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sPerception and Alienation

The opening poem in Jejuri, The Bus establishes themes of perception and
Language in India
Yours own divided face in a pair of glasses
on an old mans nose
is all the countryside you get to see.
at the end of the bumpy side
with yours own face on either side
when you get off the bus
you dont step inside the old mans head
( Modren Indian Poetry in English, 90).
We are made aware of the imperviousness at the very outset, in this poem
through a
juxtaposition of an old man and the protagonist, who is a fellow traveler in the
journey. Most of the pilgrims choose the bus or train in order to reach the sacred
The traditional form of dandi (walking miles) is completely forgotten. This
modern mans desire for physical comfort and it seems to engender an idle
occupation of
indulgence in minds material superficialities.
The detached pilgrimage prevents the protagonist from absorbing the traditional
and the
religious value of the place, similar to that of the tarpaulin flaps that prevents
him from
seeing the town. The phrases like your own divided face etc. signify a kind of
and terror associated with journey. It may signify the terrorist attacks that occur
sadly in

some Indian situations, for example in Ayodhya, Gujarat, Mumbai and the
churches of
The old man in the poem may be the old, traditional beliefs our country, or this
may be a
reference to Jejuri itself. That is, the protagonist is unable to step inside the old
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------'The Bus' by Arun Kolatkar: Summary and Analysis
'The Bus' by Arun Kolatkar is the opening poem of the thirty-one section of his
collection of poems 'Jejuri.' It describes the bumpy journey from the starting
point to its destination which is the temple of Khandoba. It is a State Transfort
bus the windows of which are screened by the tarpaulin with which the bus has
been covred to keep the possible rainfall , and also to keep off the cold wind
which keeps blowing throughout the journey. It is a night journey which the bus
has undertaken ; and after several hours of the arduous journey the passengers
start waiting eagerly for daybreak.
The bus is full of the pilgrims who are bound for the temple of Khandoba where
they want to offer worship; and the passengers might have included a few
tourists who merely want to satisfy their curiosity about what kind of a temple it
is and in what surroundings the temple stands. One of the passengers sits
opposite an old man wearing glasses; and this passenger , while looking at the
old man, sees his reflection in both the glasses of the spectacles which the old
man is wearing. This passenger can feel the onward movement of the bus. The
old man wears on his forehead a mark indicating his Hindu faith and even the
high caste to which he belongs. Among the passengers is the protagonist or the
persona who speaks in the poem, describing his experiences and his reactions to
what he sees at Jejuri.
In due course, the sun appears on the horizon , and quietly moves upwards in
the sky. The sun's rays, filtering through the gaps in the tarpaulin , fall upon the
old man's glasses. Then a ray of the sun falls upon the bus-driver's night cheek.
The bus seems to have changed its direction. It has been un uncomfortable
journey; but, when the destination is reached , the passengers get down from the
bus which had held them tightly in its grip.
The Bus is a purely descriptive poem which does not give us much of
information about the purpose of the journey, apart from telling us that it is

going to Jejuri and that it is a night journey , with a cold wind blowing all the way.
There are a few humorous touches in this poem as, for instance, the protagonist
finding two reflections of himself in the two glasses of the spectacles which the
old man sitting opposite him is wearing. We also learn that it is a bumpy ride at
the end of which the passengers get off the bus without anybody stepping inside
the old man's head;and this is another touch of humour

The Bus the opening poem establishes the theme of Jejuri. Here the
poet tries to exploit the age old theme of a religious pilgrimage through
Manohar a man with a modern sensibility and scientific naturalist who gives
us a skeptical perception of the whole pilgrimage. The Bus a State Transport Bus
is proceeding to the temple of Khandoba in Jejuri, a small town fifty miles from
Pune. The poet and his companion Makarand, and the bus load of pilgrims start
on their pilgrimage to Jejuri. The windows of the bus are covered with tarpaulin.
They symbolize the mental insulation and narrow-mindness of the pilgrims.
The cold wind which slaps the tarpaulin which in turn nudges the elbow of the
pilgrims is symbolic of the reasons which try to attack the thick tarpaulin like
beliefs of the pilgrims:
A cold wind keeps whipping
and slapping a corner of the tarpaulin
at your elbow.
Manohar, a pilgrim with a modern sensibility, tries to search out for signs of
daybreak in the lights spilled out by the bus. But the sunrays are not allowed
completely hence the receptivity to change is very limited.
You look down the roaring road.
You search for the signs of daybreak in
What little light spills out of the bus.
The head lights of the Bus which again dispel the darkness of a little area are
symbolic of the solace the human mind experience through these religious
rituals. The only sign of daybreak that Manohar sees is the sight of his own
divided face. The conflict is between his own mind which wants to go a
pilgrimage on one hand and his skeptic mind which questions its credibility on
the other. The split image in the old mans spectacles symbolizes this idea. His
pilgrimage to Jejuri has the objective of going beyond the vermillion caste mark.
Then the sun rises, aims and shoots its beams into the bus, touches the diverts
temple, and the direction of the bus changes.
The images of the sun suggest a splitting, a breaking into two. The speakers own
face appears to be on either side of the bus when he gets off.

At the end of the bumpy ride

With your own face on either side
When you get off the bus
The last line of the poem you dont step inside the old mans head makes it
clear that the pilgrims enters Jejuri, with the same urban skeptic mind, without
succeeding in his efforts of getting adjusted to the religious temperament of
the common people, Indians. This poem establishes the theme of perception
and alienation.