Tuesday, August 10, 2010

One way ticket to hell

One fine sunny yet not too warm and perfectly temperatured day, I decided to take the bus to work. Full of good intentions and absolutely proud of myself for taking the bus, I stepped into the bus and offered a ten rupee note to the conductor as fare. A little smile played on my lips as I thought about the good deed I was doing for the environment. I am sure a halo twinkled around my little head too, but I was too modest to check.

The conductor, a tall strapping young man who looked like he had been feasting on human blood the whole night and chewing the cud for breakfast, snatched the note brusquely, pushed his finger into his mouth, swabbed a generous amount of paan stained saliva on his finger, pried a ticket loose from the tight wad he held in his hand with the same finger and pushed the ticket into my hand before I could scream “Nahiiiiiiin” like Hema Malini in the movies. It all happened in a second. I had no time to react. The crumpled ticket with blood red saliva lay in my hand like a Maghai Paan House flavored bus ticket. The smell was overpowering.

I looked at the ticket in horror and then at the conductor. He was gone; to the rear of the bus to sell more paan flavored tickets I presume.

I gingerly lifted my hands and tried to throw the ticket into the bag. But it wouldn’t budge. The conductor has ensured that passengers will never have to worry about losing their tickets and paying fines by - you wont believe this - eating sweet paaan!!! Yes dear friends, the industrial strength sugar syrup in the paan ensured that I could do any thing...like Kung Fu or Karate, or climb a mountain "and" award a few Common Wealth Games contracts on the side without having to worry about the ticket falling down, EVER! Amazing.

I decided to look at the bright side. Suppose the bus turned sharply, rolled over a dozen times and then fell slow motion into a deep ditch like in the movies, I could secure myself by sticking my hand on any part of the bus!!! I would perhaps be the only one standing!!

But it was hard to be positive when there is a terrible stench emanating from your hand. Yes dear friends, by this time the paan syrup had started decomposing and my hand smelled like a morgue. Extending my hand in front of me and covering my nose with the other was an impossible task I achieved due to sheer nausea and great repulsion.

I got out of the bus with great alacrity and sprinted to the office toilet like someone suffering from diarrhea who has seen a toilet after a really long time. After washing the hand a hundred times and being refused the phenyl a hundred times (No dear, you don’t need phenyl to sterilize your hands. Soap is just fine)I walked to my seat, a changed person. The old Silverine was dead. In her place stood a female mutant bus ticket hating ninja turtle err girl.

Nowadays, when the conductor hands me the ticket, I no longer gasp and act like I am being handed a severed human head. I merely hold up an eyebrow tweezer and pluck it straight out of his hands. The ticket is then dropped into a plastic bag that is promptly thrown into the dustbin when I reach office. I do get strange looks from some conductors, but most of them are fine. Because they are too busy wetting their fingers with saliva for the next passenger, to notice.

21 comments:

SPMenon said...

Glued!! :P
Wonder how many shirts of riders outside these buses are made RED! its a sad onset!

Bird said...

:) Pretty funny. How do you manage on the bus change?

scorpiogenius said...

huff...disgusting :X

k.ø.c.h.ü said...

And that's worth a comment ;) Lovely

Arun said...

But for the plastic bag act, the Halo around your head would have been Greener. People would have mistaken you for a traffic light.

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

The narration and imagination made an otherwise repulsive event seem almost laughable :)

One might say from the stinking paan remnants that the strapping youngster issued tickets with paanache? (pän-æʃ)

LOL@Arun's comment.

Destiny's child... said...

Next time, wear gloves :p

Lol-able as always!

Abhi said...

Paan flavored tickets haha , funny post. Never ceases to me amaze me the people and things you see while taking public transportation.

MYSTERY OF MY SPIRIT said...

Absolutely "PAN"ache article :)

Ordinary Guy said...

Hahaha :P

the bright side is that it made for another great post :P

--xh-- said...

next time, say no to tickets - you get to save the environment more :)

Shimmer said...

eeeeeeeeeeeww, eew ewwe!!

i think i would have accepted the phenyl :P

Santhosh P said...

Come on, you sure are exaggerating things here. The smell could be that the poor guy just massaged the terminal section of his alimentary canal? The stickiness could be just that he didn't get an opportunity to clean his hands after that? U cannot just 'assume' things here I say, that he is an dirty, irresponsible, stingy pan chewer.

The Holy Lama said...

There you are , my brave girl. Don't let those people scare, tweezers are just fine for a greener earth.:) An award awaits you at my blog.

RGB said...

So much for a nice sunny day, where you wanted to be this angel with the halo, taking a bus for the greater good of mankind!

The paan-reeking ticket definitely sounds gross. Destiny child's suggestion of using gloves would be a good idea, considering that he and the other less-hygienic co-passengers would be leaving these sticky/smelly fingerprints throughout the bus, wherever you have to hold to board, alight, stand or sit put in the bus!

$$ said...

yuck! i almost puked :(

blunt edges said...

And I used to think eyebrow tweezers are feminine. Maybe I should get one for myself!!

Nona said...

Flip side of #Meterjam??

By the way, I'm still picturing doing a "Peter Seller" act with the sticky ticket! :)

Usha Pisharody said...

Bus conductors are the same everywhere... luckily out here, on the private buses they just write something down on a scrap of paper and keep it to themselves! Hurrah!!!

Nice tactic, developed after the first foray into receiving bloody tickets :D!!

silverine said...

SPMenon: Now that is a thought! Thank god I am inside the bus :)

Bird: Thank you :) Didn't understand you question.

Scorpiogenius: :p It is, no choice but laugh about it.

k.o.c.h.u: Thank you :)

Arun: lol! There is now way I would put that ticket in my bag.

Karthik: Looking at the bright side to prevent bus rage :)

DP: :) Tweezers are handy.

Abhi: Very true. It is non stop free entertainment :)

Mystery of my Spirit: Thank you! :)

Ordinary guy: Thank you! :)

--XH--: I hope they will have paperless tickets soon :)

Shimmer: :)

The Holy Lama: Thank you. Honored by the award. Coming over to your blog pronto!

RGB: You comment has changed my mind. Gloves it is...sigh.

$$: That happens too :p

blunt-edges: I remember reading your bus post and nodding away to it :)

Nona: Flip side indeed! :) And I think Santhosh is a secret agent of the autowallahs. See his comment :|

Ushus: The Volvo buses have a small device that generates a ticket. Hope the other BMTC buses also convert to that soon.

Santhosh: You have permanently put me of bus travel ewwwwww!!!

Arun said...

The bus ticket is not the only way to fall sick:

BPA is a harmful chemical that can cause obesity, cancer, heart disease and diabetes. It is found in plastic bottles, baby bottles, the lining of food cans, and as a coating for shopping receipts.