It principally involves having one leg…no. Perhaps one half of one toe on the footboard of a bus, and clutch any part of the bus with an intensity that would do a lizard in a earthquake ridden building, proud. Just hold on.
And gather all the strength from wherever. And of course, you are not alone. There are many others that are going shoulder to shoulder, toe-to-toe with you. Actually, that should be ‘any-body-part’ to ‘any-body-part’ with you !
And of course, there are accidents. Life and limb are lost.
And Tamil movies have eulogised this sequence as one where ‘love blossoms’ ! As the heroine exchanges love struck glances from inside the bus, and the hero stays suspended in air. The movies of course, don’t show the suspension-in-thin-air as a harbinger of what awaits the hero after the marriage. Of course !
You have had many classmates in college doing this routine. Every single day, commuting to college and back. Looking for the most crowded of the buses. To demonstrate how much they can stay suspended!
They ridicule you. For you would never do it. Telling you that you dont have enough courage. You know deep within, that they perhaps are true.
And you meet some of them. Many years later, long after they married. To women that didn’t travel with them in those crowded buses. They are a balded. Have children. They earn a good living. And speak of ‘those’ days with affection riddled nostalgia !
And say. ‘We were plain lucky to survive.’ And one of them casually lets go. “As a matter of fact i couldnt do much with the meagre money my dad made. Life had to be lived. Heroism was the cloak to sport’.
He smiles. And goes on. ‘See it made chaps like you envy us !’
You smile a weak smile. And think of your the parent lottery you won when you were born. To the folks that you were born to.
And you see change all around.
And you look at the buses now. And find that some sport a fresh tilt to them. Even now. And now you know, that the tilt has many reasons. Wooing was one. Just one. ”Living'” was the big one that you didn’t think of. Back then.
Living. Sometimes, at the expense of life.