What does 5 minutes mean in our life? Isn’t it nothing?
It is the time between two snoozes in our alarm clock; it is the extra time spent in grooming. But, even that could be precious. We have learned a lot about time management in our school lives. But, only on experiencing first hand, do we realize the value of it!
The mobile phone vibrated and the alarm tone pierced the silence of the room. I woke up and without any hesitation, snoozed it. The alarm rang again and it was snoozed again.
And when I was about to snooze it for the third time, the door opened and I could sense the anger in my father’s silhouette. I saw the time in my mobile and it showed 4.55 AM. I told my father to wake me up after 5 minutes and with a warning that I might be late, he left.
Even in those piteous 5 minutes, my mind sought a rest well deserved. I would say it as well-deserved because, when I left my mind free, it was 3.30AM. I don’t do it often, but now and then, when I feel that it has been free for a very long time.
And it was one of those days.
But, the next day was not the usual routine day. It was a little different. No! Hugely different!
The events planned for the next day would be well understood along with the importance, when I say how I worked or rather prayed so hard to make all things happen?
And I should warn you about how depressing it can be! If you are already thinking about how you don’t have enough time, please refrain reading the next word. But, since you have already done it, read it. Come on! You might learn a thing or two and who knows what an impact that will be!
So, coming to the story I was seriously narrating before I got side-tracked, my father didn’t allow me to sleep after the granted 5 minutes and I promised him I will catch the bus which will start at 6AM that morning.
I tried my best to limit my morning routine and even skipped the early morning breakfast which my dad forces me to have, because I can’t tolerate hunger a second longer than 5 minutes after brushing my teeth. The fresh mouth gives me the hunger calls every single time and my dad knows that better than me.
I was ready with all my packed bags at 5.45 AM and on saying a sad goodbye, I left my home.
When I entered the bus stop, it was still pitch dark and only a few buses have started their engines. I looked around for the bus, which I was hoping to find. But, it was not anywhere to be seen. I twisted my head, craned my neck and did all sort of manoeuvres to get a greater vision.
Even with a Hubble space telescope, I wouldn’t have seen it, for a very simple reason of it not being there.
The bus was not there.
Some of you would have started panicking like hell. But, I was surprisingly cool headed about it. I didn’t have to be there before 8.30AM and the bus will take two hours maximum. Many buses started moving and I was dodging all the buses and found it difficult to do so with my heavy luggage.
It was 6.05AM and the bus which should have been there was yet to come. I went to the office and asked the man with the thick Gandhi spectacles about the bus. He lifted his head from his work and looked at me and said that he didn’t know about it. And as a bonus, he added the reason behind his lack of knowledge. (Only if students are allowed this technique. But, they won’t be allowed!)
His reason was that he came for work only 5 minutes back. His apparent indifference didn’t make me angry at that time.
But it did, when he gave the same nonchalant reply at 6.30AM.
A bus was supposed to be there every 15 minutes and for the half an hour I had waited, I saw none.
Even though I may be weak in Maths, I was pretty confident that at lea buses should have been there by that time.
As minutes passed, my breathing rate increased and panic set in.
The sun started to show his face, though I would have preferred him to have covered his face. I should even that to the list of unexpected happenings that day. But, sadly I couldn’t. He had come at the correct time and only I was still there, while actually I should have been half way through.
My mom called and asked me why I haven’t called her after getting into the bus.
I wanted to shout that I was still waiting. But, I didn’t. If I had done so, I wouldn’t be typing this right now. I hope you got it.
After her call, I went again to the counter. I should have been experienced enough then, to not expect a reply.
My watch showed 6.50AM and that is when a bus entered. I was the first to get in and got onto my favourite seat.
Many passengers asked the driver about the lack of bus for the past one hour, but he too disowned responsibility. Passengers like me were happy that at least someone saw the time and were shrewd enough to send a bus.
May be no one had a watch, or they were busy enough to notice the time. Time will say, with intended pun.
As I said, the bus will reach my destination at 2 hours maximum. But I didn’t expect the driver to take the 2 hours deadline for granted. Minimum was half an hour less.
But at the speed the driver was operating the bus and at the tactics he showed on the road, I thought that I would be lucky if I reach in 2 hours.
And that day was lucky as I reached college after 2 hours at 8.45AM. As an intern posted to a health centre outside, a small bus would take us there. And the driver is the king of his own kingdom and he never waits a second more.
As soon as I got down from the bus, I crossed the road to reach the hospital and even before I could reach, I saw the yellow coloured bus coming out from the gate with 5 people inside. The driver stopped for a few seconds for the road to clear before crossing. I ran like a mad person carrying the two bags in both hands and got onto the college bus. And as if I had activated a reflex, the bus started moving immediately.
I sat down on a seat and breathed heavily and all the people gave a look which meant... i don't remember!
That whole day I carried my bags with me till I could go to my room in the evening.
I was not able to have breakfast and had a late lunch at 4PM. I had to cancel my plan along with my friends for a movie, because I had those ridiculous size bags with me.
And nothing good turned out that day.
So, whom should I blame?
The transport corporation?
No. I can’t blame them. The one to be blamed was me.
There had been a bus at 5.45Am which my friend had got into.
I missed it by 5 minutes. What is 5 minutes going to do? If I miss this, I will see in the next.
But, what if there was no next?
I thought a lot that day and I have never over-slept again and I do not plan to do so too.