Spending 4 hours every day sitting in a bus can play havoc with your mind. After your initial despair regarding wastage of four precious hours of your life starts to dwindling, you devise multiple strategies to kill time. After all how much can a human possibly whine?

For a lot of people, those multiple strategies end up in a recycle bin and all they could manage is to get a nice sleep while the bus bobbles its way to their house. I usually end up reading and sleeping alternately. Sometimes I also take interest in cars running along with the bus and count the number of traffic rules broken by various vehicles in 5 minutes. I usually stop at 1000 or when I fall asleep with my mouth open, whichever happens first. Witnessing law breaking does get boring after a while. It’s like watching the same porn movie again and again. I also end up observing the people sitting around me in the bus, their necks moving to various positions as they try to push themselves into their wonderland.

So to kill time one fine day, I made a list of sleeping positions I have seen fellow passengers indulge in and a few interpretations based on that.

a)  The Pigeon: This category of bus-sleepers keep moving their heads back and forth at an alarming rate in the YZ plane as shown in the graph below. They look like pigeons walking on a railing. Mashed Musings believe that the people who sleep like this are bad decision makers as they keep moving to and fro and confuse everyone around them.

The Pigeon moves in the YZ plane

b) Shut up and bounce :  Remember those toys filled with air and no matter how much you punched them, they bounced right back? Some people sleep like that in a bus. They will move their head to the right and smash it on the window. The impact will throw their head towards the left and hit your shoulder. This will repeat in rhythmic oscillations. Even if you remove the window and your shoulder, such sleepers have this amazing capability to bounce off air on both sides of their head. Mashed Musings thinks that such people are selfish leaners and would always use another person for their benefit.

Shutup and bounce in the XY plane

c)  Laser dot on a wall : Remember those times when you are watching a movie in a cinema hall and suddenly a laser dot appears from somewhere and carves a devious, random trajectory on the blouse of the actress? Well, some people sleep like that laser dot. Their head wobbles in so many directions that if you steadily look at them, your eyes will hurt. They are like a mad bull poking anything that comes their way. Mashed Musings wonder how people sleep like a God particle ramming the walls of the Hadron collider. Such people are decision-less and spend the maximum amount of time in Big Bazaar.

Laser Dot moves in any direction in the XYZ plane

d) Leaning towers of Pisa : Such travellers lean on either their left or right and peacefully remain there. They might lean on your shoulder or a windowpane depending on your misfortune. The biggest disadvantage of such co-passengers is that if you try to change their leaning preference by poking their head with a finger and shoving it to the other side, they will fall right back to their original position like a detonated building. So, if they have nested on your shoulder, then your shoulder it will be. Mashed Musings thinks that such people have very strong likes and dislikes and are quiet stubborn. And try to keep a tissue between heads and shoulder otherwise you will be drenched in drool in the morning.

e) The Mummies : You are really blessed if you are sleeping next to a mummy in a bus. Mummies sleep like dead bodies and won’t make a sound. They are dream co-passengers and only a few chosen ones encounter them. It is needless to say that Mashed Musings belongs to this category. Such sleepers are highly focussed and most peaceful creatures and do not lean on anyone.

The saintly Mummy

You might be wondering why there is no category for the Snoring Devils. That is because snoring can be combined with any of the categories mentioned above (except for the Mummies). It is a nightmarish combination, the deadliest one being a ‘Snoring Leaning Tower of Pisa’. And imagine a ‘Snoring laser dot on a wall’. That would be like a short-circuited Darth Vader. Very unpleasant.

So, which category do you belong to? Now don’t be shy. Out with it.

About the Author:

Amit Sharma is the Author of fiction novel False Ceilings published by Lifi Publications in January 2016. Amit always keeps a book and a portable reading light in his bag (much to the amusement of his fellow travellers). His other hobbies include watching world cinema, travelling, staring at hills, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging, making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her unnecessary and prolonged shopping. He is currently working on his Second novel which is a thriller.


  1. Found in Folsom November 20, 2012 at 11:08 pm - Reply

    Am I the first again? Yayy..Amit, your post is all we have today morning. I had carpet cleaning in my house and me & my son are confined to the sofa. I keep laughing and this fellows grabs my iPad and wants to see what I am laughing at…hehe…ahh…so you are the best type of sleeper in the bus..how partial? 😉 you should ask my co-passengers what kind I am? Or else how would I know? Snoring leaning tower of Pisa….how do u come up with such names?…lol

    • Amit November 21, 2012 at 8:40 am - Reply

      Yes, I am a mummified sleeper. I do not disturb anyone at all. 🙂
      But you must be knowing how you sleep. What kind of looks do you get from your fellow passengers when you wake up? 🙂

      • Latha November 21, 2012 at 9:36 am

        Hmmm….honestly I haven’t ever observed what looks my fellow passengers give me 😛 For I just get down and walk away. Wait…my head goes front and back. I try to sleep still, but after a while it falls down. you decide what it is 🙂

      • Amit November 21, 2012 at 10:04 am

        Back and forth? That is a Pigeon. 🙂 It is ok. At least you do not fall on other people.

  2. My Era November 21, 2012 at 12:06 am - Reply

    Well I am a leaning tower of Pisa with strong liking for the window pane, You will never ever spot me sleeping with my head of my co-passenger’s shoulder for I think it is the most uncomfortable position to sleep in.
    Superb classification with diagrammatic explanations 😀
    4 hours of daily bus travel must be very hectic to go with a full day at work 🙁

    • Amit November 21, 2012 at 8:42 am - Reply

      Liking the window pane is cool. I have tried that and I find that very uncomfortable on Delhi’s roads as my head keeps banging on the window. 🙂
      Yes, 4 hours is bad. I have been trying to get out of the situation from the last one year. I might get a partial relief soon.

  3. theconjecturegirl November 21, 2012 at 12:32 am - Reply

    You missed me! Asymptotic towards the X-axis. Fold legs away from co-passenger, put backpack on lap (or extend tray on flights), fold over and sleep – till the wretched pain-in-the-neck-alarm wakes me up.

    Why doesn’t anyone sleep like I do, eh? I feel so left alone! x-(

    • Indian Homemaker November 21, 2012 at 4:15 am - Reply

      LOL yeah, I think I sleep like that too, if at all. My mind seems to generally feel that I need to stay awake and keep an eye on everything 🙄 I think those who manage to sleep are the lucky ones, they wake up fresh and rested, and have managed to save the time they would have spent sleeping at home later.

      • Amit November 21, 2012 at 8:45 am

        Then both IHM and you are Leaning towers of Pisa. Its just that the plane of your movement is YZ instead of XY. 🙂
        I too generally cannot sleep in anything moving but sometimes I am so tired that I just drift away.

  4. kayemofnmyk November 21, 2012 at 1:53 am - Reply

    Always sure of a good laugh here. I love those categories too – Drivel, Frustrations, Weird. You’re a bl@@dy genius.

    • Amit November 21, 2012 at 8:45 am - Reply

      Thanks kayemonfnmyk. 🙂 *blushes at being called genius*

  5. R's Mom November 21, 2012 at 8:45 am - Reply

    I am defintely the Mummy category..FOR SURE..adn I can even do that standing in a BEST bus…I must win some kind of a prize isnt it!

    • Amit November 21, 2012 at 8:50 am - Reply

      I remember reading somewhere that horses can sleep while standing up.
      I think you are an X-Man. You have mutated to develop a capability of another species. This is so exciting!

  6. scribblehappy November 21, 2012 at 10:29 am - Reply

    ROFL at the snoring leaning tower of Pisa 😀

    Oh I keep changing my style. There have been trips on which I have slept gracefully like a mummy. Occasionally I have woken up with the uncomfortable realization that I have been nodding like a pigeon. And then there have been those trips when I just couldn’t go to sleep no matter how hard I tried and spent all my time looking enviously at all the pigeons and leaning towers of Pisa around me !!

    • Amit November 21, 2012 at 1:39 pm - Reply

      Thanks scribblehappy. 🙂
      Well, you must not change your style so often. I really do not understand how people do the Pigeon. How could you sleep with your head moving like that?
      I too cannot sleep in a moving vehicle unless I have ben completely tired and sleep deprived.

  7. The Girl Next Door November 21, 2012 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    LOL. Only you could have come up with this post. I can’t say I have ever paid so much attention to my co-passengers’ sleeping patterns in a moving vehicle. 🙂 I mean that as a compliment. Wonderful diagrammatic explanations, too. 🙂

    I can’t really sleep in a moving vehicle, but if I do, it would be leaning on the window pane, away from the shoulder of the co-passenger, unless, of course, the co-passenger happens to be the OH. 😀 That’s how I sleep in flights, if I have to.

    • Amit November 21, 2012 at 1:42 pm - Reply

      Believe me you, if you have to sit in a bus for 4 hours everyday, you will notice a lot many things about your co-passengers. 🙂
      I too cannot sleep in a moving vehicle unless I am bone tired which I usually am.
      Geet too sleeps on my shoulder. She is a leaning tower. 🙂

  8. Ashwathy November 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    My God!! You really have a lot of time on your hands isn’t it?? And that too, not only to think of the various categories but also to visualize them on paper too!! 😛

    Hey, you did not think of the category of the drooling ones… you know, the ones with half (of full) of the their mouths open while sleeping? It’s like they feel asleep while hungry and waiting for food! 😛

    • Amit November 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm - Reply

      Yes, loads of time. 4 hours every day. 🙂
      I have mentioned drooling in the leaning towers category. But, yes I get what you are saying. I was focussing more on the position of the head. 😛

  9. Sapna November 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    ROTFL @ “how people sleep like a God particle ramming the walls of the Hadron collider”.

    I hate sleeping co-passengers and change my place at the first chance. What kind of a sleeper am I? I don’t know. you need to ask my co-passengers. 😉

    • Amit November 21, 2012 at 1:46 pm - Reply

      What? You change your seat? You must help others by giving them your shoulder. 🙂
      And what do you mean that you do not know what kind of a sleeper you are? Where do you usually find your head when you wake up? 🙂

      • Sapna November 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm

        🙂 I usually don’t sleep while traveling. When I do it is coz I am really tired. In which case when I get up I am like “Main kahan hoon?” and haven’t given much thought to how I slept 🙂

  10. seena November 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    Most of the days I enter the bus equipped with a book or Sudoku puzzle. When I don’t have these, the options are –
    when I get a window seat – I sleep and how ? I start off as a slightly leaning ( towards window ) mummy and then my head moves to the window pane, smashes it and bounces back. Then I am awake for about 5 minutes. Then the episode repeats till I get down.
    When I don’t get the window seat/stand in the front part of the bus – observe other passengers and write a novel in my mind using the characters or day dream.
    When I don’t get the window seat/stand towards the back of the bus – stare & scare the psycho leaning on my shoulder or whose hands are controlled by the chowmein he ate, and if staring doesn’t help make a hole in his hands with the safety pin I keep handy for these situations.

    • Amit November 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm - Reply

      So you are a leaning tower when you sit.
      Thankfully I travel by an office bus so there is no way I could stand and travel. I cannot imagine travelling by public transport everyday. It makes me feel like a sheep in a barn. Thank God for small mercies.
      Safety pin, eh? That is very smart. Dip it in Chilli paste and then try. Everyone in the bus will be entertained.

  11. celestialrays November 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    I am a silent sleeper, fully aware of my surroundings. If the person sitting in the window seat wants to go out, I wake up and give them way even before they can ask for it.

    If I get a window seat, I lean on it. Because I wear thick coats here with padded hoods, taking the hood up becomes a pillowed cocoon. 🙂

    Now the confession. AB calls me Ramleela ka Hanuman when I am asleep. Because I am that jumpy. My limbs and fingers move a bit if I am deep asleep. Sometimes they jerk so suddenly that it causes me to wake up. Needless to say I have scared old women sitting next to me with my disco moves. 😛

    • Amit November 21, 2012 at 3:54 pm - Reply

      Haha! The jerking up part was cool. Can be used as a prank as well. 🙂

  12. Jas November 21, 2012 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    Why do you travel 4 damn hours everyday??
    I think window is my best friend if I am traveling alone and if with hubby then Leaning tower 😀 That’s another case that after an alone journey, the head on one side gets dented.

    • Amit November 22, 2012 at 8:43 am - Reply

      I work in Gurgaon and live near Noida. That’s why. 🙁 I ab trying my best to change the situation.
      If I ever lean on the window, my neck hurts like hell after I wake up. I can’t understand how people sleep in that position. 🙂

      • Jas November 22, 2012 at 8:56 am

        Told you the dents in my head are for a reason 😛

  13. umashankar November 21, 2012 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    Guess I’ll have to step out of my skin to present a correct picture! Yet, since you ask, I am the kind of ‘Leaning tower of Pisa’ that crumbles into itself…. Maybe I am a cross between the Tower and the Mummy!

    • Amit November 22, 2012 at 8:43 am - Reply

      I am having a hard time picturing it. 🙂

  14. Maddie November 21, 2012 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    I rarely sleep while travelling and even if I want to sometimes, the Mumbai roads offer least support and comfort. I remember once I had fallen asleep on a train travelling from Churchgate and I had banged my head several times on the window but I was so damn sleepy that I promptly went back to sleep and banged my head again. This happened for more than a couple of times and when I was finally out of my slumber I didn’t feel rested and had a headache from all that banging. I guess am a mix of all those except the tower and mummy. 🙁

    • Amit November 22, 2012 at 8:45 am - Reply

      Thankfully, leaving aside a few rough patches, the roads I travel daily are smooth. That is whay I am able to even read without giving myself a headache.
      How are you by the way? Is the pox gone?

  15. kismitoffeebar November 22, 2012 at 5:52 pm - Reply


    I wonder about this so often too ! I would fall between a mummy and leaning tower. I wouldn’t call a leaning tower because I don’t need a poke 😛 I just sometimes get a dream within a dream that my head is leaning and wake up 😛
    Loved this post and the “plots” hehe!

    I travel for 3 hours as well – that in SIngapore is huge. But ah well!

    • Amit November 23, 2012 at 9:13 am - Reply

      No one need a poke. It is given for free. 😛
      I usually wake up by a blaring horn or a bad road. Otherwise I am so tired that I sleep peacefully.
      And I thought no one in Singapore travels for such a long duration. Big cities! They are all the same.
      Thanks for liking the post. 🙂

  16. Visha November 26, 2012 at 11:45 am - Reply

    No doubt here – I am one of the Mummies. But sadly, the co-passengers are Leanings towers 😆

    • Amit November 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm - Reply

      A Leaning Tower on a Mummy is so irritating! I can sympathise. 🙂

  17. harikrishna25 November 28, 2012 at 6:43 am - Reply

    Mummies… I am one of them.. But those Leaning tower of Pisa…. I had had several experiences… That is most disgusting.. they fall on your shoulder and snore.. Yuck!! Hilarious one 😀 😀

    • Amit November 28, 2012 at 8:58 pm - Reply

      Mummies are rare. So you are in good company, 🙂
      Thanks Harikishna.

  18. metherebel November 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    LOL….I trust only you to come up with a post like this 🙂 I lean my head on the window pane if I am sitting by the window else I belong to the mummies! You travel 4 hours by bus everyday and thought the 2 hours I spend in bus is the longest!

    I am not receiving the notifications of your posts! Wonder why?

    • Amit November 28, 2012 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      So, you are an amalgam of two types. That is rare. 🙂 I would give anything to reduce my time. 🙁
      I re-posted my previous post, so maybe that’s why.

  19. Latha November 29, 2012 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    Oh, Amit!! wanted to tell you something and keep forgetting daily. My son is a big fan of yours now. Everyday he keeps asking me, amma what did Amit post today? He just loved that snoring tower of pisa. Anywhere we go, he wants to tell that joke to every one 🙂 He thinks your are the coolest blogger. Because you write all funny stuff.

    • Amit November 30, 2012 at 9:28 am - Reply

      Hey, say thanks to your son. 🙂 This is so cute. Now I can also tell people that I have a kiddo fan. 🙂

  20. Roshni November 30, 2012 at 11:16 am - Reply

    Well, I hope I’m a mummy…not sure, but I do know that I’m a drooler…unfortunately!! 🙁

    • Amit December 1, 2012 at 9:30 am - Reply

      How can so many people are not sure of how they sleep? 😛 Hmmm…maybe you should record a video and observe. 🙂

  21. Bhavia November 30, 2012 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    LOL!! Once I slept on the shoulders of some stranger and she was kind enough not to wake me up. 😀

    • Amit December 1, 2012 at 9:36 am - Reply

      I am sure you were not drooling. 😛

Leave a Reply