weird story is of a time when I was a schoolgirl. I was studying in the
eighth grade. Each morning, I left from home and went to a bus stop,
where I would reach around 8:00am and wait for a bus to take me to
school, and each afternoon I would return from school the same way. The
road between my home and the bus stop was large and busy, and I felt
safe walking along it. However, what future may hold no one knew and I,
too, had no idea that my school life would soon be fraught with
continuous fear and, to crown it all, with the embarrassment which would
haunt me the rest of my life.
was 27 February 1972, and
I was some distance from the bus stop on my way to school when I saw a
young man in his twenties standing in front of the bus stopís long,
wooden bench. The bench in that bus stop faced west. At the first sight
of him, I felt a bit of infatuation and so having reached the bus stop,
I decided to stand beside him to wait for the bus rather than sit down.
I could feel a sort of warmth while standing near him. Then a bus came
and I got on the bus not thinking whether he, too, had got on the bus.
However when I returned from school around 1:00 p.m. I would see him
once more sitting on the bench. I
tried to put him out of my mind as I somehow felt I was being silly to
next day when I went to the bus stop, I would see him again sitting on
the bench. I didnít give him much thought, and when the bus came, I
would board it as usual. However, when I returned in the early
afternoon, I would see him still sitting there in the bench. I walked
past him and having walked twenty or thirty paces towards my home, I
looked over my shoulder to see him looking at me. This was my first eye
contact with him. For five seconds, we held each otherís gaze, and I
eventually wondered to myself why he was sitting here now, and why he
had been there in the morning as well. Still I threw his thoughts out of my
that, I didnít see him in the next two months. Thoughts of him
lingered in my mind, but I wouldnít say I was obsessed with him. In
the second week of May, my school closed for summer vacation.
on 22 May 1972, I had to go to meet one of my acquaintances where she
lived near my school. My mother walked me to the bus stop around 8:00
that morning, and, lo and behold, there he was, walking towards the bus
stop from the road which would run from west to east whereas the road
through which I would come from my home to the bus stop would run from
north to south. Thus, those roads running almost at ninety degrees w.r.t.
each other would meet near that bus stop. The road running towards east
would continue to run in that direction past the bus stop and after some
miles ahead along that direction, there was my school.
had put on yellow suit. He had put on jeans and a blue shirt. He came up
to the bus stop and sat on the long wooden bench facing west that is
facing the direction the bus would be coming from. I stood near him
facing south, and when I glanced
sideways, I saw him looking at me. For a moment, I felt a mixture of
embarrassment and jubilation. I sat down at the other end of the bench.
After several minutes, a bus arrived. My mother put me on it,
instructing me to sit by the conductor, and left for home. After about
fifteen minutes, the bus reached the stop near my school. I made the
conductor stop the bus, and I got off. As soon as I started to walk back
from the stop towards the school, there was a surprise for me: I saw him
exiting the back door of the bus. Having got off, he glanced at me and
started to walk in the same direction I was moving along, several paces
in front of me. Thinking he wanted to say or ask something, I sped up so
as to overhaul him. Perhaps he would understand my motivation and he
would also increase his pace. He walked faster so that I could not
overtake him. Soon, I was forced to turn onto the street where I had to
meet my acquaintance. Still, I couldnít help wondering why he had
boarded my bus and why he had got off when I had. Obviously, he
couldnít have known where I would get off. He must have bought a
ticket for some distant destination but disembarked after travelling
only three miles. He had wasted money just to know where I was going.
What was in his mind? Either he indeed had something to ask me, or else
he was besotted with me and simply curious as to where I was going. I
thought about the fact that I had started seeing him at my bus stop in
February. Why had he been there then in the first place?