And we danced all night !

If I were in ancient Greece, I would have bought a cow today, and offered it to the mighty Hermes, the guardian of travelers. Looks like I am in his bad books, as for some time now, luck's been playing a villain in my lone journeys. When I travel in a group the good fortunes of the others seem to have a dominating effect over my misfortunes. But every time I travel alone, I end up having these funny encounters fit enough to share with friends as Irish Jokes. The episodes with the Dragon lady and this twenty-something-cute girl are good examples. My last weekend's trip to my home town in Kerala, wasn't any different.

She was sitting on my seat when I boarded the bus at Bangalore. I asked her the seat number and she said she's been allocated the corner seat in the last row with a bunch of guys. Then with this unmistakable 'damsel in distress' look on her face she said, "I am a girl.. have to sit all alone with these guys in the back... would you mind exchanging the seats?". She had a husky voice... too masculine for the beauty that she was. Anyway, being the embodiment of chivalry itself, like a knight in shining armor who just returned from dragon hunting, I replied "Ya, I can do that". Some girls have this uncanny ability to make guys do things they never want to, with their sheer presence. So I moved to the corner seat and soon engaged in the 'squeeze your legs under the seat' game, one leg at a time. Little did I know then that I will end up doing Salsa all night. But signs of the night's entertainment started manifesting in no time.

As we were climbing this fly-over a few kilometers from the city, the bus suddenly stopped. The driver rushed out, and after fiddling a while with the engine declared -to everyone's delight- that the bus cannot move any further. So we had to wait for the next 2 hours for the replacement bus to arrive. The only building nearby was a petrol bunk and hence we all stood outside on the road, killing mosquitoes. I got about seven of those blood suckers. The new bus had a lot more leg room for the back seat and I was about to feel happy, when the driver announced that we will not stop for dinner to make up the lost time. As there were a few passengers who had to reach their destinations early morning, we all agreed to travel hungry.

Just when everyone thought the ordeal is finally over, they put on a movie. I don't know, in a single life, how many times do we have to watch this honest, angry police officer beating up a bunch of villains to porridge! Come on, give him a break.. there are a lot of other people in this world who are jobless and haven't been used so far to beat up goons - Catholic bishops, Communist party leaders and Swami Nithyananda for example. But who am I to poke my nose into somebody's creative freedom! So it was a welcome change when it started raining. It was nice watching the torrential rain through the windows.. the experience was so real that I almost felt like being out there in the rain. I could feel the raindrops falling on me. Soon I realized they were indeed falling on me!

The new bus had a few cracks on its AC duct, through which water was seeping in. Soon rivulets started taking shape, bringing water to the dry terrains of my head, lap and shoulder! With two hands and three waterfalls to take care of, I soon started wriggling like a dog hit by a stone. The entire back row passengers were fighting similar waterfalls, and together we looked like some dance troupe practicing synchronized Salsa. The show continued till about 3 in the morning and we had practiced quite a few moves to perfection by then - the praise-the-lord stance, the traffic-police pose and the like. By then my heart was overflowing with gratitude towards this girl who was snoring peacefully in the front seat.

I reached home, and the next day morning when I woke up I heard her voice again. Initially I thought it was another nightmare, but then it wasn't... the sound was coming from outside the house, and it was unmistakable. I looked through the window and saw Bruno, the dog, walking restlessly on the lawn. Then suddenly I realized that she had this throaty, deep voice.... like the sound a dog makes just before it throws up!

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