Though I used to sleep in bus journey at day time, I keep awake looking at the illuminations outside at night. I was in such a journey. A melody was being played in the bus. I felt that I was the only one enjoying the melody. I was floating in that music and I felt comfortable to be alone. Molecules in the air danced gently as my heart beats did. Most of the seats in the bus were empty as same as my mind. The bus conductor was restless, calculating complicated amounts of money. I always wonder about the talent of bus conductors to do fast calculations. Driver was so stressful leading us through the congested road. His talent, to take care on each corners of the vehicle is also admirable. When the bus driver wandered through different music stations in the player, my mind also started wandering.
Bus stopped in front of a huge church where I saw a board which says: 'beggars banned zone'. Another board said: ''Take off your sandals; the place where you are standing is holy ground'. From that 'beggars banned holy ground', three people boarded bus. Their breaths brought smell directly from their stomach which could penetrate sharply to my nose. Among them, one was like a child but without that innocence of a child, was trying hard to get balanced. The other man tried to show off that he is extremely normal. For getting a punch to that idea in the viewers, he slapped the first one on his face for not being balanced. When he tried to show more to the viewers using the same face of coin, he got a reply slap in response. And the situation became worse. I suspect one of them might have got affected with his hearing capacity. Molecules in air started playing a vigour dance, again as my heart beats. No more songs played for no one in the bus was able to give an ear to it anymore. Cops were called when bus reached bus station. But they left the place after giving some warnings to those unconscious people. Other passengers started blaming the cops. Cops should posses a special talent in the art of scooting also, in order to avoid their difficulties.
I remembered the face of my friend who said that he was having the most enjoyable night when he was in a drinking party along with his drunken friends who competed to impress each other by being more smart in their own different ways. I was trying to understand the meaning of the word 'enjoyment' that he referred at that situation. Those who don't talk much other times started bluffing with shower of nonsense. Someone made noise which they called song. Someone wanted to show their muscle power and became violent and made some conflicts each other and the smarter ones resolved their problems. Someone shared their feelings in order to make them funs in front of others. Some funny solutions were also proposed. Someone wanted to walk through the road at night and wanted to meet police. Someone vomited in the bed. Someone took the phone and called their loved ones and said nonsense. Meanwhile, someone got a call from his wife and he started telling his story of having no children for a long time after marriage: "We realised it only after two long years that the wrong hole was being used for mating." Laughter was following always with every talks and moves. Everyone competed each other very well to be smarter enough to enjoy and get enjoyed, except those ones who lost their consciousness before. So.. Finally I got it. This is what is called enjoyment. I understood.
I alighted at the railway station leaving the drunkards in the bus itself and waited for my train in open air of that cold night. Railway station lights were surrounded by flying insects. There were small fireflies in the darkness also.
It is always interesting to watch the train. Its giant engine with infinite capacity, strength, weight, with its lengthy horn, blowing strong wind, making slight earth quake, carrying infinite weight of the bulky people and luggage in the compartments.. Passes through a station without stopping, loco pilot and station master weaving green flags, acknowledge with those flags when they see each other conveying message of a successful run. Even the empty rails are a mystery to watch.
My train was already announced and a moderate number of people were waiting for it. Everyone started getting ready with their luggages when we heard the long horn. Train with its powerful head light was taking a curve when it became visible. People started running here and there in order to find their coach when it stopped at the station. I found my reserved birth. The cabin was active and I decided to be awake for some more time. Snack sellers passed through the platform looking inside through the window with their special slang of language. Train started moving through the dark, leaving light in the station.
Incidents in the bus were disturbing my thoughts. A father and his two kids also had their seats in my cabin. Father was explaining the kids about the speciality of the next day, World Reading Day. I remembered about my uncle who presented me the book 'Super Boy Ramu' on another World Reading Day, years before. I started gathering vague images from my memory about the mystique world of that novel. Slowly things started coming to mind from very remote places in disordered manner and I knew that I am dreaming. After some unknown interval of time, someone woke me up from my dream and all of us took our births to sleep.
I reached Thiruvananthapuram in the morning. After taking a fresh up from the station, I started to my destination where we can have some experience about the real picture of life that we always forget later, the Medical College Hospital. This time buses and streets were very much congested with people and vehicles. 9th ward of the hospital, where I found my friend and his cousin who was suffering from liver cirrhosis along with alcoholic hepatitis. I talked with my friend about his cousin's present condition. He said that the doctors don't consider him seriously and they keep saying the condition, critical. There were other 6 cases as same as this and 5 of them have already dead by vomiting blood. According to him, the most vulgar scene that he ever witnessed in his life. I called one of my friends whose brother is a doctor working there and it was arranged to make a talk with the duty doctor in chief.
His talk was shocking. He said it in a cool voice. They don't have any hope on this kind of patients. Not because of their critical condition, but it is impossible to rescue them from their mind setup and the social conditions which define their perspective. Those who survive this condition will definitely die in front of them by the same disease within a period of three years. Because doctors can only treat their body, not their social relations, not their choice of the way of facing issues of life and not their own definition of enjoyments. A lightning passed through my brain when I heard that word again: Enjoyment. And he concluded that they will try their best to rescue their patients but it is not an ultimate solution even if they are survived. Meanwhile we heard an yelling which brought the news of death of the 6th one.
While I was on my return trip to home a speech was going on near the railway station. The banner in the stage was written 'World Reading Day' in rainbow colours. Someone was talking:
"In order to change a system – first to understand then to change, an ability of sharp thinking and continuous vigil is needed. Otherwise we will be changed by the system. There are different ways to address a problem. One is to mask them with something else and escape from the real problem which is the religious method – a simple method. To get involved in to the issue, finding the route cause of the problem, then transforming it – which is called the logical method, naturally harder one. For getting the word 'solution' a reasonable meaning, it is worthy to think about the second, harder method. It needs a constant struggle even to keep a free thinking capability. For sharp thinking, a dynamic logic of reasoning is necessary which is a capacity of brain that will be active only for those who read and think. Nothing can be changed until we attain such a routine of life, provided we might hold an intention for a change."
While I waited for my train at station, I wrote that speech in a piece of paper. After reaching home I mailed that paper to my friend and I added: 'For your cousin.'
One year later, today I was passing by the long queue of people in front of a beverages shop. The patience of people being part of it is very well known and nowadays this phenomenon has evolved into a usual comedy scene in TV just for a laugh. I saw my friend's cousin in that queue. I waited for him to come out. He came to me with some branded items in hand complaining our place for its worst condition: 'The brand is only in its label. These are not original.'