It was one of those Fridays when I woke up and decided – I wanted to have breakfast out. We do this occasionally, where we just go out for breakfast even on a weekday morning. It seemed like a good day to have some masala dosa. We woke the kids up and hurried their milk down with the promise of a fun trip to eat out.
As I got the car out of the parking, I noticed it was complete flat. A few minutes’ delay and Suresh ad the spare tire on. And that was low on air too. To think of the odds of that happening! The Maruthi garage is close to home and so we drove there. About an hour from the time we decided we had to have breakfast out, we were at the garage and told that something was wrong with the axle and it would take at least 2 hours to have it fixed.
As we walked out from the garage with two hyper excited kids (garage trips are always fun for them, since there is so much to see). Suresh pulled out his phone and said ‘Lets book a car and go have breakfast and come back.’
Ziva chimed in ‘Appa let's go by bus’
I remember when I was young I hated going by bus. I think my sister can fairly vouch that I begged, pleaded and nagged her every evening after school to take an autorickshaw home. She being the good child always refused to!
Ziva’s request gave me the giggles – She may look like me but we are poles apart.
We walked about 500 meters and go into the bus! Two excited kids and two adults trying to look like we fit in. I think we looked like those people who have never been on a flight get all excited when the seats recline back.
Isaac and Ziva took a seat all the way in front and Suresh and I found a seat close by. The bus was relatively empty. After a few minutes, Suresh looked around and realized that there were several seats empty around us, but none of the men were sitting on them.
‘I think I am sitting on a ladies seat’, he whispered a little amused and a little embarrassed.
He stood up and moved closer to where all the men were standing and I decided I would move closer to the kids. I picked Ziva and had her sit on my lap.
Both were curious on why Appa was standing when there was a so many places to sit at.
I pointed to the sign above that said ‘ LADIES SEAT’. ‘Its only for ladies to sit on’ I told Isaac.
Isaac looked above his seat and it had the same sign ‘LADIES SEAT’. Noticing his glance I assured him . ‘ You are small Isaac. You can sit here. Its OK!’
Isaac: ‘ Will I have to get up when I am 8 years old’
Me : ‘ Maybe it will be OK for you to sit here till you are 10 years old’
I wondered why I put that cap of 10 years! What was I expecting him to do at 10 years that he was not doing at 7 years.
Me: ‘Or maybe if you behave yourself you can still sit here. ‘
I went on to tell him why there were separate ladies seats. ‘ If men learn to behave themselves, we wont need these separate seats’
When I told Suresh about this explanation he said that the main reason of LADIES SEATS was because women were considered the ‘weaker sex’.
I disagree. In the Mumbai where there are tons of women working there are just two compartments (maybe 3 reserved for women). Separate compartments – because men don’t know how to behave themselves!
On the way back from breakfast, we got into another bus! As Isaac sat in his spot, he turned up to look if there were was something written over it!