Sunday, March 26, 2006

Let's bus-t the mystery!

Have you ever watched people running to catch a bus?

1. When I say 'people', I really mean people. Grown-ups. A
ge-ist as I may sound, kids are not 'people'. Yet. Besides, kids are always running and laughing for no reason. This whole study would be null and void if my sample included the little monsters.

2. When I say 'running', I really mean running. I don't mean the slow motion running towards each other that Bollywood actors often do in open fields in Switzerland. I
mean the kind of running one would do if one's life depended on it.

3. When I say 'watched', I really mean watched. Not the casual glance you throw at the person standing at the bus-stop, and go "Hmm... Nice shoes..." or "Hmmm... Nice hunk" or even "Hey, she's got the same bag as mine!" I'm talking about really observing very closely.

Now that we're done with the clarifications, let me rephrase and repeat my question.

Have you ever observed grown-ups running to catch a bus as if their lives depended on it?

Did you notice the expression on their faces? If you haven't, well, let me tell you. You can look it up the next time.

They're grinning. They're always grinning widely.

After noticing this phenomenon an uncanny number of times with a number of different kinds of people (including myself), I wondered. I wondered why people grinned while running like mad to catch a bus. And I came up with a few possibilities to bust this mystery.

  1. It is a grin arising from absolute glee. Suddenly having to run like that gives them a thrill, a sense of adventure, something that breaks the monotony of their boring lives.
  2. It is a grin arising from absolute terror. It reminds them of their childhood. It makes them feel like a kid that's running away from the neighbour's mad dog.
  3. It is a grin arising from absolute disbelief. If they're dressed in 'extreme formals' (Yes, there is such a term. I invented it.), perhaps they find the act of running in that diginified attire in that undignified manner so unbelievable that they grin to hide it.
  4. It is a grin arising from absolute embarrassment. They are afraid that someone they know is in the bus looking at them running like that, and they want to laugh it off before they are made fun of.
  5. It is a grin arising from absolute hope. They believe that the act of their mad running would move the driver so much that he would stop for those extra three seconds.
  6. It is a grin arising from an absolute seduction plan. A killer smile to seduce the driver into stopping the bus. And since running in general tends to heighten emotions, the seductive smile ends up as a terrifying grin.
  7. Errr... that's it I think... I'm done.

Got any other theories?


Siddhu said...

I don't grin though I always run toward the buses. That's cuz I'm too busy trying not to lose my breath.

Now don't say 22 year olds are kids.;)

Siddhu said...

Oh, and for the first time ever, I was first. Can I have a treat or sumpin?

R said...

yet again!!!
*takes a bow!*

R said...

yet again!!!
*takes a bow!*

Kaala Kavva said...

kya kya note karti hai yaar!!!!

mast hai

waise i'd go with the 1st(monotony) and last(seduction plan) theory!!

Macho Girl said...

I don't grin when I run to catch the bus! (Am i considered a grown up????)

But if i do manage to get into the bus, i grin at the driver and say and nice and sweet "thank you"! (lets not get into what happens when thr driver does not stop!!!)

Am i an excpetion or still considered a kid??? ;)

Sumit Tada said...

Although I dont think that every "grown up" running for a bus grins but ya many do.......and I will go with embarrassment theory coz even at many other occasions ppl try to hide their embarrassment by smiling,isnt it??

Sumit Tada said...

And by the way where are the two ladies who were challenging each other for the gold this time???

Anonymous said...

>> Got any other theories?

Smiling creates the illusion of familiarity in a 'hey-we-go-way-back-right?!' kind of way. Works on all manner of strangers, not just bus drivers.


The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

Let it be known that i came here before the "other" girl.

i still run after buses here, altho there is no need. bus drivers often stop for you here, and they never speed off from the bus-stop without stopping in the first place, like it used to happen in India.

I don't grin. I have a look of intense concentration and focus on my face. :)
I'm also busy flaying my arms and gesticulating, trying to get the driver see me in his rear-view mirror.

I do believe that the rest of the entire bus is grinning, tho. :-(

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

sumit tada,
it's sunday AM, only justified that i sleep in....

R said...

You observe man!

Embarrassment it is! :D

PS: The girl isn't here as yet. Her computer is back, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

teen cheezon ke peeche kabhi nahin bhaagna chahiye: busein, train aur ladkiyaan..

.. ek jaati hai to doosri aa jaati hai :P

Anonymous said...

Oh my i just realised that i smile stupidly while trying to catch the bus too....hmm i guess its the embarassment factor for me :P

Shekhar said...

I've spent most of my life in Calcutta and have only seen people running after buses there. And by whatever I've seen, people are usually troubled when they're running for a bus. It is like "Oh Shit, if this one goes, then I'll be late for that damn interview", or "Oh no..not again! I wonder what my boss will say to my being late again..I'd better run to get this bus."

Apart from that, I just remember this one time when an extremely fat Bengali lady ran like hell after this bus that I was on. All of us in the bus turned when the bus-driver suddenly started off and this woman who was waiting at the bus stop ran like a pro to get onto the bus. As soon as she got up onto the bus, one smart alec at the back said, "Ei baar to Bharot ke Olympics-er race-e medal neetei hobe (This time India must surely get a medal at the Olympics race)." To which, the whole bus roared in laughter, and fortunately, so did the perspiring fat lady.

Siddhu said...

Sayesha is missign from the comment box, and also from the post scene.

We wants our daily fix of Sayeshaz, we doessssss!


Sayesha said...

22-year-olds are kids.
ps: Thanks for the idea! ;)
pps: Yes yes, you were first. You can have your treat when you get here.
ppps: Thanks for reading the post before going 'GOLD'! :D

Silver yaar!

Note karna padta hai re baba... when you're sitting in the bus for a long journey and your ipod is outta charge, you gotta find something to keep yourself entertained :)
ps: You try to seduce the bus driver with your smile?! Okay I never wanna see that happening!! :D

You're a sportsperson. You're used to running without any particular expression on your face. You're excluded from my test. ;)

Haha... yeah, so far that theory makes the most sense :)
ps: The gold-diggers have disappeared! :D

You and the bus driver go way back?? Reverse gear? Hmmm... sochne wali baat hai :)

#Ipanema Girl,
//I do believe that the rest of the entire bus is grinning, tho. :-(

Hahaha! :D

//it's sunday AM, only justified that i sleep in....

Doesn't hold for everyone. :(

Hahaha! Yeah, when you sit on the upper deck, you tend to notice more than you think you would :)

Hahahaha! Kaunsi film ka tha?

Another one for embarrassment theory! :)

Sheesh I'm so freakin' scared of Cal buses. I've taken just one Cal bus in my entire life, and the experience was enough to shake me up. And not just literally. :O

//Ei baar to Bharot ke Olympics-er race-e medal neetei hobe

Hahahahahaha! Poor lady! :D

The preciousss is right here, had to rush to catch her bus this morn, you see. That's why couldn't do her early morn ritual of replying to comments. :)

oxymoron said...

An add-on theory:
It is a grin arising from satisfaction! They might be thinking - 'hahaa managed an extra 10 min of sleep, so what, if i had to run to catch the bus! it was worth it!!!'

Neha Sinha said...

you are talking of 'people'..I'll leave and so do you! :P

Neha Sinha said...

everybody around seems such a keen observer! :O
pata nahi but i've never noticed this!

Archana said...

Its a mix of 3 and 4 for me - I feel like an absolute fool as a bus-load of people stare at me while I do a olympic-runner like sprint. Of course, its obviously funnier (for others) and more embarassing (for you) if you are in full formals!

Its not just when catching a bus. Recently me and my friends had the pleasure (!!?!!) of having a whole cafe full of people staring interestedly at us as we ran across the street and into the cafe to get away from the pouring rain :-(!


Ya I've seen many people grin in such a situation. Sometimes its also me.

One reason I can see is they are grown ups. Yet they run like mad after the cheap bus (where the ticket costs 5-10 Rupees) with full effort, even if they know that the same bus is going to arrive after 5-10 minutes. Thats why they grin.

Another reason is that they see all the people standing on the bus-stand is watching him, run like an insane. The person is ashamed in such a situation yet he has no other option than to run.

So to manage the situation and in fear whether they would be laughed at by someone, known or unknown, they grin and manage the situation by making fun of themselves before anyone else does it(esp opposite sex).


All of you please do visit my blog to see the 10 kinds of people I hate the most. Its similar to Sayeshaz.

Happy Blogging.


Pi said...

Did you know that when I was a kid, I missed a school bus once because I was busy admiring my new shoes and I didn't realize that the bus had come and left...?

Lalit Singh said...

they are grinning coz Sayesha is watching...
kya sahi time pass hain yaar

Kusum Rohra said...

Oh my God, I got thrown outta office for laughing like a moron when i read that seduction plan, *one high five to you* now i realise even i grin while i run behind the bus, and God knows 99% i never get it and many a auto wallah have bought gold at 6500 levels just because of my anti-olympic style running.hhmmmppphhhhffff

I think my grin is mostly the victory wala feeling, as if telling all the people staring at me in disbelief "ya ya dumbo i can run too, now will you close your bloody mouth"

But later when I take the rickshaw after the unsuccessful attempt, its they who grin :(

Siddhu said...

Abt the treat, I bet I won't get anyway! When I was in Spore also, didn't get a treat (I didn't ask for one, or do anything to get one, but nonetheless :P)

Lol that was cuz I didn't see that there were 0 comments. Usually assume there are 59 comments before mine :)

P.S: Want my treat at Hotel Saravana Bhavan in Little India. Mmmmm... I miss Saravana bhavan! :(

Anonymous said...

ever noticed the foolish grin aftr ppl miss the buses inspite of running like hell??

Sayesha said...

Aisa sirf tu hi soch sakta hai! :D

Kabhi kabhi idhar udhar bhi dekha karo bachi! Hamesha apne aapko dekhti rehti hai! ;)

Hahahaha! Yeah, running in the rain is a similar phenomenon! :)

I don't think it's about the money, it's pretty much about the time.

Gosh, I can SO imagine you doing that! :P

Haan haan! Sabko dekhna hi toh mera kaam hai! :/

Hahahaha! :D

Oye you never even met me when you were here! :/
ps: What Saravana Bhawan? Arre I'll take you to Bombay Cafe! ;)

Hehe.. yeah, that too! :)

Anonymous said...

nice observation gal....though now I hardly get to travel by bus earlier even I used to go through this chase n catch ritual...but me and my best fren eliza we still follow a very idiotic habit of ours...wherein while crosiing the road..we hold each others hands and run crazy hens...though theremight hardly any traffic...and to top it all once reaching the other side we feel happy as if we'ave won some olympics medal.he he he.

Sayesha said...

Hahaha! That's hilarious! I'm sure the pple in the bus have a great time enjoying the show! :)