Saturday, July 25, 2009

Doze as you Drive

Today I had to travel to our other office in downtown for a meeting at 10. There is a 9 o'clock shuttle that takes off daily from my office.

I was right on time but the shuttle bus took a while to get there. There is one driver for the shuttle at that time but today unusually there was another driver. 'Hello' I said as I got in. But the driver seemed to be least interested in greeting anyone this morning. I sat in one of the front seats; I could see him through the mirror above the driver's seat.

As we took a turn to get out of the office, I noticed the driver started blabbering. Must be having a stressful life I thought. But that kept me interested and I kept an eye on him through the mirror.

On one of my neighboring seats was a Chinese lady who had just returned from her trip back home and was showing off her vacation pictures to her colleague. For a moment my attention moved to their conversation. The colleague was an Indian guy and he was saying, 'I would have asked you to get me sweaters if I knew you were going to China'. 'Sweater? Why? Chinese people don't use sweaters there. Why would I get sweaters from there?'. 'Oh I thought sweaters are cheap there and this time of the year we need some here'. Oh this Desi I thought! I was now getting irritated rather than entertained with the conversation.

Suddenly I heard the driver opening the window glasses. We were on the freeway and the outside sound became too loud. I could barely hear the two talk anymore. I was relieved. But I think the two stopped talking too as the sound was so loud that they could barely hear what they spoke themselves. Maybe the driver did not like them talk I thought. They were right behind his seat.

But the driver was uncomfortable I noticed. He opened the window; then in seconds closed it. Opened and closed again. Now I could not stop staring him through the mirror. For a moment I hoped no one was staring me staring at him :P

While we drove, a car passed right by from a different lane to take an exit right in front of us. That was close I thought. Didn't the driver see the car? Whats happening here? The driver was struggling to keep his eyes open. Seems like he had a sleepless night or something. But he was trying everything possible to keep awake. He started changing the radio stations. That did not work either.

At one time I saw the shuttle was going on in a straight lane for sometime and the driver's eyes were almost closed. I thought he was sleeping but soon we had to take an exit and he did turn the steering at the right time. As we entered the city, we stopped at the red signal. I waited for what could be next. The signal was long.. long enough for the driver to doze off. Signal turned green but our bus did not move. All the people in the bus were surprised and there was some buzz amongst each other. With that the driver woke up. The Chinese lady right behind his seat exclaimed 'driver dozed off'.

It was very embarrassing for him I am sure. We had almost reached the destination but the bus was supposed to go to another from there. The Chinese lady got off with me at this stop. We both were happy to get out of the bus and prayed that the driver manages to take the people safely till the next point.

1 comment:

Abhishek Sohani said...

man your life is eventful!