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Life Lessons via Public Transport

Monday September 26, 2016,

10 min Read

I like staying up late, because in those hours the world is quiet and nobody expects anything from me. I could stare at the wall for hours and there would be no consequences. It’s so silent and calm. But lately, none of this is what I am doing. It’s been a month now; I changed my job, and have started experiencing the morning world after 6 years (Ahhh, a big change). Actually, a really big change but, it’s for my betterment as it is said; everything happens, happens for good. It is good to see the sun rising, makes you feel warm when its first ray passes through your face and you feel fresh, confident and more relaxed. But again, everything in this world comes with strings attached. The same way it is the morning shift for me. Initially, it all seems to be tough because lately, I had to travel by the public transport and it became a challenge for me to change 3 buses every day and reach office on time. As soon as I walk down the road at 7:30 am in the morning to get the bus, the environment around me was something like which you could only imagine; Noisy, Huge trucks honking, most of them look fresh but few with the dull faces, buses fully loaded with people as if there are not human but, some luggage on the main door which need to be dropped at the next location, school going children traveling in the same bus along with below lower class people being an inspiration to few like me. Every day, for a month when I travel it keeps me wondering, if anything, but be positive in this too. And, believe me yes, there was a lot. This painful 4 hours which I spent every day traveling via public transport gave me some life lessons which each of us should experience once in lifetime.

Grab the opportunity that comes your way, or you'll be left behind: It was strange for me to get on the buses which are fully loaded with people and where there is no place to step in. But, still there were a few who took the courage to do so. I was just looking at them and the bus went by. 2nd one came, same situation and I thought of waiting for the 3rd one. The 3rd one went too, because I couldn't gather the courage to step in. Somewhere, my heart was sinking thinking, how i am going do that but then left with no option I had to. 4th bus, when it came I struggled and got in the bus but, by the time I achieved what I was waiting for, I realized; Gal! You are late for office. Same repeated for a week, and thanks to god, since I was new nobody questioned me on my timings. The incident left me wondering, the first bus was like an opportunity to you, if I would have grabbed it then, I would have reached office on time but, if you'll not since it’s the whole lot crowd standing with you take over you and believe me someday you'll surely be left behind feeling disappointed. With that said, anything comes your way accept it, don't be scared because, once you are in there, the journey might be tough but will lead to your destination with bright lessons

Improves your Decision Making: I have 0.3 seconds to weigh up my choices while I am traveling via public transport; getting up and moving to the very end of the carriage, pretending not to speak English, or smiling, nodding and answering politely for such a long time that I eventually end up like the maid of honour at their wedding. Tough decision. More than that, at times you don't really know if they want the seat to sit or not. If they’re wearing jeans and nice new Nikes, do they still qualify as elderly? Will they be gravely offended if I offer my seat? What if they’re secretly 93, but with incredibly good Botox? What if you offer and they refuse it, but then new people get on who don’t know that you’ve already offered, and they think you’ve just willingly stolen a seat from an octogenarian (person between 80 or 89)? These few incidents again, taught me the power of quick decision and doing it frequently I have become expert on my decision making skills I feel! Yeayyyy, time to shout out loud I have learnt another good thing for life.

P.S: Botox is a drug prepared from botulin, used medically to treat certain muscular conditions and cosmetically to remove wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing facial muscles.

Patience: “In life we often want so badly that we ruin before it begins. Over-thinking. Fantasizing. Imagining. Expecting. Worrying. Doubting. Just let it naturally evolve.” To learn this in best way nothing can beat the bus journeys especially when you are in public local buses. Yes, you must be wondering why I feel so, but, here I have reasons for the same. C’mon! just imagine, you standing in a bus full of people and before you can get down all you have to face are a variety of people , someone shouting on top of their voice, someone hitting you from the back, another one fighting for the space to stand and then, here is another one staring at you with a deadly face. But, while all this happen you actually cannot do anything other than, consoling yourself stating- it’s okay, another 10 minutes or 15 min or may be 45 min and you’ll reach. In the process you learn to be patient, because that’s the best you can do!

Last but not the least, you’ll learn 95% of the crowd is B.E.A.U.Tiful, it’s just the 5% which is unruly: Yes, that’s true! Shocked, I was! I always use to think half of the world is selfish, rest few are the one who always want to hurt you, and the other small % are the criminals and left out are the good ones ( good ones, might be I would say). But, I was wrong. After traveling for a month via public transport I realized world is full of beautiful people, it’s just the tiny part of it which is unruly, criminals, ones who want to harm you or full of negativity. You must be thinking how the thoughts I had changed so soon?? Right? Wait! Let me tell you, below I have mentioned few instances which made me feel overwhelmed about the world I live in.

Day 1: It was the day one; I didn’t know how to reach office. After lot of struggle I somehow managed it and completed my day. While, on the way back I got into the wrong bus (Wrong Bus Not as in for different route but, one took longer to reach than the usual time). The bus was crowded and there was no place to stand, but with no option I stepped in. I was tired, didn’t eat anything since morning and because of being in Night shifts before, I was literally dozing off standing next to the pole in the bus. It was somewhere around 7:30 and I was lost, frustrated, sleepy, tired and with a blank mind looking at the window with a dead face. Suddenly, an elderly lady sitting in front seat asked me to go and sit at her place. Thinking, she is elder than me I hesitated and said “No- Thank You, that’s okay” but, she didn’t listen to me. She grabbed my hand and made me sit. At that moment, I felt people are not that bad, they understand the pain you going through and if it’s in their control they’ll surely help you.

Day 2: Again, I was heading back home. I didn’t know which bus to get in but, as per google I took 342 which goes till Sarjapur Signal from my office. I stepped in with confusion and a worried face. I took the ticket and asked the conductor to guide me. Though, he explained me I was scared only because, I didn’t want to face the pain and trouble I did yesterday getting in the wrong bus. While, all those worries was going on in my mind there was this lower class looking lady noticing me. For a min, I thought something is surely wrong with her or is it something she wants to say but not able to communicate because, I was speaking in Hindi and she belonged to some part of south speaking Kannada. 10 mins passed by and I was still standing confused where I have to get down when, the lady I was doubting asked me to get down stating this is Sarjapur Signal. Now, another challenge was to cross that flyover to get another bus, I am still unaware off. I guess, she could see on my face that I am scared of crossing the roads and quite bad at it, she gave me her hand and asked me to run. By god grace, I was on other side of road and all thanks to this lady. She asked me where I have to go and in one word I said “Tin Factory”. We both waited for 5 min and bus came going towards Tin Factory. It was local bus, though I was expecting to get in Volvo still I ran towards this one as she was holding my hand and was asking me to run and catch this bus. We both stepped in. Me holding my bag struggling to find a place to stand is when, she asked me to put my bag down next to the driver seat. For a min, I was scared and I said “No”. But, the smile on her face convinced me to trust her that, she’ll take care while I can stand at back comfortably. Marathahalli came and she had to get down, she winked at me, letting me knows she has to go. She went and minutes later I reached my destination. I couldn’t tell her thanks because of the distance between us in the bus, but that day she taught me how to travel by bus and cross the roads which I am not scared of now. It was strange for me, that a stranger taught me the basic life lessons I was scared off.

And, like the above two every day I see people around me who were kind, helping, wanting to share their stories with you, looking for beautiful life, making life beautiful with their deeds then, it doesn’t matter which caste, religion, color, place they belong to. Whether, they were rich or poor when on road they were all commuters being treated and treating others as same. I met variety of people and few of them just touched my heart!

Beauty is not in face but it lies in the heart is what I heard but, in the last one month I experienced the same. The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known loss & have found their way out of depth. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness & and deep loving concern.

There is a beautiful quote “When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower” Likewise, when you get on the roads and take your path every day, you will find the beautiful souls who might bloom your day but, if you feel it’s not happening, spread positivity and spread love which can make the environment fix those flowers (beautiful soul) to bloom your day.

Life is beautiful, live to the fullest. It is up to you to see the beauty of everyday things.