Tag Archives: BMTC

Literal and Musical

Literal and Musical

I don’t believe in the Monday morning blues, but BMTC buses don’t give me a chance to have faith in their timings. All the buses of the same route go one after another and none will be found for a long time. This foolhardy public transportation disrupts the schedule of people like me who have to get into another bus later to complete the one side commute. This happens especially on Monday mornings. This is irksome. Due to this, I miss the other bus I have to board at another point. Today morning, I managed to get the first bus on-time and even a seat in the second bus. As soon as sat, I voluntarily showed my bus-pass to the BMTC conductor so that he doesn’t pester me later, plugged in my earphones, started the playlist and opened the book I have been reading. It is 1984 by George Orwell.

O’Brien had turned himself a little in his chair so that he was facing Winston. He almost ignored Julia, seeming to take it for granted that Winston could speak for her. For a moment the lids flitted down over his eyes. He began asking his questions in a low, expressionless voice, as though this were a routine, a sort of catechism, most of whose answers were known to him already.
“You are prepared to give your lives?”
“Yes.”
“You are prepared to commit murder?”
“Yes.”
“To commit acts of sabotage which may cause the death of hundreds of innocent people?”
“Yes.”
“To betray your country to foreign powers?”
“Yes.”
“You are prepared to cheat, to forge, to blackmail, to corrupt the minds of children, to distribute habit-forming drugs, to encourage prostitution, to disseminate venereal diseases – to do anything which is likely to cause demoralisation and weaken the power of the Party?”
“Yes.”
“If, for example, it would somehow serve our interests to throw sulphuric acid in a child’s face – are you prepared to do that?”
“Yes.”
You are prepared to lose your identity and live out the rest of your lives as a waiter or a dock worker?”
“Yes.”
‘You are prepared to commit suicide, if and when we order you to do so?”
“Yes.”
“You are prepared, the two of you, to separate and never see one another again?”
“No!” broke in Julia.
It appeared to Winston that a long time passed before he answered. For a moment he seemed even to have been deprived of the power of speech. His tongue worked soundlessly, forming the opening syllables first of one word, then of the other, over and over again. Until he had said it, he did not know which word he was going to say. “No,” he said finally.

If you have read 1984 by George Orwell, have the least amount of imagination required while reading a book, have ever been in love or just have enough capability to empathise, then you will get the emotions in the excerpt given above. Just as Winston too said no, my music player churned out Down by Jason Walker. Music and words, whether in the form of lyrics or narration, make a good combination. This song doesn’t suit the situation, but it felt just right for them. I imagined Winston and Julia sing the song to each other completely ignorant of O’Brien’s presence in the same room. Though they are not of this era, they sang like they could relate to it. But thankfully they didn’t run around the trees or dance hand in hand. I was in a trance with the coincidence of the scene in the book and song on my playlist. The bus stopped. Winston flung the table at which they were sitting. Julia was in his arms the next moment. I don’t know what happens next as I am still reading 1984. Bookmark placed between the pages, I got down from the bus. The song ended. I have absolutely no idea why O’Brien sat through the show in my imagination.