The yellow bus stops a few feet from me. A man and a woman enter the bus via the front door before I too climb into the bus. Immediately I hear the blast of loud Indian music coming from a loudspeaker just beside the moustachioed Indian driver. He was singing along loudly with the song.
I look down the inside of the bus. Most of the seats are occupied. There is a seat with only a woman sitting on it. I stop beside her but she does not move in. She then moves her legs sideways indicating that I should sit inside next to the window. She wants to sit next to the aisle. I feel a bit annoyed but I relent.
The bus moves off. It is only five or six kilometres to town so it should be a fast trip. I do not mind being shut in by the sullen-looking woman who is definitely in a bad mood.
The conductor comes and I pay for my ticket. He too is singing along with the song. I cannot hear anything pleasant in the song for the sound is distorted coming out too loud from the loudspeaker I cannot argue though so I just sit down quietly.
The rest of the passengers seem very quiet too. Perhaps they are enjoying the song. But then they may be like me just tolerating it Certainly no one is going to question the tough-looking driver.
More passengers get on at the other stops but they have to stand as all the seats are taken up. An old lady totters towards the back of the bus but no one offers him a seat. An old in with a stinking cheroot stands next to my seat. Thank goodness am sitting on the inside. The sullen-faced woman beside me has to bear the brunt of the smoke.
The atmosphere in the bus begins to get a bit stifling with the loud music on and the old man puffing on his cheroot.
I am not the only one reeling the discomfort tor suddenly the woman next to me gets up, pulls the cheroot from the old man’s astonished face and tosses the offending thing out the window. For a moment the old man looks as though he would explode with rage. The woman stands her ground staring at him with defiant eyes. My goodness, I would not like to cross swords with this woman.
Gradually the rage in the old man face subsides. Embarrassed, he moves further inside the bus. The woman sits down. I want to thank the woman, but her fierce look stops me. It is better to leave her alone.
I see my stop coming up. I press the bell and the bus slows to a halt. I get down with a few other passengers. The bus moves off. The music from the bus eventually fades into the distance.