10 March, 2009

The Thundu Guy

What is it with Indians and seats?

Right from the political big wigs battling it out with their coalition partners for that one last assembly seat. The wannabe doctor who shells out my entire decade's salary on 1 medical college seat. Or the much more easily observed species, the thundu guy.

Now the thundu guy is not easily identifiable unless he is in his natural habitat, which is either a railway station or a bus stand. The characteristic home stretch speed and the dexterous throw of the thundu through the window is a sight to behold. Over the years, our thundu guy has evolved into his post modern metrosexual equivalent, the paunch guy. So how do you identify this sub species.

1. Yet another Che t shirt? check.
2. Headphones? check.
3. Swanky laptopbag? check.
4. New fastrack watch? double check.
5. Nike shoes. check. Yup thats him.

Now we don't call him the Paunch guy for a purely numerical reason based on the items listed above.

The Paunch AKA Potbelly AKA (in our more expressive vernacular tongue) the thoppai.

Now how does this guy secure a seat? The power of the primordial belly is put to good use here. Since the laptop is too expensive to be used as a seat securer, it cannot be used as a substitute for the timeless thundu. So what does he do? He uses his belly. I kid you not when I say that on a crowded PTC bus, the power of the belly is too much to take. You will wilt eventually and vacate the standing spot right next to the aisle seat, in obeisance to the belly bearer. This way he gets the seat once the present occupant empties the seat.

Of course there are under developed variants which lack the vital belly but still make a fight for the seat. They use one of several techniques like the Pelvic push or Errant Elbow or the Slighly-risky-not-to-be-tried-at-home Salsa Leg Lock. Anyhow the moment I see one of these guys making a beeline for the seat, I get out of the firing zone.

In fact even if a seat right next to me were to suddenly be empty and even if there's no belly-bugger in a 10m radius I would still not take the seat. Not out of any misplaced sense of benevolence. Its not that I don't want to sit. The fact of the matter is most of the times I can't sit. The travails of the too tall traveler.

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