Sunday, November 06, 2005

I “Fancy” going to work…

Well, you might think who is this guy who fancies going to work. After all who fancies working? Everyone does fancy getting a pay cheque and they are concerned only about that, getting their pay cheque. Who cares about work in today’s world. But still when somebody says I Fancy going to work, why does he say that?

Fancy is the name of the transport service I take everyday from Sharjah to Media City in Dubai where I work. I have been “Fancy” ing my way to work for the past 4 months. It has been a fascinating experience taking the Fancy. I get to meet lots of characters there, I get to see the whole world under one roof or it should be over one chassis. I have been laughing at some, thinking why I wasn’t born them when I think about some and I’ve also been wanting to kick their balls. Fancy is full of fun, energy and learning. For me Fancy has been a school on wheels.

How could I forget this fat guy? He gets in at the Rolla bridge, he sits just behind me. He is off sleeping the moment our Fancy ride gets 15 minutes old. In the next 5 minutes he starts snoring. In front of the snore this gentleman generates even the pneumatic drills noise is music. It irritates all my co-passengers. One particular day it irritates this lady who was sitting besides him so much that she shouted “Excuse me”. It was definitely sweeter than the snore he generated. And that was it. The man never sleeps, and what is about sleeping? He doesn’t even looks straight at people in the bus these days. For the last few weeks he is always admiring his boots till he gets down from Fancy.

And if that was one what about this lady? The Punjabi kudi who sits in the adjacent seat invariably gets a call from her “bebe”, that is mother in Punjabi I presume. She speaks in chaste Punjabi with her “bebe” thinking the whole world around her is deaf, nobody hears nothing. Yes, she shouts. With the little Punjabi I understand I could decipher she enquires about “Lucky”, “Robin”, “Babloo” and her dog “Tiger”. It is fun hearing her or is that funny? The phone call ends when she realizes she has spent Dh. 28, an Indian equivalent of about Rs.340. She tells the tally to her “bebe” with her loud, sweet voice before she hangs up. She then starts of in a heavy Punjabi accented Hindi with her housemaid. The FAQ’s are “Why didn’t you come yesterday?”, “I am not happy with the way you wash”, “You waste too much of vegetables and spices when you cook”.

Then I have this French bearded Malayalee. This guy laughs like a horse’s neigh. The whole bus including Mr. Musthafa, the driver turn back to have a look at him to understand what he is doing and what the neigh is all about. I start praying every time I hear him laughing. I pray to god for sparing him for the day “Don’t transform him today. Not when he is in the bus my good lord”. Don’t know which racecourse he would head towards and when.

This Arabic woman comes wearing an Armani hijab, the head dress. She is as hot as red chilly, that is her temperament mind you. If any one comes her way as she gets in the bus she mutters something in Arabic. I think that is the “Bastard, son of a bitch leave way for me” equivalent. As she sits down she gives a strong stare at the man/woman who sit next to her. Next she says “EzzCzz Mye” and tries pulling the curtains of the window down. Someday she reaches the window herself and does her operations right, sometimes she fails reaching the distance. Her next action is funny. She gives a super hot stare to her unfortunate neighbour, says “Ezz Czz Mye, why don’t…” and gets into Arabic saying something. I thing she says “You stupid asshole why don’t you? Do it now… You prick”. It is very funny watching and hearing her and that too, if you don’t know Arabic it’s super funny.

Next comes this 24-carat “Mylapore Mami” (i.e.) a Brahmin looking lady from Mylapore an area in Chennai, India. I think she has just landed in the Emirates and has just landed a job too. Her father comes to get her in the bus, like a school kid. More than this woman, the father is funny. As she is getting inside the bus he shouts “Paathu, Paathu Maa” meaning “Careful, Careful my kid”. Then he starts shouting instructions to her like a football coach. “Get down at Knowledge village”, “Have you taken your bag? Is the tiffin box with you”, “Okay, I would wait for you here by 6.30p”, “Remember to call home before you leave office”. As the bus start you could hear a clicking sound emanating from her hands. She has a run counter which normally umpires use in cricket matches which she keeps clicking at regular intervals. From the frequency of the clicks, carefully reading her lips and the number of clicks she counted one day I could find she chants “Om namo narayanaya namaha” I might be wrong in my reading her lips, but she does keep chanting some mantra till at least I get down at my stop.

There is this lady who fascinates me every Thursday. She fights with her boyfriend without fail on this day. She does this effectively over her hand phone. The whole bus could hear her, if that sounds an exaggeration at least half the bus hears. She lists what she has done for the relationship till date and then goes on numbering what her boy has not done. This conversation normally lasts for about twenty minutes to half an hour and ends with a loud “I don’t buy this bull, BYE”. Then you could see her fanatically SMSing till at least for the next half hour. It is good fun watching the way her face goes as these things unfold. One could see anger, despair, disappointment and also that “fuck you” expression.

Then comes this chatter box Filipino lady with a shrill voice and a loud mouse like laugh. She always talks to her neighbour about leaving back from office in the Pive thirty bus. The Filipino’s can’t distinguish between “P” and “F” and so “Five” becomes “Pive” and “Fuck” becomes “Puck”. And hence my “Pancy”, sorry my “Fancy” ride becomes good “Pun”, sorry “Fun” too. With all my minimal voyeuristic observational power I have learnt a little about the Filipino English grammar and a few words in Tagalog the language they speak “Ghanda” means beautiful and “Maghanda” means Very beautiful.

And then how could I forget this guy who sits next to me. He is a Bangladeshi, speaks the Bangla English. He too sleeps while in transit like most of my fellow passengers. But the problem during the initial days was he needed a shoulder to do so and it was my shoulder. I was patient waking him up and telling him he is sleeping on my shoulder for about 2-3 days. Then my patience dried up. So this particular day as he started sleeping I moved a little forward exposing him to my back. As usual he doused off, leaned on my side and to his dismay my shoulder wasn’t there, I had moved. He lost his balance and his head hit the hand rest on my other side. That was a rude jolt, to add insult to his injury I also shouted “That’s why I have been saying don’t lean on my shoulders while you sleep”. I saw him in the bus for the next two days, carefully selecting some other seat. But then he, I thought was too embarrassed by that incident that he doesn’t come in my bus anymore…

And how can I forget this guy. He looks a Maharashtrian, from Bombay I presume. He has a new Nokia 9500 for the past two weeks. He makes it a point to check his ringtones everyday as he sits down in the bus. His experiments with his phone continues till he gets down. And it doesn’t stop there, as he walks down to alight from the bus he keeps staring at his phone holding it at a high esteem. I see a bull in him, inside a china shop… everyday.

There are countless number of other people, specimen who come with me to Media city in the same bus. But every one is a book, I learn a new thing at least every day I take the Fancy. It is a fascinating ride to office. And that is why I FANCY going to office, everyday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ha ha... its so funny :o) think u have lots of fun under the traffic jam !!