The Purple Smile

“Where is that stooopid bus!” lisped the little boy wearing a white and khaki uniform. His mother let him tug her pallu violently while she raised her eyes to the check the road which snaked before them. Municipality had done nothing to make it easy on travelers’  backs. She wondered what happened to broken promises, just like she wondered what happened to some of those alphabets she typed in her computer and did not appear on screen. Where did they all vanish to?

To her relief there was the small yellow school bus coming towards them.Its front grill, painted a bright purple, grinned apologetically. It hastily pulled over by their side and the boy climbed in amidst the cacophony created by children. As the bus departed, she walked back to her house full of chores.

The bus chugged and avoided the potholes and narrow, sharp turns. His thoughts were concentrated on the signal where he always got caught between the city buses. No matter how much he urged, his driver never reared him up into top gear. “Well, can’t blame him”, thought the bus, “after almost losing brake by the bridge, who would want to take a risk..”. His thoughts gently glided down on his younger days in the city.

Being physically small, he was doled out to commute nursery children scattered all over the city. Big city buses loomed out large but always moved to the edge of the road to let his load of brats pass. His  horn was shrilly when he sang aloud with tiny voices and he bore the scratches they made with pride.

He remembered the times he met his former passengers. They smiled at him across the plethora of shiny cars as they waited at a signal together. Their eyes always sparkled in memory of the innocent joy they shared, till the light turned green and the moment gone. And when he got old, he was sold to a government school in a small town.

Happy was the bus when he rumbled into the school yard on time. He could now rest till evening in his shed and take a nap. Ride back was going to be hard. He had to race with all his worth to get his hungry kids back home, you see..


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