Wed, 01 Dec, 2021

My Daily Commute

By Asmita Subedi

I just wonder what these vehicles (buses and motors) are fed daily apart from the stinky petrol and greasy diesel. Is there anything apart from petrol and diesel that causes the vehicles to expand and grow larger day by day? What can be that magical and marvelous something? I sure want to find and try it out on myself. Wow! Imagine me getting taller. Haha! And yeah, it’s just an imagination.

Well, I am talking about the public vehicles which roam around the Kathmandu Valley with loads of passengers squeezed into them. They have such an amazing capacity to carry passengers double their worth. At each stop, single passenger gets out and next three get loaded in. Maybe the digestive system of these vehicles are really admirable. You must be thinking that it’s something unusual. However, believe me, it’s usual, usual pain of the daily sufferers like me. These vehicles carry so many passengers that if it had been made out of a balloon or a rubber, I swear it would blast! (Smiles) Thank God! It’s just my cranky imagination.

For me, the most tetchy moment of an entire day, even worse than the feeling of getting scolded by my best teacher, is the 35-40 minutes of public vehicle ride that I take daily while going to and getting back from college. Basically, I am always in a hurry; so finding an empty vehicle will probably never be an option for me. Getting to hang like a monkey on the branch is then be my only alternative. Even if I luckily get to sit, I will certainly get pressed and almost crushed by the crowd of passengers.I hardly manage to breathe. Seriously, how can anyone manage their entire body, along with a load of books and copies, in a place where one can hardly manage to place one’s feet? It’s really difficult, close to impossible. But our dear vehicle drivers and conductors don’t understand this. How awesome is that!?

The thing that sucks the most during these times is people’s body odor.; it is obviously too stinky but never mind, it is the free perfume that no one can resist. Worse is the case when someone by your side is drunk. You feel like vomiting on them, but you have to hold it in. Ugh! On top of all these, what if when someone stares at you continuously and you can do nothing? I feel like poking out their eyes and playing marbles with them. There are even some jerks that keep on looking for chances to harass female passengers blaming the huge traffic inside the vehicle. Yes, I guess it’s really a traffic jam out there.

The conductor on the vehicles getting on discussions with the passengers regarding the bus fares is really a sight that none would prefer to watch. They start with fares and end up commenting even about our dresses. I find it foolish! I feel like hitting the conductors on their nose when I get into such discussions with them. How can anyone say that the card that I wear all day in my college is not the card of a college, ask where the logo is, or where the date is, or whatsoever? I feel like dragging them to my college and showing them how great it is. But I can’t do anything and end up paying the full fare. The same thing hovers around my head the entire day and I unknowing display my anger to my loved ones. Sometimes I think why am I always so hopeless? I must learn to protest against wrong things, right?

It’s not that I only get to witness bad incidents on my commute. There are even some  good parts to it. I can see the smiles of the cute little babies and sometimes some of them resemble my brothers and sisters, and I start thinking what is it that makes them alike. I know it’s crazy to think that way, but I can’t resist. I get the most wonderful feeling when I help aged people or some unknown passengers to carry their stuff or their babies and get a lovely and a thankful smile in return. I feel great to hear the story about people whom I don’t even know and I guess I would probably never meet them later. These unusual people by our side sometimes leave a great impression upon us, that we might not stop helping ourselves without thinking about them later.  And this is the time, I must admit, when I get to remember most of the incidents that occurred to me that day or sometimes earlier, and unknowingly happen to smile along. Probably, people might not get thr sense of why I am smiling or even think I am out of my mind, but yeah, I smile and I will smile anyways.