Ramu, a 60-year old man was waiting for his childhood friend Sridhar in a crowded bus stop which is nearby the market. As it is a morning time, the place is full of college students and office goers. For the past 15-20 minutes he was seeing the young men foot boarding in a hurry to go to office or college or to show off themselves to the girls they like and to win over their hearts or to have a little words like ‘Can you please have my notes please?’ or to get a sweet words from her like ‘Somebody please come in and make some way. He is hanging over there’.
Ramu couldn’t resist himself from thinking over those college days when he played the game of ‘leave and catch’ with his friends or those smelling of fresh air by hanging in the footsteps while the others sweating off inside the bus. Even though the buses are less crowded those days it was a sin to get into a bus which is standing. It is one of his college days golden rule. And there will be some girls whom he likes will travel in the buses. So why don’t show off his skills and get a look from the girl. Actually it worked at times. But the sad part for him is, it stopped at that.
Its dangerous to footboard and more dangerous if his parents or relatives sees that. A whole lot of lectures will be ready to play when he returns home. But who cares. Nothing can beat that feel of the air which is pushing his hair backwards when the bus moves. Those friendly chit-chats he and his friends had with the conductor who at times turns ferocious by their antics or the co-passengers who said the familiar dialogue, “All the students of this age are just monkeys” and the chorus sound they give to embarass them. Everything seemed to be beautiful then and now also for him.
He, now, decided to go after the bus to catch it without thinking about the consequences. Which bus it is, is not a concern for him. Because he must come back to receive his friend there. After few minutes, a bus approached the stop and whole lot of people encroached both the ways of the bus. But it is immaterial to him. After all the people were got in, conductor blowed the whistle.
Ramu started off running with the young men around him. One by one everybody found a space for their foot in the footstep. Bus is gathering speed, so is Ramu. His heart has already placed him perfectly on the footstep but his legs are getting tired to reach it but he didn’t want to give up. Young men are seeing him approaching, lending their hand for him and he is running with the straightened hands to catch the bus window or one of those hands. He is just 2 steps away from getting into the bus. As he just touched the window of the bus, his legs stuck a stone in the way and he stumbled and was about to fell. The young men and the near-by vendors in the market were looking watching him fell into hands of another old man. Both were smiled to each other and hugged.
“Age is not at your side, young man”, said Sridhar.
“Me too think so, you old boy”, replied Ramu with both burst into laugher.