I had to go to a place near Mahabalipuram for an errand entrusted upon me on Friday, (en na sila moonjigala paatha than kothu vidanumnu thonum pola) and I was met with a certain situation while returning home which made me rethink my life choices. This peculiar situation flipped my perspective on life and made me feel like there is more to live in this life. You might have think I met with an accident or met a sage or at met a beautiful girl. Normal fate would have opted for any of the aforementioned options, but my fate had other ideas. I got to spend 90 odd minutes of bus travel with a man who was fully drunk.
He was not your average drunkard who you see outside Tasmac. But he was your party-peppy-yo-yo-mama guy, he was wearing shorts, a plain shirt, had a metal strapped watch and a bulky wallet because, well, because he wanted me to pick pocket it from him. Yes. That’s how it was.
I got into one of those Pondicherry busses. Unlike, our MTC bus, this one had a taller and better backrest and I think they could be classified as semi sleepers. I took a ticket to Thirvanmiyur bus stop and got a window seat luckily(?). I wanted go into pulavar mode and enjoy the fresh breeze, but No. Fast forward 15 minutes there comes this man. And mind you, in all my conscious life I have seen a man so drunk only a few times, after saying something to the conductor he came and sat down in the seat in front of me, and as fate ruled, I happened to stretch my legs which hit his legs below the seat and he came and sat down next to me stating that I’m free to stretch my legs now, that was the only freedom I had. He introduced himself to me and said that he is fully intoxicated, I, being creeped out by his sudden interference offered him the window seat in case he throws up. He refused straight away, and said he just had a few beers and shots. Now even more creeped up by his non-vomiting confidence, I decided to get up and move to another place. But no, also this guy saw me starting to get uncomfortable and didn’t let me go. He started calling me “bro”, he was around 40 years and he was calling me bro. Nera kodumai.
I nice ah took out my earphones and plugged it in, he noticed that. “Bro pesunga bro, people lam ippo pesavey maatranga, veetuku pona ava tv laye iruka neengalum pesa maatringa.” He was emotional. I was awkward. Dei, you have a wife da, I’m not your bro da.
“Bro illa light ah thookam varuthu, athan…” For fucks sake I called him bro. Ignoring my plea he started rambling something and all, starting from, meeting Sachib, seeing Amibath Bachab, Dhonib, Bodi, Banbogan Singb, and other intelligible worbs that I didn’t quite understand. His tongue was rolling like Vandu Murgan. I tried to avoid him by not talking. For 15 mins or so he stopped, then came the next stop where a family got into the bus.(Paavam avangalukum headwriting was kirukals pola) they proceeded to sit in the seat in front of us, but the Knight in drunken armour came to the seat’s rescue. He didn’t let them sit and argued with them, why? Because he wanted that seat aam, and there was an aavi of a dead person residing below the seat. Unable to hold in my laughter I laughed out, so did the family. The conductor tried to intervene, but believe me, he threatened that he will vomit on his tickets. (nuclear, biochemical laam enna weapon, ivan paarunga saraku vomit vechey bus ah hijack pannitan). The conductor tried his best to argue the man out of that seat. But he didn’t budge. He suddenly turned to me. (aiaiyo)
“intha bro kitta kelunga naa evlo decent aana family nu”. (flash backs to Winner thirudan comedy)
Unable to sit there another moment, I got up, pushed him down into this seat and got up and sat in the last row which was empty. There was no other empty seat, in the bus, appada sethan sekarunu I thought.
But Saniyan saraku adichitu nera en kitta than vanthuchu. Pakkathula iruntha uncle ah ezhupi vittutu ukkanthiruchu.(Flashes back to avar rendu ambathu, ivar rendu ambathu aagamotham cheers) Seri innaki pozhuthu ivan kooda than polayenu nenachen. Appo than he said, “Bro hold this, inthaanga” (he gives me this thick brown wallet, full of cards, cash and more) I gave him a Quizzical look and he explained that I wanted to hide his wallet so that he can blame the conductor for getting pickpocketed. (he was telling all this loudly enough for everyone to hear). Seri pogatum kazhuthaye nu I took his wallet. Apparam he forgot that somehow and showed an expression of vomiting. (again aiaiyo)
I got up from my seat, asked the window seat guy to clear and made him sit there, I still had the purse and his stuff. This guy, out of nowhere begins singing. Not knowing what to do, I sat there like Inji-thinna-something. He turned towards me and did the same expression vadivel does in that bagavathar scene. I knew that he was going to explode any minute. He was a time bomb ticking.
Tick tock, Tick tock, Tick Tock…
My stop was almost there, I proceeded to give his stuff to the conductor who said he’ll take care. appo than I noticed, his Ticket rate was way lower than mine. He was supposed to get down somewhere long before my stop.
After getting down, I saw the bus stop again shortly after few meters. He got down.
Onney onnu than I remember in that situation, “Manaivi amaivathellam kadavul kodutha varam, motor amaivathellam avan avan seitha venai”