Saturday, December 19, 2009

Alternate East Side Story

Every Sunday for the past two years I have been travelling in a certain bus at exactly 9 o'clock in the morning and every Sunday I have been noticing a certain woman on that bus.She isn't very beautiful.She isn't tall.She doesn't have an hourglass figure.She doesn't wear designer clothing.She doesn't carry an expensive handbag.She doesn't put on any make-up.But I never fail to notice her.She's a middle class woman in her early thirties,dressed modestly,who always has the exact fare ready for the conductor.There's something about her that makes her seem sincere.
Last week,I finally struck up a conversation with her to satisfy my peculiar curiosity.I asked her where she goes every Sunday.She told me that she takes the same bus to the same place every single day of the week but I only see her on Sundays because I happen to take that route only on Sundays.She goes to a beauty parlour where she works.
In every conversation,there's a talker and a listener.In most of mine,I've been the talker.But last Sunday,I became the listener(not because I had to,but because I wanted to).This woman,who had fascinated me since the very first day I laid eyes on her,told me the story of her life.She had been orphaned at a young age(she couldn't remember how old she had been) and had grown up in many foster homes.As soon as she turned eighteen,she started working at this beauty parlour that she went to everyday.She had learnt everything-from how to cut hair to how to give pedicures-at that parlour.Steadily she had saved up money and made a life for herself.She didn't have any living relatives.She had very few friends.She hadn't met the right guy yet.But she was happy with her life.If she died tomorrow,she would have no regrets.
I don't know her name.I will never even ask her that.Only her story is important to me.You,dear reader,may have seen it all before on TV or read it in a book,but I'm proud to say that I met such an independent woman in real life.She is the inspiration for the person I strive to be.I know she will never read this and she probably has no idea that I've been noticing her for so long.But I guess that's the way I want things to be.


  1. This is beautiful Sreejata, really touching! The ideal strong, independent woman! This is something that certain girls on our campus should definitely read!