From the backseat

Saheb Motiani
Life goes on
Published in
3 min readNov 27, 2017


I am waiting for the bus 192 holding my closed grey umbrella; it has been a long time since I’ve waited for a bus.

It’s a lazy Sunday and I’m not in a hurry, but I do miss my cycle.

It’s cold, my hands are freezing and the roads are wet.

The bus arrives and I enter last. I hand over my plastic card and ask the driver for a weekly mega rider. I give him a twenty, the ticket receipt comes out, I collect it along with my card and leave after saying Thank You. He makes a sound, and I thank him for that, I forgot to collect the change.

The last seat was empty, and I took my usual seat on the left side. I couldn’t see outside as the windows were filled with fog so I looked straight through second quadrant of the driver’s glass.

I was able to straighten my legs without spoiling the opposite seat, my toes touching the bump of the wheel cover and I feel comfortable in the back seat. From the back seat I notice every passenger who comes in and create a story for them. I miss this period of contemplation and staring at strangers.

A beautiful girl walks in, black hair, neatly done, a folder under her arm and like always earphones on and a mobile in her hand. She looks at me, I don’t smile and she doesn’t smile either. I wonder if I would change that some day. She take her seat by the window on the other side

I stare at her for a while, she puts back a curl over her ear, swipes the screen up and down. I like the back seat, you can check everyone out and they won’t know. I trust them for not turning back, and they keep my trust.

Within seconds her beauty ceases to amaze me and I am bored already, and there aren’t many interesting passengers.

After a couple of stops, an old man enters, silver white hair but that’s not what caught my attention — it was those enormous blue headphones over his head like a teenager. I smiled big time and wondered how wrong I was in assuming that this was a trait of only our generation…

The bus goes slow, stopping at each stop and the passiveness of the bus journey makes me miss my bike more.

My hands shiver when I touch the metal rod and unlock my bike in 1 degree centigrade. The cold air freezes my nose — the only portion of skin uncovered by my balaclava — and the rain drops blur my glasses.

Soon the rain drops transform into hailstones and I see them bounce on the rough road before disappearing. I wish I get to witness the moment when hailstones turns into snow…

I hardly have to stop, and when I do, I enjoy the smoke coming out as I take a long breath…

No waiting. No stops. When traffic jams, I hop on the footpath. But these are not good enough reasons.

It’s not comfortable, my parents say, they don’t like it…they like the bus more…the cozy heated back seat and they are happy to see the winter’s arrival, for their son would go on bus from now

It’s difficult to show them how much I love being out there…

Through the cold damp winter, through the never ending rains and the lucky summer sunshines — I love them all and any day on the bike is better than the back seat.

Being in the backseat feels like betraying the natural beauty life has to offer.

It’s hard on the cold days, on the wet days, but once you start accepting instead of cursing; embracing the road, living the active life, regardless of the weather, then it becomes easy, and doesn’t feel like the trouble which it looks like from the outside…because from the inside you always crave for a challenge

I know I know, these are all metaphors for life…but what else can one think about from the backseat



Saheb Motiani
Life goes on

A writer in progress | A programmer for a living | And an amateur poker player