I felt like an alien after stepping into the red Hi-Tech bus, Vayu Vajra. Most of the people around me were wearing masks over their nose and mouth. After initial awkwardness, fear possessed me. I do not have a mask! I’m without protection! It was too late to turn back. The automatic doors shut behind me and the bus moved forward.
The conductor and the driver sported masks too. My fear turned into pity as these two Samaritans, on government payroll, are more prone to the risk of flu. A couple of days earlier, I happen to lend my ears to a person in the whining mode. He feared catching flu because he lives in an area dominated by a certain religious community. I asked what is the link between a religion and flu. The people from that religion travel a lot! Trust us to bring a religious flavor at the unexpected moments! I wonder what would the conductor and the driver whine about?
The bus was cooler because of the air condition. I began to suffocate as I imagined flu viruses floating around. I did not open my mouth fearing they will enter my body through my mouth. But I left my nostrils open because I didn’t want to die of asphyxiation. Gathering courage, I decided to take on the consequences in my usual style – my usual style being without a plan. On second thoughts, without a plan is exaggeration. Without even an “outline” of a plan would be apt.
I examined my fellow passengers while settling down on the comfortable seat. There were two types of masks. One was light greenish masks which was a popular model among my fellow passengers. The other type was a white mask with a small circle sticking out from the mouth. This looked like a more expensive brand for it wasn’t very popular.
The bus stopped at an intersection. While waiting for the green signal, the driver lowered his mask and lowered the window. Now, he looked like a doctor who came out of an operation theater. Although he looked cool, he was susceptible to the flu now - just like me and a handful of other unmasked travelers. Then he performed the most despicable act. He spat outside! Whoever decided to make the mask never thought about our birthright while designing this thing!
Picture Courtesy: http://new.aol.ca