February 5, 2008

The Costly M(read P)iss

February 05, 2008 Posted by Vijay 5 comments
An attempt to hide the actual turn of events cannot be hidden in the way I have framed the title for my post. Hence the reader needs to read between the words (literally) and move on with what I have to write about. Mind you, no offense intended. If renaming M(p)iss with a term such as leak can alleviate the discomfort you have in reading on, so be it.

So, how costly can a leak be? For me it could have cost half a lakh. My colleagues and friends say, I have the habit of missing and losing. Here I was, returning from my hometown in Kerala, headed for Bangalore. All seemed well. I had booked my To and Fro tickets from Bangalore itself. I had given my new postpaid number to my brother, who wanted to use it on his return from U.S. I fortunately had my earlier BSNL prepaid number still working. So I was using the latter for a week, and gave it while booking my KSRTC tickets.

I met my parents, my newborn nephew, and my sis in law and grandma over the past weekend in Kerala. I gave the prepaid number to my brother and took the postpaid number while returning. I boarded the 7:30 p.m. Rajahamsa bus to Bangalore. In a couple f hours' time, I had a hint that a break for a leak was quite important for me. But the bus wasn't stopping anywhere, and I was enjoying the music on my Cowon D2 player.

I had slept off, without knowing the important break I was giving a miss to. I had almost forgotten that the pressure was building up. It was around 2 a.m., and my eyes opened to greet the lights which had been turned on in the bus. Finally, I had the break in sight. But I was half asleep, and wasn't quite willing to give it the full go. I finally decided, enough was enough and got out of the bus.


I was under the impression that there were a few more getting down for a leak, and so did I. It was pitch dark, with a lone light lighting up a roadside tea shop in Thoppur, Dharmapuri. I walked past a muddy area, and realised it was quite muddy. It was all slimy dirt, but I stomped on, determined to leak away to glory. I realised soon that my branded shoes were getting a real mudbath of the dirtiest nature, even while I was relieving my pressure which had built up.

Fortunately, there was enough civic amenity, to have a water tap placed nearby. I went about cleaning my shoes, for they were really not wear-worthy. It was an elegant half asleep process of cleaning the shoes while the tap water flowed on to my shoes. It was reaching an anticlimax, and was almost movie like, when my last leg of cleaning was getting over. I heard a noise behind me, and looked in amazement as my bus started moving away. Half asleep, still cleaning my shoes, it was a slow motion event. I ran behind the bus, clapping my hands. The locals at the tea shop whistling to try and help me out.

I had finally woken up, and before I knew, I was running behind a bus at 2 a.m. in the morning, without even realising that the mini marathon in my company was long over the previous day. 500 meters of running and whistling (my whistling had finally risen to the occasion) was in total vain. I realised, the bus was deaf and even a silent night like that couldn't have caught the attention of the bus conductor.

At stake was my laptop and camera in my bag, safely secured. Both were under my seat, in the bus, and I was outside it ! I was somehow confident I could make it back to Bangalore, but what would happen of my bag ? I called up home to Kerala, asking them to try and contact KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corpn.). They called them and gave a couple of numbers to be contacted, but only at 6 in the morning.

I tried various numbers, but to no avail. Fortunately I did have the bus ticket with me. I knew my bag was gone, and only a miracle could retrieve it back in safe condition to me. I called my friend in Bangalore, at 2:15 in the morning. Yes, I had to unfortunately wake him up, and requested whether he can check with KSRTC in the morning at around 6:00. This place was 4 hours from Bangalore. And I was stranded, 500 meters away from the local tea shop where I missed the bus. Apparently, that was the halting point for all the state owned buses.

I headed back to the same "landmark" tea shop, where a Kerala bus bound for Bangalore was waiting. I asked them for help, only to realise later on how foolish of me to ask help from someone who doesn't even know where Dairy Circle is located in Bangalore ! I told him I don’t need a seat and can come standing. I paid 76 bucks and got into it. It was already 2:40 in the morning by then, and I was swaying to the tunes of the bus on the road. I couldn't hold back my sleep, and sat down near the footstep where the door to the bus opens, and tried to catch up with some sleep.

I had almost given up hope, and was not feeling anything at all. At 6 in the morning, when I was half an hour away from Bangalore, I got a call from home. Apparently, they got a call to my prepaid number, from KSRTC Bangalore, saying my bag was lying at K.H. Road, KSRTC Bus Depot. I was thinking, how glad I was to have left my number home ! Talk about heavenly intervention ! In the meantime my friend was headed towards Majestic. So I asked whether he can go to the KSRTC depot in K.H. Road, which is where the bag was.

Once he was there, he told me the conductor won't give the bag unless he sees the ticket. So, I got down at Majestic, took an auto, and reached the K.H. Road KSRTC Depot. Auto fare came to 40 bucks. At the KSRTC office, my friend was waiting for me. The conductor said, I had to be cautious with my baggage and should have said I am going for a leak, before getting down. He even went as far as saying that someone else was trying to frisk away with it ! Well, this was as translated by my friend. They wanted me to give in writing saying I am grateful to KSRTC for taking care of my luggage, when I was not around, and I appreciate this gesture.

Finally, my friend spoke to them in Kannada, and brought down what was a likely 500 rupee compensation to the conductor, and driver, to a more decent 200 one, with another 30 bucks to the security folks (what for, I don’t know !). But I must confess, I am really impressed with KSRTC for having taken the extra responsibility and taken care of my baggage worth almost 50,000 bucks ! So another 230 bucks by way of appreciation to KSRTC.

All in all, 76+40+230 was what I ended up paying for a leak ! 346 bucks seems very costly for a leak, when you know that it could have been as cheap as 1 rupee or even free, if I had only informed the conductor of an impending leak ! I was only too glad, not to have a leak as costly as 50,000 bucks ! Definitely, it was a costly m(p)iss, for I missed the bus for the leak (read miss, with a p in the beginning). But I am certainly glad, I didn't spend 50,000 for it ! Give me a break ! I am off for one RIGHT NOW !!!

5 comments:

Raj said...

Ha ha ha ha....ha ha ha ha...
I have nothing to say...You got______majestically...

Srivatsa said...

oh my god! The best blog I have read in my laugh. Couldn't control my laughter right from the 2nd or 3rd paragraph...

Where do u get such sentences man - "leaking away to glory", "camera was inside the bus and I was outside"...too good...

anyways, dont miss to accept this comment after your piss...;D

Praveen said...

Da pattu,
nice blog man.. n wile its a lot funny, its quite xpected from u !!! n the beach pics wer gr8.. whr xactly is this place??

Anonymous said...

Sure could have been a costly m(p)iss!

Anonymous said...

ha ha, a good read...

Btw, how can a KSRTC bus miss a passenger? they always take a head count...