On a dreadful Monday morning, I get on the bus to work sharp at 9:30 am and like every day, I manage to get a seat. I sit there, laptop bag on my lap, half dozing off and half introspecting about my life, which to be honest, is just slightly more happening than the expressionless faces all around me staring at the no smoking sticker bills and New Year cards stuck in front as if Shakespeare’s life story is written on them. (That would be so cool by the way). Even the loud radio blaring 90s hit songs like ‘hi sexy, hello sexy kyu bole’ does no jiggle to our mundane postures.
And then I suddenly notice him. At first sight, pardon my snobbery, he is a no looker. A bespectacled, side partition haired, slightly pot-bellied, seemingly 30-year-old man. His black coat, white pant tells me he is a lawyer. I am about to mentally high-five him saying “welcome to the ‘i-hate-Monday’ club buddy!”, when my eyes fall on his fluorescent green headphone plugged to his phone. That surely stands out in the monochrome bus that I am riding and the monochrome man that I am looking at. He takes the aisle seat just an inch ahead and diagonally to me from where his cell phone screen is totally accessible to my eyes. That is when things start to get interesting.
If you ask me, I wouldn’t have snooped in. I am not the nosey type, you see. And he didn’t seem the out-of-the-box type either. But when the pair of shoulders in front starts to jump up and down and the head motions left and right, you have to know what he is having. Or watching. And I pry and see a dance tutorial playing on the screen. Probably a hip-hop one. I imagine him tapping his feet too. As the dancers in the video twerk and twirl, this man tries to imitate the moves in whatever restricted posture he is in. Seeing him hooked to the screen had me hooked. There was something magical about him. I could see his eyes twinkling and him smiling from the back of his head. His energy was that contagious. It was not just mere excitement on his face (like mine when I watch those cat videos) but something more than that. He was obviously oblivious to the nosy neighbor behind (yours truly) as well as the entire world around.
As I got down at my destination, his picture lingered in my mind. How his face lit up while watching the tutorial. How he seemed like a superman in disguise beneath the black coat and how he almost gave it all out for us to see. For me to see. It has been more than a month now and this story kept ruminating inside my head all this while. In that crampy dingy bus, I saw passion stand out and up wearing a cape right in front of me.
So this is what passion looked like. Felt like. I guess I would never know.
That moment, right there, I was envious and jealous of a no looker, bespectacled, pot-bellied man because he had something that I never knew I didn’t have. Now I know. Sigh!