So it was a regular Friday night. I was done with gym, came back home and started reading. I casually messaged Shraddha asking what was up. She told me she was going to Belgaum along with Namu Tai to see Shruti di, and that her bus was about to halt in Pune. She asked if I could come and say Hi if it was not too much trouble. It was 11.28 pm. I had made my bed, and was about to sleep, which is a boring activity. The prospect of seeing Shraddha and Namu tai off at the bus stand was more inviting than my bed. So I decided to go for it. I had 15 minutes to reach Swargate where the bus was reaching. I put on a jacket, and Shoes. Wallet. Check. Mobile. Check. I left.
I reached Swargate just in time, and we had 5 minutes to say Hi and Bye. Niranjan Jiju joked about how he and I would have fun when they left, maybe watch a movie. Namu tai, like most times, had an expression which suggested that she would take out her wand and say “Avada Kedavra” any moment then. I jokingly suggested that I would accompany her and Shraddha too, if it were possible. But the bus was full. Shraddha frowned. But at the last minute, a passenger decided to forfeit his ticket and made way for me. It was a sign. I went for it. It was 11.45 and I was on my way to Belgaum.
As it was a last-minute ticket, I couldn’t have got the seat I wanted, near Namu tai and Shraddha. I was stuck in the last row, in one of the two worst seats a bus can have. There are 5 seats in the last row of Volvo bus, all of which are non reclinable. Strike one. Of them, two are window seats. I had not got either of them. Strike two. There is a seat right in the middle, which has infinite leg space. I hadn’t got that one either. Strike three. Out.
I had got the seat on the right side of the Infinite-Leg-Space-Seat, which is equally miserable as the one on its left. Next batter in. The AC belongs to the window seat. Strike one. Every time you have to get up, you have to seek permission of the Infinite-Leg-Space-Seater. Strike two. And I was surrounded by fat guys on both sides of my seat. Strike three. Out.
As soon as I settled, the ‘should have’s started to kick in. As I had not planned on this trip, I had nothing to carry with me. I should have got the phone charger with me. I should have wore better clothes now that I will have no choice for two days. I should have got more cash. I should have got my kindle with me. I should have peed. Damn. The should haves weren’t doing any good, so I decided to chuck it and be happy that I had my wallet and a fully charged phone with me. It was midnight and I wasn’t in the slightest moods to sleep. Sleep is a waste of time. I kept hoping I would find someone online on WhatsApp to chat with. It was rather difficult to type sitting between two sumos. They were happily asleep, both giving me a flavor of what they had for dinner. I could not recognize it, but thinking about it made me hungry. Damn. I wanted to pee since half an hour now. We had not left Pune city yet, so I assumed the efforts to ask the driver to halt would be futile. The pressure was increasing gradually. The interesting thing about the Pee Pressure is that if you plot it on a graph, it starts as a |x| = y curve, but it ends up being an e^x curve. I tried nodding off for a few minutes. I did too, maybe for an hour, but woke up because of 1. The Pee-r (The one who Pees) pressure. Copyright. and 2. Complaining squished balls and crumpled biceps.
The exponential curve was at its yield point when I thought of asking the driver. I was about to get up from my seat as I saw that we were in a “Ghaat”. I decided not to go and make a fool of myself by asking the driver to halt in a Ghaat. Plus, there was always the fear of ‘yielding’ while getting up, let alone walking the whole aisle. I sat. Breathe. I was trying to think about something else. Something not related to peeing. But as the stupid human mind works, all I could think about was peeing. Try it. Try not thinking about penguins for 10 seconds. Do it.
The Bisleri bottle in front was staring at me. It was torture. Sheer torture. After 10 more minutes, I didn’t bother to look outside, nudged the sumo, and asked the driver to halt. Three minutes of bliss.
Sweet mother of empty bladders.
And then I nodded off.