The peak hour bus was as usual crowded. I was angry with dad for hustling me like a gunny bag inside the crowd. "Why they dont listen to me and take an auto" cribbed my angry mind. The bus began to move. More hustle bustle. Someone stepped on my tiny little toe and the pain was excruciating. After a short while, which felt longer, the crowd began to subside and finally I got a seat to sit. Dad asked me to take the seat, blocking the seat from others. My boyish pride wanted me to stand through the crowd and with vain pride I declined the seat and stood with my head held high. Smack came a solid pat which brought me back to earth and I was pushed into the seat. Had it been a window seat, I might not have put that scene. The aisle one was as discomforting as standing and more so as people dumped their bags on me. I was angry with dad for allowing me to be treated like a dumpster.
While my dad was cheerily chatting with fellow passengers I felt uneasy. I was praying for our stopping to come as soon as possible to stretch my legs a bit. A few more stops later the crowd thinned even more and my dad also got a seat. He politely asked the gentleman sitting next to me to swap places with him. I felt angry with him for treating me like a kid. I hoped my seat mate wont let me down and would turn down my dad's plea. But that sucker gave up on me and readily moved out. With the thought of window seat being available i consoled my hurt ego and move towards the window, with the hope that atleast the rest of the journey would be interesting. I was about to catch a low lying branch when my dad pulled me away from the window and he moved inside. My dad angrily told me not to keep my arm outside the window of a moving vehicle if i care to have it stuck on my shoulder for some more time to come. I felt even more irritated. Why should people be so "grown-up"py all the time? Why cant they allow a kid to have his pleasures in life? Well, of course i am a 13 year old grownup but still i love to enjoy the kiddish pleasures once in a while. I felt entitled to those little joys.
Suddenly the crowd in the bus began to increase again. Maybe God decided to test my pain taking capacity today, i thought. There was this really fat big lady who was having trouble standing. Maybe they should commute such people in trucks, i giggled to myself, thinking how stuck she would be on ill fitting bus seats. To my horror my dad gave up his seat for the lady who conveniently crushed me to the corner. I cried my eyes dry for taking that trip and didnt realise when i fell asleep. A sudden break by the driver brought me back to life. I was bleary eyed and still half asleep. I saw to my relief that the big fat lady had moved away and i had the whole seat for myself. I felt happy for the first time in the entire journey. The warm breeze seemed to pep up my mood and it played with my hairstyle and made it funny. I closed my eyes and it felt like heaven. I felt sorry for the so called adults for missing such great moments in life. Wait a minute. I also missed something. SomeONE rather. Where is dad?!!! To my horror of horrors then only i realised that the entire bus was empty. I never felt more scared in life. I realised i didnt even had the complete address of the relatives place where we were going. Stranded alone in a moving bus. How can my dad be so irresponsible? how can he leave a kid and go without even realising that i am missing? I started crying, wailing aloud when the entire bus shook as if it had hit an airpocket. "hey..what happened? bad dream..huh? you were moaning in your sleep. Wake up..our stopping has come. Since you were very tired looking i didnt want to disturb your sleep". I never felt more happier in my life to have been woken up from my sleep and in a huge surge of relief i rushed up and hugged my dad, promising never to leave his side, ever. "huh..its ok big guy" he patted me and said "..must've been a real bad dream i guess" smiled dad. I smiled back.
Our stopping came but felt my journey had just begun.