The Ticket

It was when I was pregnant, working for the love of working, so much that I worked till the last trimester.

I would commute by bus since the middle of my second trimester, as driving was a strain, rather I enjoyed sitting in peace listening to the Garbh Sanskar Mantra on Red FM sometimes. Purple BEST AC buses would still run sluggishly on roads with lesser passengers, however, at times, I would have to take non-AC ones. And this archive is dedicated to that part of my journey.

Traveling at the same time regularly, I would most likely stumble upon the same people. I befriended three- Nimisha, Lakshmi Aaji, and Niramay.

My urban life was still in its infancy, it was only four years then. I was a talkative small-towner,  with the right kind of people.

Nimisha was a clerk in a bank. She would run behind the same bus, I observed thrice. One day she fought with the bus conductor, pointing at my enormously bloated tummy as I was standing in the bus (well, I was too hesitant to ask for the reserved seat).

She often adored my maternity dresses & sports shoes, enriched me with her four years in mothering wisdom. It was wholesome, I used to exchange my tiffin with hers.

Laksmi Aaji, a vegetable vendor would guard me whenever she would see a man sitting beside me. She was debt-ridden, abandoned by her only son. She would recite Ram Raksha Stothra gently moving her wrinkled hands over my tummy, and scold me whenever I wasn’t wearing bangles and bindi, saying, “You should adorn your man on forehead, or someone else will.”

Niramay was a guy in his early 30’s. In our first conversation, he said, “You don’t look this needy to work in such conditions!” to which I replied, “Yes I need to know how some of the women do it without all I have”.

He talked all about his life with me, for he knew I wouldn’t judge & advise. He married a girl of my choice.

It all might seem ordinary, but for me, these memories will last for long. They are in my archives forever!

GREG RAKOZY HIKI LIU

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