that mistake again. 

Don’t turn into a socially inept person, please. Just because your favorite youtuber says that they’re socially awkward, doesn’t mean you have to be like that too. Well, you’ll learn that the hard way. 

Don’t avoid hugging people. You’ll just end up older and hug-less because people think you hate hugging. Stop denying hugs. 

Spend more time with mom and dad. You’ll end up moving away and missing them all the time, because no one is as understanding as they are. Remember that. No matter how “cool” and open minded they seem. 

Stop wanting to get away from where you grew up. It’s a wonderul city and you’ll yearn to come back AS SOON AS you leave. Enjoy the time you spend here, with your friends. 

Also,  don’t worry. You’ll have some great friends.

One of the most important thing I have to instill in you, is to trust yourself. I know its hard for you to trust anybody, but don’t include yourself in that. Trust your own decisions. 

People will leave, but better people will come along, so don’t be so melodramatic all the time. Chill. You’re a child.

Birthdays are Overrated. Don’t be a dudley. 

Be kind to everyone. Oh my God, you think being mean is so cool right now don’t you? It’s not. Please be kind to people. 

You keep growing up, you keep changing everyday. Don’t feel stupid for liking something you didn’t before or disliking something you liked. It’s not the end of the world. 

Express yourself well. Express your affections. It’s important. 

Life is not too difficult, especially for you, kid. Laugh it off. Toodles. 
(Inspired by Dodie Clark’s video.) 

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Someone recently told me how they hated feeling “down” /sad. And they needed some quick fixes.

-listen to some sad songs/watch sad videos. Cry it out. I usually do that.

-talk to friends/anybody.

-watch a rom-com.I feel like they are made for nights like these.

-watch FRIENDS.

-dance around for a bit. Works every time.

– have a talk with yourself. You should be your own best friend. Vv important.

-embrace your ‘sad feeling.’ don’t shun it away in pretense of being a “strong”  person. Been there, done that. Doesn’t end well.

-take a shower. Cold/hot whatevz. Just make yourself clean. Cleaning your body helps cleansing your mind.

-sometimes i make myself look nice by trying out different hairstyles etc and that distracts me and it works. (narcissism! It works!)

-write about it. Vent it out.

-hugs. I used to be a person who hated hugs. Now i want one on a regular basis. Hugs are #1 stress relievers.

-read your old facebook statuses/captions. Will make you cringe and happy that you’ve grown a lot from then.

-sleep it off.
Of course there isn’t a specific way to make yourself feel better. Some days, you won’t be able to feel better. Some days you wouldn’t WANT to feel better(been there).  That’s okay. As long as you keep trying, the next day. Being sad is not a disease. It isn’t a sign of weakness. Don’t treat it like one.

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