I travel quite frequently by local buses. The travel itself may not always be pleasurable or aromatic for that matter. The buses cater to a large population of homeless and destitute folks and aroma therapy is not one of their strengths. I don’t blame them – far from it – when poor and hungry, smelling good is not exactly on their priority list and I can understand that. But sometimes, you also have quite the belligerent bloke.
One time, I am standing in the bus surrounded by the homeless and soapless – my tummy neatly tucked in for longer and longer periods of time before exhaling slowly and then inhaling again swiftly. All of this in an unconspicuous manner mind you. For they get upset if they think their body odours offend you. So, I have this nice Yoga routine going on when one bloke with tattoos all over his body looks at the bloke next to me,and says , “Yo! What – getting smart with me eh?”
To which tattooless odour replies nonchalantly, “Yeah .. ” and turns his back on him and starts looking out the window. By now, the female next to Mr. Tattoo casts him a glance that had nothing but admiration dripping from it. There is something in admiring looks from the opposite sex that seem to act like dish soap, baking soda and vinegar(the combination makes it foam like a volcano)
Mr.Tattoo upped his belligerence quotient a bit and took to shouting. Now folks who know me will attribute this sensitivity to the length of my nose, but I smelled something different in the whole melee. Alcohol. I am a careful sort of person and prefer not to be in the limelight, if at all possible. So, I tried to discreetly move away from the spot, when tattoo guy spots me inching away and thinks his bravado has impressed me to such an extent that I actually decided to move away, and he gathered all the energy at his disposal and shouted. “You want to see how hard my punch is? Ya da?”
The tattoo less one meanwhile takes indifference as the best option and continues to look out the window. He then turns and catches Mr Tattoo’s eye for an instant, and that was enough for him. He launched into it – with a vim and the kind of energy that would have been more productively used on soaping himself. Then to my horror, he pulls up his pant legs. Now I am all for self expression and all that, but this was getting a bit thick. I was just thinking of getting down and walking down the rest of the way, when Monsieur Tattooless decided to do the same thing and mercifully exited the bus.
I turned to see that Mr.Tattoo was actually brandishing a knife in his sock when he pulled up his trouser legs. I tumbled out of the bus at the next stop. Crawling was better than risking my life. To my knowledge, all Tattooless did was say “Yeah..”. For that is he got shown the knife, I didn’t know what would happen if he found out that I was inhaling and exhaling rather slowly to keep the many smells emanating from him at bay.
Then, I see this news article talking of how alcohol makes people see intent even when there isn’t any. Like any bartender would gladly tell you, or I will, having had that exp. on the bus. Maybe, every glass of alcohol should be served only after a few minutes of Yoga. Make every one of ’em Yogic Alcoholics.