The midnight ride in Oscar’s car ‘Hyundai i20’ is a routine affair for me. We travel together after the graveyard shift and he drops me near my lodge which is 5 kilometers away from our office. These trips extend to the city bus station on weekends, from where I take a bus back to my home town. I have followed this modus operandi for more than a year.

It was another such usual trip during last weekend. Oscar was guiding the car down the empty four lane and Osbern was playing with the FM stations at the rate of one station per second. I was tired and sleepy and wanted to hit the bed as soon as possible. But the realization that it would take another 4 hours for my wish to be granted, increased my weariness. The comfortable air conditioning inside the car was forcing my eye lids to droop and I was slowly yielding to the “Korean” comforts.

I was suddenly woken up by a loud noise from the radio. Osbern had tuned the radio frequency to a no signal channel which caused the sudden commotion. I looked around. We had almost reached the city bus stand where I was bound to alight. Oscar halted the car near the bus station entry and I slowly and lazily climbed out of the car and from its comforts. I waved them good bye and walked towards the bus bay thinking about the long and tiresome journey back home. The Korean comfort and KSRTC comfort are two contrasting things that I usually experience in a short span of time. This forced me to make a futile decision to buy a Korean comfort or at least an Indian one…. a futile decision ofcourse…. and I make such decisions every
minute.

Since it was Diwali weekend the buses parked in the station were crowded with passengers heading to their home for this festival. During normal weekends, there will be hardly ten passengers in a fifty seater super fast bus and I usually get the liberty to choose the most comfortable seat among the vacant lot.

My limbs started aching and I searched for a  bench to sit and relax till the arrival of the next bus to my destination. There was no vacant space left in any of the benches and I cursed my luck for this buggered night. At last I
decided to lean on a crumbled wall at a corner on the bus bay and I unburdened the growing heaviness from my shoulder and rested the bag on the floor.

And suddenly a strange thing caught my attention. About twenty meters away from me, a shabbily dressed man with long hair was making a loud speech. His countenance and the ruckus he created was a clear testimony of his mental condition. He appeared like a psycho from all angles. Since I had nothing to do but wait for the bus, I decided to heed an ear to this strange man’s speech. He was shouting aloud and that was slowly drawing everybody’s attention.

I had three beautiful daughters….. its not anyone’s fault that all the three were brutally raped… they paid the price for being beautiful….. b*t*hes…..!!!!” and he laughed aloud.

I am a Christian and I married her, who is from a lower caste, thinking that she will love me…. I fought with my parents just for her…… and one day she admitted that all the three daughters were not my kids….. and you know what…. I hacked her to death” He continued to laugh.

You know why these people are attacked everywhere??” He shouted pointing at the ladies sitting in the waiting room. “Its because these b*t*hes are beautiful” and he laughed again.

Suddenly his topic changed. “Buses bound to Delhi and Bombay have just departed and all the f**k*rs who missed the bus have to stay back in Kochi till morning and have to listen to me

Then again he went back to the old topic and repeated the same story. “I had three beautiful daughters…..

He was slowly losing all his audience who were waiting for the rest of his story but they were putting on an act as if they were not interested. It took another half an hour for my bus to arrive and during this interval, he repeated the same story innumerable times without even a slight variation in his tone or his words.

I boarded the bus….. and was amused at myself and the whole bunch of people who were listening to this man…. Who is more insane?? The man or the set of people including me who listened to him…..??? Lunacy and insaneness needs to be defined here….

As the bus departed, I looked at him through the glass window…. he had a new lot of audience listening to him….!!!!!

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