Tuesday, April 2, 2024

A memorable journey (786words)

 

An urgent work cropped up at Bangalore and I did not have time to make any reservation. Luckily, I could get a seat In the AC bus that was to leave soon. I was hungry and tired. Grabbing some snacks and a can of coke, I settled in a chair in the lounge. As I was finishing the coke, I heard the announcement “Bus for Bangalore now boarding.”

I hurriedly dumped the bag in the receptacle above and sat in the allotted window seat.. The bus was to depart in the next five minutes and I was happy that my adjacent seat was unoccupied. My happiness was however short-lived when a young lady came and occupied the seat next to me. She was about 25, very charming, in Jeans and a Khurta-like top.

“Are you proceeding to Bangalore?” she asked softly.

I nodded and asked “What about you? Do you live In Bangalore?”

“Yes,” she said with a smile.

After some pleasantries, I came to know that she was working In Bangalore and that she had come to Chennai for some official work. She did not give much detail about her. She was a bit reticent and answered in monosyllables.

I started playing Sudoku on my iPad to while away the time while the video on the bus was showing some Rajni film. She was watching it for a while and then closed her eyes possibly to catch some sleep. After some time, I took my laptop and started working on some reports, I was to send.

“It is boring. Can I use your iPad to play some games, if you are busy with your laptop? “I heard her ask me.

“Why not? By all means, play to your heart's content till the power lasts” I said as I gave her the iPad.

She started playing Hangman, Mahjongg, Sudoku and some other games. I got busy with my work and after an hour put the laptop in the bag when my eyelids became heavy. Having had a busy day, I fell asleep immediately

It was only at Krishnagiri stop that I got up and went to the restroom. She was holding the iPad tightly in her hands and was seen dozing with her eyes closed. Not wanting to disturb her, I went back to sleep in an empty seat on the other side.

It was after the bus had left Hosur that I woke up with a start to find the lady missing from her seat. I panicked and asked the conductor where the lady was. He said she got down at Hosur hurriedly at the last moment as if on second thought. It was a new iPad and I cursed myself for leaving it in her custody and sleeping. I had not got even the name of the company where she worked, let alone her number while I had foolishly parted with the name of my company and my mobile number in the hope we may become friends. A doubt arose If she were working at Bangalore, why should she get down at Hosur? I suspected some foul play.

The conductor and a few passengers commiserated with me at my plight and expressed their doubts whether any complaint with the police would help. The bus was moving at great speed leaving me with no other option than to stay put. It was then my mobile rang. It was the lady who spoke.

“Sorry, Sir. I had two minds about whether to get down at Hosur where my parents live but decided suddenly to break the journey. I work in Bangalore. You were fast asleep when the bus stopped at Hosur. I waited for some time hoping you would wake up in the noise of the bus stand. When you did not, I left the iPad in your laptop bag. Forgive me for this liberty taken. Please open the laptop bag and confirm the iPad is there while I am online. Lucky, I had your number” she said.

I quickly checked to find my iPad safely in the bag and was struck with remorse at my hasty assumption.

“Thank you, Miss….er I was a bit worried when I did not see you. It is a new iPad and I was very much upset. I am extremely sorry for some uncharitable assumptions, "I said.

“Roopa…...Miss...Roopa. So you thought I was a thief?” she replied with a giggle and continued “Let us meet at Bangalore in the coming week. You have now my number and I will be waiting for your call. You owe me an apology.”

It is a different matter that this fortuitous incident developed into a close friendship culminating eventually in our happy marriage.

 

22 comments:

  1. A feel good story with a predictable happy ending. The journey came alive with all the intricacies and minute details and I am abundantly surprised at how updated you are on the names of games, the clothes people wear now, the stops enroute to Bengaluru etc.! You are a master story teller indeed:)

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  2. Perfect RomCom. You should compile a book of short stories titled " Happy Ending"!!
    Janardhan N

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  3. Hahahaaaa....thank god, she had taken the guy's number. It was a good idea that she thought of putting the ipad inside the laptop bag. Good that both of them started dating and married later...Interesting story!

    Sandhya Kumar

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  4. I have to give this to you. You have a fertile and romantic mind!😃
    Thanks for xharing. Made a pleasant reading.

    Best wishes and warm regards
    Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy

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  5. Very interesting story with a pleasant suspense till the end. Atin Biswas

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  6. This story reminds me of a saying by Khalil Gibran:

    In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
    Khalil Gibran

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  7. A sweet feel-good story!

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  8. Could have gone the wrong way, but ultimately all is well that ends well, as the saying goes!

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  9. So sweet 😍

    A heart warming simple love story. Very nice

    Chitra

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  10. As always another feel good story with a happy ending. Hats off! 👏👏👏

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  11. Interesting story with a happy ending.

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  12. Very interesting story.thanks.ramakrishnan.a.

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  13. The way you narrated the story, I had the feeling that I was also travelling with you in the same bus. I also assumed that the lady was a cheater. It gave a message that we should never jump to conclusions. I will keep this in mind

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  14. Some bonds are connected and cemented in life beyond imagination or explanation. Versatile and romantic story telling by the writer fascinates me !

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  15. A series of fortunate incidents :) Bus Sneham :)

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  16. Life is full of surprise turns of events,all is well that ends well.

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  17. You have a flair for creating a visual to your story . Every detailed narrative makes us feel we are also travelling in that same bus . Keep it up . Waiting for more

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  18. A heartwarming tale.
    Shantha Rao

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  19. Almost felt it happening in front of me :) A good read.

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  20. Lakshmi SrinivasanApril 7, 2024 at 8:06 AM

    A beautiful rom com story well narrated with your signature twist in the end. Totally enjoyed it

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  21. Your talent in creating laid- back stories is wonderful! They are invariably in favorable endings just like our Tamil movies !

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