Asking every other passenger on the bus stop, “Does this one go to Aggar Bazaar?” (That was where I had rented a place during my two month internship in Mumbai), I realised how difficult it is when you are in a different place. Thrilling at the same time.
I am not saying this because I was finding it difficult to understand the bus routes or anything. Mumbai has its own resources in place, m-indicator being one of them. It was suggested to me by a Mumbaikar friend just when I had arrived in the city.
It was difficult because there, in those two months, I realised what life is like for someone who can’t read the written. BEST buses have the final destinations and the unique numbers like SKUs written on every bus.
The problem for me was that they weren’t written in English number system. Every time everyday before boarding a bus, I would ask either a fellow passenger or the bus driver whether or not the bus goes to the place I wanted to go to.
And everyday, while waiting for my BEST bus at the stop, I would think of the dumb and deaf school visits that IIM Ranchi folks organise every year on Diwali, fathoming the hardships those children are facing in life. I would think of all the kids I had met there, with their faces gaining an altogether fresh memory in my head. and then I knew exactly how it was to not be able to understand the world around you, this time really taking meaning of it, even though for me it was for such a brief part of my day.
Being at ease with not knowing is crucial for answers to come to you. Maybe it is worth investigating the unknown, but the bug that it leaves in there is a little hard to live with.