The bus and the child

I am sitting in my dreary bus ride back to home from my place of work which is so far that I could come from Bombay to Bangalore in that time. Fortunately the bus is unusually empty, meaning the average visible range is greater than 2 metres; which for me is a blessing. Don't confuse the bus being empty to having empty seats, all I am saying is that the seats are full, and there are very few people standing.
So I do what I like to do, just see what is happening around me and we reach a bus stop en route. Not so suddenly, but I see a pair of eyes that board the bus. A pair of young eyes, if you might. A pair eyes that are so wide as if they want to take everything around them in a single swoop. A pair of eyes that have the glitter of a young child who wants to know what is happening around, saying silently "I want to be there, I want to be here, I want to be everywhere". I presume that they still are not familiar to the idea of selective perception (blaming it on evolution) or become so apathetic to what happens around us (blaming it on age).
What I do notice in them is the thirst and vivaciousness which have long dried away from my eyes, the zeal to absorb every little detail around me with equal zest and without no bias.
Has age caught up with me or have I become too much selectively perceptive? It just goes on the reinforce what I have long believed to be true and now it is approaching the proportions of being declared as an axiom that "whatever be my age, the day the child inside me dies; that day I will believe that my age has finally caught up with me".

So back to the bus, the child (with these eyes) initially scans her environment, seeming so excited about everything enveloping her, the bus, the metal pillar in between her and the empty seat, the TV hoisted above her head, the sounds around her, the whistling of the conductor, the horns of desperate people in motorised vehicles, the blur of lights in the front, the incessant braking by the driver and the people. She feels wobbly being in a place which looks beyond her control and feels puzzled and excited by the gush of all these intrusions. Finally a hand comes from behind and they are safely anchored to an empty seat ending the intrusions and she settles comfortably into the world she knows best and is comfortable with, the world created by her mother who is travelling with her.

1 comment:

Pradyumna said...
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