Link to part 1: here
link to part 2: here
Note: This part is NOT a sequence of part 2.
The bus suddenly came to screeching halt. Bus conductor was shouting the approaching stop’s name. People were fake laughing and were talking out of compulsion, anxiously waiting for their stop. The discussions were ranging from international politics to their boss’s affair with his secretary. Sheetal was deep in her thoughts when the sudden brakes disrupted everyone. It took her some moments to get hold of the reality, as if she had came back from a different world. She overheard some of the conversations. Most of them were lacking any serious base. She saw couple of boys making passes at girls sitting on adjacent seat. The girls were giggling as if this was a scene from some Bollywood movie. There were few elderly people seating behind her. They started cursing current generation and asserting how the previous generation was ‘cultured.’ No, this is not the world I was thinking of! Sheetal thought.
Sheetal was a thin girl with a face which one can remember forever. The intelligence apparent on her face, combined with brisk, purposeful walking style gave her an elegant look. Her eyes were bright and honest, a trait not often seen but a trait which often tells lot about a person. While describing her looks, people always labeled her with phrases such as ‘cute, but kind of different’. They hesitated in calling her attractive. Her mannerisms didn’t fit in the conventional definition of attractiveness. So for simplicity purpose they labeled her as ‘different’ because it was too much effort bothering if someone is attractive or not. Attractiveness, in the end, was subjective to them, but it never occurred to them that what one finds attractive is result sum of his/her convictions.
To their credit, she was in fact different. For Sheetal, life was a puzzle, a puzzle to be solved by setting up equations and solving them step-by-step to reach the solution. Often solution to one problem contradicted equations of some other problem. It bothered her, but she was happy in the thrill of solving the problems. For once, she wanted to correct all the contradictions but it never seemed to happen. Similar thing had happened when her thought process was disrupted while travelling in the bus. She couldn’t match the utopian world she was dreaming of with what she was seeing. Probably people are right in saying that everyone is different with combination of good and bad in varied proportions, she thought. Perhaps, then, I should work with whatever good I find. Part of her mind was screaming, “How much good is good enough?” She chose to ignore it. She was hoping that somebody someday will prove her wrong but knew that she will fight all she can not to let that happen.
The bus conductor yelled her stop’s name. She stopped thinking and got up eagerly. The boys, who were previously flirting with other girls, kept staring at her smiling radiant face. She gave an amused look to them, not recalling if she had seen them before. It was a new day and potential new excitements and new puzzles awaited her. She started walking out of the bus hoping for a new experience.
to be continued...