travelling by public transport is much more interesting than the office bus. somehow people in the office bus inevitably end up sleeping. also, Mumbai AC buses have weird seating with plenty of rear facing seats, so there are always people to look at.
still, most people either stare vacantly or fixatedly at one or a few things, with a passive expression on. they're either blank or hiding behind a mask.
not this one lady though. her big brown eyes were constantly shifting, and she seemed to be actually focusing on her surroundings, even though I couldn't tell what it was all around us that she was constantly focusing on. her eyes would dart around, twitch, stare, follow things around that I couldn't see. there was barely a still moment with them.
but what was more startling were her expressions. she'd be constantly switching between a frown, a scowl, a little twitch of the mouth, a grimace, half a smile, and an expression that could be best described as momentary surprise. i still cannot conceive what would make someone run through the entire gamut of facial expressions in less than a minute, and keep at it for half an hour, while standing in the aisle of a bus.
it was as if she was dreaming with her eyes open.
we finally made eye contact. we stared at each other unflinchingly for a couple of seconds. she, with a scowl, and me, with my poker face. I wanted to show her what I just wrote about her eyes, but she twitched her lips, flicked her hair, and looked away momentarily, only to glance back. I shifted my gaze away.
her eyes no longer dart about. she now stares vacantly out of the bus window.
i guess she's awake again.