Happy are those who are able to take a nap, anywhere, and on the other side of life, you have people with the plushest of bedrooms, grappling with insomnia and stress, desperately seeking sleep.
Enjoy Morning Meanderings Season 2 with your hot cuppa and cookies. ☕🍪😊
It was 8 AM, and I was waiting for the Volvo which would take me to Jaipur from IFFCO Chowk, Gurugram.
The bus stand was a palette of colours. I could see some masked and some unmasked vendors at their best persuasive eloquence, some guffawing without any reason, some pulling each other’s legs, some gossiping in hushed whispers, and some bored travellers continuously looking at their watches, furrowed brows, perspiring profusely at 40 degrees Celsius. Fidgeting and cursing under their breaths.
“When the next buses come, two of us will go on each bus: you go into the Sawai Madhopur bus, I will go into the Jaipur bus, and you…”
The group of vendors selling water bottles, soft drinks, biscuits, candies, cookies, and crispies were marking their territory with loud instructions to each other. They were not allowed into the Volvo buses, so they would dash forward as soon as they sighted a local bus in the distance, elbowing and nudging each other out of the way. Some had no qualms about stepping on each other’s toes, calmly ignoring the fusillade of expletives that came their way.
Sugarcane vendors were doing brisk business, so were cucumber sellers. The buses were honking, deluded into believing that they were sublime songsters serenading a bored world.
My eyes refused to leave a very intriguing scene. A little distance away on the telephone wire hung a roti. Probably someone had flung it from the upper story apartment and on its downward journey, it got stuck on the telephone wire. Now, this had become the hub of avian communal breakfasting. Sparrows and crows, pigeons and mynas were swooping down at it and pecking hungrily. Soon the roti had holes all over. Before my very eyes, a whole roti had been reduced to a holed roti. But the holed roti continued to hold charm for the hungry birds, and they munched on.
Blissfully unaware of all this hullaballoo at the bus stand, unfazed by the screeching, screaming, honking, and hollering, a man slept peacefully under the shade of a tree, on his carton of water bottles, serenaded by the birds overhead. He was content to have his forty winks, while the world around him, raced and rushed around, stumbling and tumbling, not to be left behind in the everyday rat race. The calmly sleeping human had not yet mutated into a rat, which brought a smile to my tired face. And I wondered, how fortunate he is in a way to be able to take a nap, anywhere, and on the other side of life you have people with the plushest of bedrooms, grappling with insomnia and stress, desperately seeking sleep.
Perhaps, in his mind, he was traveling in a train, which was whirling him through the mountain passes and golden plains, coming alive to the sounds of his home in his remote village. I could even hear the solicitous sound of his mother, see the grandmother’s gnarled fingers trail through his straggly hair, both mumbling in happy voices, “Tu sach mein aa gaya, beta?” [Son, have you really come?]. I chuckled at my rather filmy imagination.
Well, while the ‘beta’ snoozed happily on his precarious bed of ‘water’ (literally), my reverie was broken by someone yelling, “The Volvo has come!”
And I hopped into the bus, casting one last look at the sleeping man, who, oblivious to all the heat, crowds and cacophony around him was enjoying life with a relaxing nap, I heard Rafi hum in my ear:
Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya
Har fiqr ko dhnuye mein udaata chala ga
Ah, the perils or rather blessings of a fertile imagination.
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