He boards the 20:10 every evening that takes him home from his workplace. He was once told by his Pharmacology professor during a lecture on ‘Pharmacokinetics’ in his second year of medical school that, if he ever wanted to make something stick in his life, then he would have to do it consecutively for 21 days, and not a day less. Why she said 21 days and not 20 is something that he wonders whenever he remembers her. He did try to force himself into reading the subject daily back then. But he never could, and so he believed that the whole thing was a sham. He never knew why, but for some reason, he never did like the woman. Whenever his friends would ask him why, he would make reasons saying, that she sounded like a know-it-all or that she reminded him of everything that was wrong with the education system. They were lies that he constructed so that they wouldn’t view him unreasonable or as a petty little person. He never got the hang of routine, why or how people could ever fall into order just like that in a matter of days or weeks. Years later, here he was now, taking a bus without any fuss at all. And close to a month being posted as the medical officer in a remote area, he had made himself familiar with the bus timings and their routes. They weren’t a common sight and if he ever happened to miss the one at 20:10, then he would have to wait till 21:00 for the next.That evening he does miss his usual, and for the first time in a while, he notices that he feels uneasy. He wonders what it is and realizes that he unknowingly has become part of a routine. A routine he never knew existed until then.
Leave work by 20:00.
Reach the bus stop by 20:05.
Board the bus at 20:10.
He counts the number of days in his head and agrees that it has been 25 days since he was posted here.
25 is more than 21.
He doesn’t know what it is that he hates more. The fact that his Pharmacology professor has won this round or the fact that he can’t come to terms with that thought.
His professor was right after all.
‘That smug bitch’, he mutters to himself smiling, as he boards the one at 21:00.