Well, hello again. I knew you would be interested. I was so happy when you called me to tell you about my adventure. The manager saar told me you are staying for 2 days, so I’ll tell you little at a time. Shall we walk? I’ll show you around Vamanapuri as I tell you my story.
Well, it was one year back, on the eve of my last birthday that my adventure started. I was walking to the temple at around nine in the evening, when I saw it standing there, the bus. I had seen it pass through Vamanapuri many times on its way to Kochi, and was very much intrigued by it, since we don’t have automobiles here. It had a puncture I think, and the driver and mechanic were quite busy trying to fix it. Its passengers, I later found out, had gone to sleep in the guest house. I am always curious, so without the mechanic or the driver seeing me, I hopped on the bus and went inside.
It was beautiful inside, lights that lit up the gap between the seats, a television near the driver’s room but facing toward the seats. When I touched the seats, I was amazed to find it more comfortable than the pillows in the guest house. There were numbers on every seat; I wondered why they were there. I counted all the way to the end, and found there were sixty seats. The bus is never full, I have seen. Anyways the bus was punctured, and it might take all night to repair it, so I jumped on the last seat, near the window and fell asleep.
I always rise at six in the morning, when I hear the rooster crow. But the next morning, I never did hear the rooster crow. I was woken up by the hullaballoo. I had never heard anything like it before. Honking like the air horn on the bus I had heard, cows mooing, people screaming as loud as they can… I wondered how Vamanapuri became so noisy overnight. Then I realized that the bus was moving… I had slept soundly and hadn’t heard the bus starting. I was scared. I looked out the window. As the bus passed a clock tower, I saw it was nine in the morning. Soon, I saw the bus slowing down, and stopping in the middle of more buses and auto rickshaws. People from the bus were getting down.
After all of them had got down, I went to the driver.
“Driver saare, njan ariyande busil orangipoyi. Enne pinneyum Vamanapuriyil konduvidumo?” I asked him, if he would take me back to my village, and that I had fallen asleep in the bus by mistake.
He was angry, and said that he will not take me back if I could not pay for my ticket. He told me it was 50 rupees bus fare. I did not have that much money. He pushed me away and went to have tea in a street side hotel. I was shocked. Here I was, in this huge city, without any money or clothes. I walked slowly past the bus stand. I could see motorbikes and cars on the road, so tightly grouped, like the goats at my village. I could see kids my age, with satchels on their shoulders, going to school on bicycles or by walk. They looked so nice in their uniforms. I felt lonely, thinking of my friends, at my school.
I saw a small hotel, like the ones we had in Vamanapuri, and went inside. I looked at the uncle behind the counter, and asked him if I could have a biscuit. He asked for two rupees. When I told him, I did not have any money, he came out of the counter, and pushed me hard. I fell backward and hit something hard. I fainted.
“Aiyo, oru mani aayyiyo?” Oh dear, it is one o’clock already. Please pardon me. I have to go to have lunch. The priest will be waiting for me. I was enjoying telling you my story. Give me some time. I will eat and come back. Then I will tell you more of the story. When the whole village loves me, I have to help around more to give them my love back alle(is it not)? I promise I wont be long. Bye.