Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Penchant For Bus Tickets

I cannot seem to remember why I started collecting bus tickets. I have always liked how they looked, with all those numbers printed and stamped on them. They probably have a significant meaning, but to me they speak of all the happenings in buses. Two aunties with orange flowers in their hair, gossiping away. Fifty five might easily be the number of bus conductors who made away with the change they owed me (this may have partially been my fault). The one-beat whistle that the bus conductor uses to tell the driver that everyone is on board. Eight, that may have been the number of times the bus conductor had to jolt me out of my reverie to tell me they were waiting for me to get off. Five sneaky old ajjis* who managed to ride in the bus without having to pay for a ticket.
When I had just started collecting bus tickets, about six or seven years ago, I used to write a little note about whom I was with or something funny that happened in the bus, but this got tedious after a while. By my second year of college, my wallet was bulging with all the tickets I refused to keep anywhere else. Bus conductors were most amused when I took my wallet out to pay for my journey. One nodded at the wallet and asked, ”hobby, ah?” and another was positively disgusted and went away muttering to himself after expostulating about what would possess someone to hold on to so many bus tickets. 

The old envelope that houses my bus ticket collection

By my third or fourth year of college my wallet had started complaining by bursting at its seams and I had to move out a few other objects of interest to make place for them. It was also getting harder to carry, would not close and required a fair bit of expertise to induce new tickets to wedge themselves in nonexistent crevices.  My dad was covertly removing some tickets and keeping them in an envelope. I think he feared a thief might think it was bursting with money. I could not find it in me to throw away the tickets. I got the idea one day to make a pop-art-ish collage out of them, which used up quite a few. I had to retire my wallet after a while and I now stash away my bus tickets in the envelope that my dad used for the ones he secretly extricated. 

Mostly About Chappals: A pop art collage

Volvo buses and their tickets don’t have the same character or charm as the others and those tickets go straight in to the dustbin. 

*ajji:  Grandmother

(This post was featured on Caleidoscope)


  1. Hehe, hello =) Thought I'd write to tell you that I love the way you write. I've been reading for a while, and it's been like a dose of hard bound books, rosewood, gnarled trees, eastman colours, wind chimes, bare feet, wet mud, old magic that tastes of dusk, Terabithia, and happy rooftop moments all at once. Meaning, I'm happy.

    I love random blogs. I'll keep reading =)

    1. Thank you so much Adithi. :) I did a happy skip when I read your comment and I'm sure my blog did a spot of foot-tapping.
      Those are things I love too!


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