Buses are the primary means of public transport to us Malayalis. And while Corona has reduced the number of bus rides we can take, we can’t help reminisce all those fun times. And while we wonder when things will go back to normal, let’s have a look at the types of people we often meet in every bus ride.
The OC Friend
Every bus has that random high schooler who does not have money to pay for his ticket. Their motivation to enter the bus is other kids in the same school uniform. This act is often accompanied by a background story. Their convincing skills and humour gets them off the hook almost all the time. This is that kid who goes around the class to collect money for S.T and then spend it on semiya itta sip-up. Whatever it is, we all miss that puppy face and, “Edi, oru 2 roopa eduthe” talk.
The Aunty With 1001 Ailments
A quick way to identify them is their scanning skills. As soon as they enter the bus, they activate their scan mode to look for school uniforms on seats. This aunty starts naming all the ailments that are troubling her as soon as the student hesitates to give up a seat. If shwasakhosham is like a sponge, aunty is 100% made of sponge. And the moment the bus stops at her destination, all her ailments disappear and she is whole again.
We all have that one friend who is so soft-hearted and kind. While some of us look for cute guys/girls on the bus, they look for people to give up their seats for or to hold things that range from babies to sacks. They are sure to get a Nobel prize for giving up their hard-earned seats, and/or saying, “kozhapulla chechi!” even when they are sinking in a pile of bags.
2 mins of silence for that pure soul.
Yes, we’re talking about the driver chettan. Remember the Knight Bus from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban? Well, we’re pretty sure if there was such a thing in real life, all the drivers would be recruited from our buses. With nerves of steel and lightning-fast reflexes, you can count on them to get you to your destination no matter what gets in the way.
These people are a gem, though sometimes annoying. It’s hard to find them on short journeys but you’re sure to find one on a long journey. From the background story of their poochakutty’s name to their zillionth heartbreak, they vocalise their autobiography. Their flashbacks within flashbacks, and several other entwined stories, can give Inception a run for its money. You know you are screwed when you hear “ athu paranjappolanu orthe…”, and that’s why you should always carry headphones on a bus journey!
They are a variation of the oversharer. While the oversharer has a lot to tell, the storytellers are limited to a specific incident and always come in pairs – one listening and the other narrating. They live in a different world where people do not believe in talking softly and all their fellow travellers get to hear their fun story, even evoke a few cathartic moments in them. And if you have to get down midway through an awesome plot twist, you’re sure to have a void within you that’ll take a while to get filled.
Ahhh here we go!
I heard y’all sighing. No one wants to sit near such people for they do not know what personal space is all about. Their ultimate goal in life is to sleep. They can sleep anywhere, anytime. From clinging on to the bus handle and supporting their head with their hand to just sitting and resting their head on a random stranger, they are sure to find comfort anywhere. We all need support in life but they take support quite literally. Though they are a cute nuisance, we shouldn’t forget their big heart that doesn’t discriminate against their ‘supporters’ based on gender, religion, or age.
If Harry Potter had the Philosopher’s Stone, our buses have stoned philosophers! A bus ride is incomplete without these people; usually middle-aged intoxicated men. They shift from being a stoic to a nihilist through the course of the bus journey. We’re pretty sure their Instagram bio reads, “I am a traveller who is unaware of his destination”. And when they get back to their senses, it’s either “mone, oru 100 roopa edukkan undako?” or “ Innum stop miss ayi!”
How can we miss the ‘soul’ of the bus, our bus conductors?! It’s natural for us to get inspired by their balancing skill and attempt to give it a try (do tell us how your hands-free balancing attempts turned out). If you ask them the classic ‘glass half empty – half full’ question, they would probably say that the glass is completely empty for they can always see an empty football ground even when people are hanging out on the footboard. With their wits and tricks, they are the ‘vikaaram’ of every bus ride.
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So that was our list of people you meet on every bus ride. And while our experience ranges from good memories to even toxic ones, some of these random convos have turned out to be life-changing. But these are just a few of the many types of characters you’d meet.
Did we miss your favourite type? Is there a fun experience you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section!