4-minar yatra – Sun, Mar 8 1992 1:02 am

In Place on October 28, 2012 at 2:24 am

Sun, Mar 8 1992 1:02 am

Adhering to the old addage of supply meeting demand, the Hyderabadi bazaar hawked it’s tupperware and boti kebobs amidst the thickest of human civilizations. The milling crowd was so dense that if Rahim bhai with his Dubai luggage got onto the local APSRTC bus he would create enough room for people a mile around to at least swing their arms while walking.

Something wasn’t right. Invariably, there were more passengers boarding the bus than were alighting.  The volume of humanity in the bus grew bigger and larger but amazingly by some quirk of science called surface tension that keeps an overfilled glass of water from spilling over the brim, the bus could actually hold more than it could actually hold!

It was a hot summers afternoon and one could almost hear the heat crepitating. Rahim bhai was slammed between a cold steel railing in the bus and an open shirted Romeo with a calico bandana and a “char anna ki atter” swab plugged in his ear.  The exuding aroma of this over killed Yeves Saint Laurent made the cunductor sneeze. “Arganic Chemistry at vark!” thought Subba Rao already running late for his 2.30PM Chemistry Lab, Osmania University.  Rahim bhai stood on his toes to get a glimpse of the outside world through the small window which was now almost completely obliterated by this pan-chewing Romeo, leaning over, like a dunking duck, to spew out a jet-stream of red betel-juice onto the cracked hot asphalt road passing swiftly below.

The median to this two-way traffic lane was a broken yellow line. The Romeo’s red streak aligned well with this yellow line. The ever late, impatient Subba Rao would normally eyeball the speed of the bus by noting the pace of this jaundiced visual staccato. Today, he realized  he had a “kalar-aption”- yellow or red.

Rahim bhai caught a glimpse of the blossoming Gulmohar tree in the Woman’s College compound. “Koti” mumbled the conductor as the bus rolled to a stop.  “Next istop apna hai” advised the Romeo, giving advance notice of his whereabouts to the world.

—–peter vas


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