I stay at narendrapur, and it takes quite a while to come down to office everyday. One fine and sunny morning I decided to take the much feared, much frightening and the much waited bus no. 5. As i entered the bus depot, i saw there were no buses in sight and a long queue jostling for space. I stood in the queue which did stretch to quite a distance with separate lines for women and men. I wondered if we still live in a civilized and advanced world, because we still have separate queues and seats for men and women. I laughed at myself. As i stood beside the depot office i saw a mix of people standing in the queue. There was a group of office goers discussing the previous days events. Obviously they were pretty good friends as they called out to each other by their first names. I wondered if they worked in the same office. ' Prabir, kal khelata kamon holo bol ?' They were obviously talking about the east bengal-mohun bagan football match the previous day. Most were east bengal supporters it seemed as they were cursing the goalkeeper for making too many mistakes that day. I wondered how people from different walks of life have become so good friends just by traveling together to office on the same bus. That's the bengali babu for you, making friends where ever they go. Just then a bus rambled in. The queue started moving forward, as i was at the end of it there was no possible way i could get a seat on the first bus. I knew if i waited for the second bus i would be late for office. I got on, and as expected there wasn't a single empty seat. I knew the bus would be packed to capacity soon since it was going towards Howrah. It was very hot and humid inside the bus and i began to sweat in no time. Minutes passed and it seemed like eternity before the driver finally got on and started the engine. The bus rolled out of the depot and a few people scrambled on at the last minute. By that time the office group had started their antics. They started cracking jokes and was keeping everyone nearby entertained. I looked at my watch, it was 9.25. I had to get in to my office by 10. State transports are known for their speed and i knew i would make it if the road was clear. I thought i spoke too soon because in no time the bus was stuck in huge traffic snarl. The autorickshaws thought they own the road and they didn't care much for the traffic rules thus causing huge traffic jams. The bus was pretty packed now and heat was now becoming intolerable. I had a hard time grabbing the hand rail with so many people jostling for space. In the crowded bus people were continuously trying to get on and off the bus thus creating chaos between fellow passengers. My feet were throbbing with pain as people were stepping on my toes. There wasn't an inch of space left on the bus. Just then a big quarrel started between the bus conductor and a guy who has just jumped on. Both were screaming at each other at the top of their lungs and trying to prove their point. That's manhood i guess, egos took top priority!! The office group started passing funny comments to pacify both of them. I neither had the mood nor the enthusiasm to take interest because of the heat as well as the tremendous space crunch and the pressure due to it. The bus was moving along, sometimes smoothly in the traffic free stretches and sometimes fully stuck in the huge traffic snarls. It was 9.55, I was getting near to my office bus stop. I decided to move ahead towards the exit door, caused i had been pushed to the rear by the crowd. I had walked many a mile in my life but i never knew getting from the rear end of the bus to the exit door would be such a terrible experience and would take an eternity. I tried to move two steps at a time, pleading ' Dada, nambo, aktu jayga din'. My pleas fell on deaf ears, cause nobody could give me an inch. I tried to look out of the windows and saw my destination was coming up pretty quickly. I had no other option. I pushed hard forward. I heard the barrages of swears coming from people who's toes i was stepping on. I let out multiple sorries to everyone, but there was nothing i could do. I was squashed, my arms were twisted at an odd angle trying to grab a handrail. I felt as if my arm was going to tear off from my body but I was determined not to let go. Slowly and painfully i managed to scramble to the exit door of the bus, my hair messed up, shirt untucked and dripping sweat all over. Finally the bus reached my office bus stop and i got down, cursing myself for getting on the god-damned bus. I looked at my watch it was 9.59. I had just managed it, that is to say the bus made it in time. I went to straight to my office washroom, got fresh. As i sat in my office, i tried to remember the mornings events and laughed at myself, ' All's well that ends well' i guess!!