I had the habit of visiting Guruvayoor, the great temple of Lord Guruvayoorappan, which was situated in the Trissur District of Kerala.
Guruvayoorappan was a loving god; I was indebted to him as he helped me pass the matriculation exam. I just visited him to show that even I have an ‘attitude of gratitude’. After thanking him and paying him with my time, my mind alerted me to return back home as people there would be concerned. I walked back to the KSRTC depot to board a bus back home.
Although I was not familiar with the places around I couldn’t just forget the place I got down. I had landed my left foot on freshly laid cow dung while getting off the bus; even manure was bad at the wrong place, at the wrong time.
There were only a few buses in their shelter yards away from my eyes as it was evening. Luckily on my right I spotted a partly loaded bus waiting to depart. I just angled my head to see the board of the bus and adjusted the focal length of my eyes to read the board- Kannur as it moved.
I clapped my hands and waved my hands motioning the driver to stop the vehicle. Eyesight is a must for every driver but I didn’t know about the ear testing. Luckily it slowed down and in a jiffy I found myself climbing the rusty steps of the bus. The din of my heartbeat was lost behind the roar of the engines which followed a double bell. ‘On route to Kannur’, my mind declared as I took my seat. Then my glance fell on the metal separator which hid the driver from my view. ‘KL-15-6969′, the registration was boldly printed on it.
I expected Guruvayoorappan’s image under it. But expectation turned into disappointment as I thought god had sent me this bus. I forgot that we lived in a Secular State. NO god in Government. No wonder why such a great amount of corruption takes place in our country.
A conductor came up to me smiling, ‘never seen him before’, my mind whispered in my ear. I handed him 2 currency notes from my pocket and he returned me a note and a piece of paper after playing a game in the video game which he tied to his neck. ‘How silly!’, I thought. After the bus reached Edappal, the serious faced man beside me got down.
The smiling conductor came and sat beside me as I was the youngest member aboard the bus. I gratefully returned his smile. “Where are you from?”, was the first time I heard him speak. “Kannur”, was the word that came to my mouth.”And you?”, I enquired. “Calicut”, came the reply.
He then asked about my studies, interests, background and aim. While befriending this friendly guy, I found out that he was a graduate in Mathematics. I then asked for his phone number so that I can ask his help for some tough questions which were dismissed as homework. He tore a piece of paper from inside his video game and wrote his name and number. He then handed me the paper. ‘Rateesh- 9846…….’, was what was scribbled on it.
“Which part of Mathematics do you find hard?”, he asked me. I was spontaneous, “Trigonometry”, was the word that came to my mouth.
He then taught me ratios of trigonometry up to 90 in that shaky bus. But it was in vain as it escaped from my brain during the model exam later. It was about 8pm when we were nearing the Mahe Bridge I saw that it was crowded with rescue vehicles and people. My friend poked his head out and declared, “an accident- a bus had run off the bridge today morning, the Station master in Kannur is my uncle, he has been informed! “
“Let me try to meet him!”, I joked. “No he isn’t……………-”, as he spoke these words I felt the bus banking towards the left on the bridge and heard the breaking of concrete bars as I felt the bus falling off the bridge. “I am dead “, I called god. But in an instant the people I the bus vanished before my eyes and then the whole bus. It was now as if I was sitting in the air and travelling using a Jet Pack. I thought that I was dreaming and shook my head and opened my eyes. Everything was as good as new! The bus, the people and my friend.
I thought that I had began to imagine too much. Then I chatted with my friend and found out how they transfer their game score from their video game into a PC- it was through infra red.
In the dead of the night I reached Kannur in the KSRTC depot and the bus was out of my eye coverage and it vanished.
I saw the Station Master’s room and I could hear sounds of agitation from his room. I decided to befriend him and got in with his permission
I greeted his red eyes with a hello.”What do you want in the middle of the night”, he glared at me. “Are you Rateesh’s uncle? “, I defended myself. Anticipation clouded his gloominess,” any news? Did they get his body?”.
“What body are you talking about? I met him today evening.”, I had an uneasy mind. “Don’t try to fool me! Liars. Where did u see him?”, he was mad. I remembered the ‘6969′ as 69 was my marks in mathematics. I then replied, “KL-15-6969″. The Station Master looked into my face as if it was an India Map. I searched for the ticket in my pocket. I found a blank paper within the folded currency notes. It had no writing. Then I took the paper on which he gave me the phone number, luckily that didn’t get erased. I gave it to the mad officer. He took out his cell phone and looked at the paper and again played a game with his phone. He then stared at me ,” from where did you get this?”. “I told you, from Rateesh’s hand today evening”.
“Lies again”, he muttered, “how could Rateesh give you this number? He was on the bus that fell off Mahe Bridge and his body is missing! Get out from here” he screamed at me. I glanced at the phone number in my sweating hand. I couldn’t comprehend anything. I began to wonder if Guruvayoorappan was playing a game with me!
born on 4th April 1995, believes in Socialist democracy and wants to build a strong social democracy in India.
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