By: Madhur Prashant, Humber Student & International Centre Student Ambassador
For those willing to read my post
beyond the title, please note that it narrates very ordinary and routine
experiences that often escape our notice. However, such
experiences/observations, although trivial, add flavour to and take away the
monotony from a long winding journey. Here’s a short tour of a gruelling winter
morning when I am getting ready for a two-hour journey to my college. On many
days, this becomes refreshingly entertaining. Journeys, especially during
winter, become an even more out-of-the-world experience.
Winter, according to me, starts at 15
Degree Celsius and ends at about 5. Anything below is, well, horrendous,
ruthless and simply torturous. Now imagine an early morning art class where one
is expected to warm up, exercise and liberate his/her right brain that, on a
below 0 degree Celsius day, is frozen beyond doubt. It is not until the latter
part of the day that the right brain really begins to thaw. Until then, one’s got
to live with the brain that is left!
Anyway, before I whine anymore about
the freezing miseries of winter, I must begin to talk about my early morning
weekday commute. Like I said, 8am classes in winter are no joke. Nothing about
Canadian winter is ever a joke, practically and figuratively.
Disclaimer: Winter is a beautiful
season, only if you are packed to capacity with no room for more layers.
So, at 5:45am, when warm Sun is
basking and lazing around someplace else, when birds are sleeping at an unknown
location with eyes wide open, when bare trees, like deformed fangs, are looking
at one in dozens, and when windows are looking like dark voids, I brave through
a biting, crispy, numbing morning towards college. If darkness and disturbing silence
creep you out, then be prepared to be frozen even more. At that hour, early morning
doesn’t look any different from midnight – dark, awfully quiet and lonely.
These winter morning conditions are enough to awaken and scare even a
Hesitantly, packed securely into heavy
winter gear, I step out. I look around and find no company at this hour.
Balancing myself over ice and inside multiple tight layers, I move on the long
patch to reach the nearest bus stop. With so many layers over the body, one is
bound to lose touch with oneself and feel a second body over real one.
In this pristine hour of the day, I
hear footsteps on the dark road. There’s also an XXL-sized shadow chasing me.
Those footsteps are mine and that shadow is mine too, none of which leave me.
Earlier, my shadow scared me in such lone moments and I would walk quickly towards
a well-lit road. But the shadow would follow me with equal speed.
Shivering under layers, the chill freezes
my face, turning it pink red. The nose, frozen first, starts to hurt, becomes
numb and stands like a red something! The mouth remains in a perpetual state of
drop, probably in awe.
I love to leave deep footprints in
snow that is piled up on the side. Some animal can easily hide in the depths! Far
in the distance, I see lights flicker and then disappear. Probably, some rich
dude/’dudess’ is inside his/her warm, cozy car, going someplace, listening to
I reach the bus stop, hop into a bus, and
get off again later to take another one. In between all this, I am freezing and
thawing at the same time.
On the Third
and the Last Bus
In the dark, fellow commuters assemble
in hordes at the bus stop, waiting to jump right in. After a long wait, with
many more joining in, the game gets tough. Our bus appears at a distance and is
approaching with empty seats glowing in the dark. Each one in that crowd wants
to get in first, with dignity. The lucky ones find the bus door appear right in
front of them. One by one, the rest wait to find a way in. This bus is then stuffed
with students, and those lucky can sleep on seats.
The interestingly painful thing about
this bus ride is that it takes an hour to get to college. There’s a lot that
can be done in that period, although the only thing to happen at any hour in
here is deep sleep or forced meditation.
After a long way to get to this bus
and an even longer way ahead, I stare out the window, at dark surroundings
preparing for the day to rise. While buses and cars are rushing past one
another, it still feels as if the world’s asleep. Most around me are asleep too,
almost instantly. In that one hour, I read, eat, contemplate and sleep.
When there is still some time left, I think
about the person driving this bus, back and forth, and also about what life
really is! Haa… too much thought for an early morning.