The BEST bus turned sharply out of the Santa Cruz depot and blocked a tempo and the rickshaw I was in. The rickshaw backed a little, the tempo driver maneuvered his vehicle until the bus could pass. The bus driver meanwhile yelled at the tempo and the rickshaw drivers, “I need more space.”
I said, “Didn’t he think about it before ghusao-ing his bus?”
The rickshaw-wala, a small man, with a black hexagonal french beard, and a delicate crochet black and white skull cap decorated with lots and lots of little hearts, said to me, “Madam, stay calm. These guys are all like that. This is what they always do.”
A few meters ahead, a car came straight at us on the wrong side of the road, one motorbike lurched at our windscreen, another swerved past hastily.
The rickshaw-wala said, “They are all in a hurry, they all want to get somewhere. God knows where they want to get so fast. Wherever they go, they will be under the sky, won’t they? Or do they think, they can leave the sky behind?”
That evening, while exiting from the lift, a woman struggled with 5 shopping bags and her purse. I put my hand against the door to stop it from banging close on her. A neighbor had his hand on the ‘door open’ button. But hassled as she was, she did not acknowledge our gestures, probably didn’t even register them, as she walked away.
The neighbor, a small man, clean shaven, with white shirt tucked into black trousers, black briefcase and a blue tie, said, “She was trying to make a call at the same time while picking up her bags and leaving.” He shook his head with a wry smile and said, “We’ve all become so impatient in Bombay.”