Visiting the Queen – 3

Night bus journeys make me invariably sleepless. Buses never produce that lulling rhythm as do trains. And the occasional bumps royally work on your nerves, especially, when the bus is on a nonstop cruise and you have a full bladder – primed and ready to go. However, that night, I relished the challenge of staying wise. Yes, it has been scientifically proven that men make wiser decisions while their bladders are full. Of course, women don’t (as a matter of fact, never) as no theory could ever be proven right with them. The brain’s self-control mechanism provides restraint in all areas at once. They found that during a full bladder situation men were able to better control and hold off making important, or expensive decisions, leading to better judgment. Psychologists even linked bladder control to the same part of the brain that activates feelings of desire and reward. Now, this lethal theory might gear-up a lot of self-help gurus (aspiring billionaires) for they could this as the unique selling point for their books. Sooner or later, you might find those books stacked up in the racks, cover pages screaming,


One million copies sold!

In the process of staying wise and enlightening myself, I turned to the other side to catch some amusing behavior from sleeping passengers than focus on the ticking bomb. There was a cute baby wrapped in a cozy pink quilt, fussing over mom’s laps. While she began studying the cause of the disturbance, it was staring at me as if I were responsible for not changing its diapers in time. Mom needed dad’s attention and a little help from him in unpacking things, but he was fast asleep with a blissful look plastered on his face indicating he had already sunk deeper into the psychedelic dreams about his lost love from childhood.

Normally, kids do stare at me for a longer period of time. Maybe they find me intriguing or the exact opposite. I’ve always wanted to know why. Although most times, I give a zombie look, I decided to make some funny gestures this time just to evoke some positive response. Using the luxury of the darkness around, I started making a funny cartoon face.  Hardly had I dropped my jaw when it began squealing, waking up all the poor souls (except dad who was in the limbo by then) around and buried its head into her bosom.  What followed truly traumatized me. I was so frozen with tension that the jaw, which had dropped already stayed that way even after mom turned towards me to see what I was up to. She stared at me in a way that assured one thing – I would be featuring in the wrong end of every god-damned spook story that she would be telling her kid whenever it fussed to eat, drink or sleep. Right! There’s always an exception to every proven theory.

Into the 5th hour of the journey, the bus swiftly turned left at Krishnagiri and hit on NH7 towards Salem. All I did was leaning on the glass window, emptying the rest of biscuits, catching glimpses of bright flashes in the sky, listening to Tamil songs of the 90s in a nostalgic streak. 

An hour later, bus came to a halt at a well-lit tollgate in Thoppur. Tollgates are the best parts of a night journey. I love those yellow lights glistening off green signboards. It also gives you a chance to see the different types of vehicles ranging from small cars to mid-size Omnis to luxury Volvos to humongous trucks commuting across highways. Tollgates. I love that temporary halt. It gives you an impression that though we are all in the middle of our own journeys, we got to halt together at some point. And of course, there is a cost involved.

To be continued… 

The previous parts can be read at the below links,
Visiting the Queen – 1
Visiting the Queen – 2

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