This morning I took a BRTC bus. There was a little girl standing beside my seat. She was around five, not big enough to balance herself in a moving bus. To her mum, she was comparatively bigger than the other child. The poor mum could not take two kids in her arms at the same time. So, the little girl was trying to help herself. I took her on my lap and looked at the back to make sure that her mum knew that she was safe with me. To my surprise, I found the other passengers to be a little uneasy with this situation. Why? Because the girl’s dress suggested that she belonged to a poor family. May be her mum was a garment worker or something like that. I did not mean to start a revolutionary movement with my action. Being a Bangalee woman, to offer my lap to a child seems to be the most natural thing to do. Why does it seem so strange? Being completely unaware of the complexities of life, my Bangalee princess pushed herself a bit more towards me so that she could sit comfortably. I loved that!
Finally, when the bus reached my destination, she went back to her Mum. While I was trying to reach the bus door through the crowd, I had to get the attention of the women standing beside my seat. Being unsure about how to address those ladies (Auntie or Apa), I just said, ‘Excuse me.” That worked!!! The looks on their faces changed. Wow! My prestige among Bangalees was regained by some English words!
Can’t help but mentioning that this is March – the glorious month of Independence! 46 years back, we were united as a nation – we were determined to fight against all sorts of injustices and discriminations. Seems like a myth sometimes.