To get back from office everyday, I walk to the huge bus station nearby by the name of Shivajinagar. What follows is monotonous. It so happens that there are a wealth of buses connecting my office to my home. However, me and my friend invariably choose to get on the bus that leaves the last. The driver or the conductor of our bus always choose to take their long delayed bathroom break, so while we sit clutching our tickets (which the conductor makes us buy before he goes on his long bathroom break) in desperation, a plethora of buses zoom past us. It is amazing how this happens EVERY TIME. Once our bus does starts moving, the conversation gets going too - everything under the sun is covered, love lifes, future..and lots of trivial stuff otherwise. But there is only so much under the sun, and we do this everyday, so it happens very often that all we too is stare blankly out of the window or into some ones armpit or into someones bald and oily pate - depending of course on where we are seated and whether we are seated at all.
Yesterday my friend was stuck in office with work and I managed to fight out a window seat in the bus. So there was a lot of staring out of the window to be done. Those of you have done this, will know the actively passive nature of this activity. Outside is a whirl of activity, which although I am sure is different in its details everyday, is yet so similiar that it appears almost like an unmoving backdrop through a bus window.
Anyways, there I was stuporifiedly staring out at the roads and the cars and the little ruffians trying to sell windshield wiper-cloths to motorcycle drivers(??). I guess they go unthinkingly for the easiest prey. The window offered a severely constricted view of the outside, which made the stuporified staring something of a challenge.
The bus came to one of the many traffic stops that the insane Bangalore rush hour traffic warrants. Then in front of my eyes an event unfolded that made this a red letter day in the history of stuporified staring. An ubiquitous white ambassador rolled to a stop right next to my window, such that it's rear wind-shield and little else was in my line of sight. For a split second my stuporfied eyes managed to focus on the windshield. What I read made me come out of my stupor, and focus properly on it. Emblazoned across the windshield in bright letters were the words - "Wood is Good". !!!!!! was my initial reaction. I must be seeing things I told myself. The hours spent staring into he computer screen has finally taken its toll. I blink several times and re - focus. There it is..as red as ever. Maybe I am reading it wrong I say to myself. I know English is a funny language, but there are only so many ways to read three words. Having convinced myself that it was indeed "Wood is Good", the hilarity of the situation struck me, and I let out a loud and incoherent guffaw. The other passengers were irritated to have been disturbed so rudely out of their stupor and gave me "I AM JUDGING YOU" looks. But anyway I was still filled with disbelief. Was it really there? I tried desperately to find a mundane explanation but was offered none by my mind which was overjoyed at such first class entertainment when none was expected.
Maybe a less constricted view might give me some answers. So heroically, I bent an impossible angle to get a better view of the car. There was The Indian Flag drawn all over it. It also had a flag stuck at the nose of the car. All this along with the fact that it was a "white ambassador" gave me absolute confidence that the car belonged to the Government of India. This only increased my disbelief and the hilarity of the situation. The goverment of india is probably the most mundane thing that exists in the country, and I could certainly not associate them with the massage without letting out another loud guffaw, drawing more looks. Was the government on a drive to reassure confused adolscents, along with providing enertainment to daily bus commuters? I also felt a deep sense of admiration for the owner of the car. He must indeed be a man worth admiring, if he chose to proclaim his beliefs to the world in such a "wooden" manner...a car sticker...haw haw haw..thts me loosing control again and guffawing.
Well the 60 minutes of the traffic red light was up, and it was too good to have lasted any longer anyway. The bus started moving lethargically. The ambassador, started to move away...and as it did so..the lower part of its rear boot, that had been concealed to me inspite of my heroics, came into view. It read
Government of India (in your face Sherlock Holmes!!)
The Ministry of Environment and Forests