It was just another Thursday. I had ample time after my morning chores so I walked slowly to the bus stop. A few of us had just won a deal with our travel admin to board the second bus in the route as the first one always had most of us standing or perched uncomfortably in the ‘kili’s seat. My colleagues turned up one by one to wait for the bus. We all exchanged formal pleasantries and continued our wait. I struck up a conversation with a senior manager, a hale and hearty man in his early fifties. Flashy Sparks,cool i10s and stylish Figos cruised along with their sophisticated owners strapped in while a parade of college buses took future engineers to their classrooms. Suddenly, an antiquated KSRTC bus with an obscure name board grinded to a halt in the middle of the junction. A breakdown. Impatient horns rent the air as the driver tried in vain to revive the engine. In no time the NH 47 clogged like a drain in June. We watched as the traffic police struggled to manage the angry motorists, while a few puny men in shirt and lungi took up the task of pushing the bus. A small knot of clueless women remained glued to their seats in the bus. All the men could do was make the bus budge a few inches. The clocks were edging towards 9 and there were about 200 people stranded on the road.Everyone tutted and shook their heads at the inconvenience caused.
I looked around to find the senior manager missing. One of my male colleagues, who had gone to investigate the situation, came running towards us with an excited face and exclaimed:"He’s pushing the bus!!". All of us looked up to see the bus making a slow but steady progress to a parking space on the side of the road. Among the lungi clad men, was the senior manager, immaculately dressed in office formals and shoes, pushing the dusty old bus,with the expression of a participant in a game of tug-of-war. The other male colleagues (all in their late twenties) continued to watch,cross armed, their office clothes intact and their ID tags caressing their A/C freezed hearts. Soon the road was clear for traffic and the senior manager walked up smiling, moping his sweaty face and dusting his hands like a satisfied farmer returning from his field. In a short while we were seated comfortably in the air bus headed to office where each of us would resume doing what did the previous day.I was reminded of Clark Kent slinking away to a telephone booth to transform into Superman and save the day. But do we really need a superhuman to sort things out when all it takes is a common man with a universal spirit?