The meeting went well, I cut a nice deal, made some money, saved some money, a subordinate promised to take me for lunch on MM Alam road, the weather was beautiful, I felt confident and it looked like the perfect day. I had myself booked for the 4.30 pm bus from Lahore to Pindi, they call it the Royal class! So I was going to be traveling in Royal Class! The lunch was as good as it could be, in between tasty mouth watering morsels of Chinese food there was man talk, followed by fresh pomegranate juice. That left me with around an hour plus to make it to the Daewoo terminal. So I decided to buy a few books from “Readings” at the boulevard. That went well, in fact very well.
So reached the bus terminal, bought my ticket and just in a few minutes the bus was announced. So as was wont to happen I got on the bus and sat on my assigned seat. That’s when came an old couple and asked me to vacate the seat as it belonged to them!!! Tickets were taken out, examined, re-examined, more talk and arguments followed, how could two passengers have the same seat number? The bus boy intervened, asked me politely to take the front seat, right next t the driver. So the day was saved, or so I thought. Sat on the front seat, was about to relax when the guy at the rear asked me not to recline my seat as he had a kid on his lap. Surely this was the Royal Class, or so I thought. Undid the recliner, the guy sitting next to me asked to mind my feet as I had “touched” him 🙂 What the? Royal Class, there was supposed to be more leg space, more room. With much apologies I settled for the four plus hours journey. Texted my wife that I would be home in about a few hours. Things seemed perfect now. So the guy sitting next to me apologized, apologies for what mate? I asked? Only to be told he was stressed out for failing an exam and hence told me to mind my feet. “No issues bro”, I told him, “relax, don’t take it seriously, life’s like that.” And with that I dozed off.
Fast forward few hours I wake up, drowsy as can be, the scene in front is I see it the Toll plaza. Surely we’re reaching home, destination Islamabad/Rawalpindi is near. Saw the wrist watch and it told me just two hours had passed! What the punk I said? Pindi in two hours? So asked the guy sitting next to me, what’s the destination? With a smiling face, only to be told, “Faisalabad!”. #$%@@&%$ and more of it. How can that be? Weren’t we going to Islamabad? I am sure the driver made a mistake! That’s when the passengers sitting around me started laughing. That’s when slowly things started falling in place. That’s when epiphany struck! Lo and behold, I was on the wrong bus!!! I find it difficult to liken the situation, but it was something like they show in movies 🙂 I called up a friend who upon hearing jested me and then some more. Called my spouse and there was abject silence for a few seconds. Reminded me of a comedy scene in some flick. How in the world did this happen? Shit! Shoot! and everything in between.
As if this wasn’t enough, there were more surprises for me. That night, that funny night there wasn’t a bus going from Faisalabad to Islamabad! That night a bus that was supposed to go to Islamabad just after an hour had been cancelled. That night providence joked and laughed. Surely I can’t be that stupid, or so I thought. I reminisced, at the chain of events, of not checking my ticket, of not checking the bus, of the bus boy not checking my ticket, of the small argument with the elderly couple. Of so many things that could have gone right, but did not. That’s when I laughed, I laughed at myself, at my stupidity,at my helplessness, at my condition, and called myself a jerk! Sure enough I ain’t Mr. Perfect, everyone makes mistakes. So did I. Didn’t just a few hours ago I had told the person sitting next to me not to take life seriously? Well then that explains it, play it cool, and so I did. The real problem now was, “how to go to my home, now that I had strayed off my course?” The problem was solved, I had to hire a car, all to myself, for Rs 8000! And in four hours I was home 🙂
So the lesson was, to take it easy, and be calm. Remember, it could have been worse! It is good to be able to laugh at your mistakes and yourself. Because that’s what my kids and wife did, they joked and we laughed 🙂 Cheers!