Karma of the Commute

In Commute, humor, Office humor, Wage Slaves on October 3, 2011 at 14:42

The final stretch will decide the fate of your day. Like a fifth set tie-breaker or the final of forty laps, you are running purely on adrenaline. That is how you started the day too. Down in the 5th base, you have got to suck it up, put in the long yards and control the sports analogies. Post the morning high, it has all been downhill as expected. But the day ain’t over yet. Not until you clear the obstacle course that separates your quarters from your galley.

You are, of course, referring to your eventual bus ride home. It is the most sporty thing you do all day. You do not exactly look forward to it. But it is amazing how resourceful one can be in the absence of options. As the fateful vehicle approaches, you become aware of an impatient, heavy breathing flock of fellow slaves around you. This is not going to be easy. But what would life be without competition?

As you jump, lunge and land, predator-like focus takes over your senses. The only thought that comes to your mind is: ‘This would look really cool in animation!’


Most slaves have developed their own techniques: elbowing, blocking, side-stepping and toe-crushing. You too have to play ball for the prize. Looking prim is the least of your worries right now and civility a distant acquaintance. Like sniffers trained to lunge at the prize, you and fellow slaves scamper for the few and vacant seats.

You see your target, a vacant aisle seat on the left. With random precision, you spill into the seat. The look of reclusive relief on your face seems to say: ‘Life is not so bad after all!’

Having caught your breath, you look around at the losers who could not corner a seat. A lady standing right next to your seat catches your nearly gloating eye. She is uncomfortably contained in her formals and has a familiar look of disappointment on her face. You had the same look on yesterday when a miscalculated side-step cost you a coveted seat.

You get up, at once compelled, and offer your seat to the morose lady who takes it in disbelief. As you hang on in the public transport vehicle, your legs are wary but your eyes have a glint. Good deed in bag, free will practiced, you have salvaged an otherwise forgettable day.

–          J.

  1. “You had the same look on yesterday when a miscalculated side-step cost you a coveted seat.”
    I was expecting the next set of lines between the ideas of ignorance and selfishness, but i was wrong. I am very impressed with your demeanor during your commute. I on the other hand usually play dead, count the scratches per shoes ratio, how many times i could read the same advertisement without catching any contact, and of course rocking my bright neon shades with my slave attire (rag&collar, sometimes shoes) to cover where my eyes are really staring @

  2. Hahah and this is why I left Bombay…

  3. brilliant and perfect picture of ‘life in a metro’ !!

  4. I’m interested in you opinion: is there any less sport in taking a train/metro? Different athletic prowess required? And how about those “lone wolves” who drive? Perhaps that pack is worth a post?

    Clever, clever Slave… ‘)

    • Absolutely a different breed is required to brave rail and road but one can cross-train, as is the rage these day lol

      you certainly have a case for the lone wolf, he/she deserves atleast one dedicated post Lafem has got me started already with some ideas

  5. yeah, that’s why whenever i hear someone say they don’t have time for exercise, i think about my commute to the office and wonder how they seem to manage to get to work without breaking a sweat

    • Standing in that bus/train/tram sure burns calories but it probably burns brain cells too, from all the stress

      I would like to live in one of those towns that have separate lanes for bicycles

  6. I love this line: “But what would life be without competition?”

    Reading this made me think that you were a gladiator … it’s a fight to get a seat or just to get in the bus. And in the end you become the knight in shinning armor.

    • I am beginning to like these twists at the end myself 🙂

      this is not exactly the commuting post I had promised I have started wid a lesser slave who is dependent on public transport there is certainly a lot to be said about one guzzling ozone poison, stuck on d freeway in his/her sedan

  7. I’ve commuted most my life. My favorite was while living in Tokyo, and having to get one of the famous “so crowded, station workers have to push you on” trains. There was never satisfaction. We never had a chance for a seat. You couldn’t move your arms or legs or even your fingers. The daily victory was perhaps getting stuck a hot woman who’s trunk was attached to your junk. That was fun… not.

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