Just A Bus Ride Away

The next few hours were a breeze. They could have waited and taken an empty bus. But Baby wanted to put Tara through the gru­elling travel mil­lions of her coun­try­men en­dured ev­ery day. They took a jam- packed bus to MG mar­ket.

Woman's Era - - Short Story - By Shya­mala Shan­mu­ga­sun­daram

The sink was empty and so were the beds. “The house is so quiet, madam,” com­mented Baby, grab­bing a broom from the kitchen bal­cony.

“Sahib and kids have gone camp­ing. I am go­ing to be free for two days. Take me some­where… I want to go by bus …” said Tara, fold­ing a pil­low case.

Baby scowled. “But you have a car. Why do you want to travel by bus?”

“I have never trav­elled by bus all my life,” said Tara. “My whole life has been in cars, jeeps, bikes and aero­planes.”

“Lucky life… I tell you,” said Baby. “Where do you want to go?”

“Any­where....where will you take me?”

“To­day is Fri­day. I will take you to the weekly fair on MG road,” said Baby. “Are you sure you want to go? It is go­ing to be crowded.”

“I am def­i­nitely com­ing. My hus­band and kids feel I am too frag­ile and naïve to be trav­el­ling by buses. I am go­ing to prove them wrong.”

The next few hours were a breeze. They could have waited and taken an empty bus. But Baby wanted to put Tara through the gru­elling travel mil­lions of her coun­try­men en­dured ev­ery day. They took a jam­packed bus to MG mar­ket. The ven­dors were amused at the sight of a well­dressed lady with long painted nails and permed hair hag­gling with them. From ce­ramic cups, fruits and veg­eta­bles to dust­ing clothes, Tara bought enough stuff to fill as many as four big bags.

Tara and Baby had a thali meal in a de­cent restau­rant. When the bill ar­rived, Baby tried to take a peek. Tara put the restau­rant bill in her purse. “I have no money left in my purse for any more shop­ping, Baby, but I have enough to pay the bill.”

The next few hours... enough stuff to fill as many as four big bags.

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