Be it the BEST, NMMT, TMT or our very own ST, no matter the transport unit, it’s an adventure when you decide to travel in them and also when you finally do travel in them. First, you try to find where’s the bus stop(especially when it’s your first time), then which bus stop the said bus will halt at(dilemma of having more than one bus stops in one place at a fair distance away from each other), then which bus will go to your destination and so on. But, despite all these, there’s always this one doubt in all of our minds – will the bus come or is there a bus available for going to my destination?
And, being an ardent traveler of one of the aforementioned transport units, my friends and I have had several adventures while riding the buses. However, our doubts go beyond the availability of the bus. Like what? Well, let me take you on several adventures.
Being a student of X University, which has been newly inaugurated, in the middle of a residential society, which is also fairly new, I and my friends went through a lot of trouble to travel to college from the M Railway Station, especially when it came to public transport buses. Our college is in the interiors of A City wherein there’s a lack of bus services. There were only two buses that go to and from the college to the Station. One bus drops us of adjacent to the station – No.90 and another about fifteen-minutes-walking-distance away from the Station – No.91.
Other than the frequency of No.90 bus, we had no issues with this Bus. But, that was till that fated day. That day everything changed. We realized anything can happen even after the bus arrives. So, let me give you an insight into the fated day.
It was a very fine day, except the heat and the humidity. We had no issues reaching the college on that day. We enjoyed our day, had fun with our friends, completely oblivious about the suffering we were about to go through. It all started when we had to go home.
After the college was let out, we walked for about ten minutes to reach the bus stop of No.90 bus. Once there, we waited, waited and waited for almost half hour for the bus. And, finally, behold, the No.90 bus (happy dance in our minds). We climbed into the bus and were on our merry way to the Station. Halfway through the journey filled with pollution, traffic and blockades, the journey turned out to be not so merry.
After a while we stopped at a red signal in the middle of a busy, congested road. Since, the signal was for a pretty long time, the driver of the bus shut down the engine of the bus and we waited for the signal to turn green. Just as the signal was about to turn green, the driver, who was relaxed in his seat, straightened up, bent down a bit, and turned the key to start the bus. Then………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Yes, that’s the sound of the bus not starting. It was the worst nightmare for all the passengers travelling in a bus which is not so frequent or never arrives. We were all subject to that sound for fifteen to twenty minutes, with our bodies jerking back and forth as if doing a break dance because of the vibrations caused from trying to start the bus. We were all silently cheering for the bus to start up.
Giving up in the end, the passengers started getting off the bus. We waited for another bus on the sideways of the busy, jammed up road. And, unfortunately for us, there was no vacant rickshaw also available.
We waited for almost another 30 minutes for another bus. But, it’s just our bad luck that today there was not even one vacant rickshaw or another bus going to the Station, and that also on such a busy, main route.
Looking towards the direction from where the vehicles were coming in, we saw it, a glint of red. And when you are standing in the middle of the road, desperate for a bus, you just tend to be delusion thinking all big vehicles with red colour to be a bus.
After almost five times of getting the illusions of the red glint being a bus, it was finally here. A public transport bus. I was on cloud 9. But, reality crashed in soon. The said bus turned out to be not going to the Station, but, was going on a route about twenty minutes walking distance away from the Station. And with no other options left, we all got into the bus. Of course, I was mentally crying in my mind, “WHY? WHY?? WHY??????????”
Once we alighted from the bus, we walked in the heat for twenty minutes to reach the Station. Once the Station was in our view, I literally wanted to run towards it, get down on my knees and just shout, in pure bliss, “YEAH!!!” But, hey, let’s maintain some decency.
Nuh-uh! Don’t go just yet. That was just one part of the adventure. So, let’s continue with the adventure of the other bus – No.91.
Since, the frequency of the No.90 bus is very low, my friend and I always walk fifteen minutes away from the station to catch the No.91 bus from its stop. Because, no matter the season or weather or time, No.91 bus is always available for going to college. But, availability and the bus reaching the destination are altogether different stories.
It was rainy season in India at that time when we are always subject to moderate to heavy rainfall for the four months of the season. As there was no No.90 bus available, my friend and I decided to walk for fifteen minutes to catch the No.91 bus. And thankfully, it was not raining at the time of walking to the No.91 bus’ stop.
As we reached the stop, we saw the No.91 bus waiting for the passengers to get on *cue happy dance in mind*. We got into the bus, bought our ticket and waited for the bus to depart, which took just about five minutes. Once on the road, it started to rain. We don’t hate rain. I mean who can hate rain when you get the scent of Petrichor while travelling in a bus which is hightailing through the rain and wind.
Anyways, back to the bus ride. My friend and I were sitting in our seats in the bus. Just as the rain started, I felt my hand getting wet. I looked down at my arm and there it was – the drops of water falling on my arm. Funny thing, it was inside the bus with a proper roof and not a roofless bus. We realized that rain water was leaking drop by drop inside the bus. I leaned a bit away from where the drops were falling, without getting out of my seat and still it kept falling on my arm and the force of the drop splashed remnants of the water on my friend also. Of course, she didn’t bear that much brunt of the drops as much as I did. By the time we reached halfway on our route, my arm had already had its second bath of the day.
Not able to bear it any longer and not being able to eat my breakfast, peacefully, without having to worry about the water drops, my friend came up with a brilliant solution.
Kids, what do we use to protect ourselves from the rain? That’s right, an umbrella. And that’s what we used. My friend and I opened her umbrella inside the bus and sat peacefully throughout the journey, without being able to contain our laughs at our embarrassment, completely not caring about the water drops and the weird stares of other passengers. And my hand didn’t have to go through another bath time. Luckily, the bus didn’t shut down in the middle of the road.
Yay! Win-win for all – we were safe from getting wet any further and we were a source of entertainment for the other passengers.
My friend’s mom was right, “Do whatever embarrassing thing you want to do to save yourself from trouble because it’s not like you are going to meet the bystanders again.”
Many people might be thinking that why didn’t we get out of the seat and try to find another seat? Well, the answer is simple – one, there was no other vacant seat available and two, because the road of the No.91 bus route is very bumpy. It’s so bumpy that your conversations will be accompanied by bounces throughout the journey. Like, “Hey, how *bounce* are you? What have *bounce* been *bounce* doing during the *bounce* vacations *bounce*?” That’s how your conversation will go on.
What? It’s not over yet. We have one more adventure to go on. So, let’s go for another ride in No.91 bus, which was not so much of a ride.
As usual due to the unavailability of No.90 bus, we went to the No.91 bus’ stop. Just like always, the No.91 bus was there waiting for the passengers to get on, minus the rain, this time around. My friend and I got into the bus after, of course, a happy dance in my mind. Once in the bus, we bought our tickets from the conductor and I started eating my breakfast. Passengers kept getting on one by one and bought their tickets. But, for some reason on that day the bus didn’t leave in five minutes as it usually does and my friend and I didn’t give it much heed as we weren’t really in a hurry to reach college. We waited for almost twenty minutes and by the time I had finished my breakfast, the Conductor came into the bus and gave us the horrible, heart-wrenching, gut-smashing news. It was such a dreadful news that I almost cried and came close to smashing the bus driver’s and the conductor’s heads against the bus (just kidding, or maybe not :P).
The Conductor announced,
“ Khali uttraa! Tyre puncture zaali aahe!”(Get down, everyone! We have a flat tyre)
*Mental crying and abusing the transport unit in mind*Can’t do so in public. Let’s maintain some decency.
Funny thing in all this is that we had already bought the ticket and had to sit painstakingly for twenty minutes in the bus only realize later that we won’t get the worth for our ticket.(A/N: At least I got to finish my breakfast in peace :P)
Ah! Somehow we reached college on that day because of the auto rickshaws. Thank god for that!
So, for today, the adventure ends here. Of course, because of certain efforts our adventures have improvised from the aforementioned adventures. I will continue with the #BusDiaries V.2.0. in my next blog. Till, then, bye-bye, tata, and enjoy the ride.
I have had many other adventures with public transport services, but these are some of the adventures which will be etched in my and my friends’ memories.
P.S.: I have no intention of dissing any of the transport units. It’s just me writing about my adventures. And the bus numbers used in this post are just random numbers. They are not the bus numbers of the buses in which my friend and I travel. Hope you enjoyed the rides. If any of you have stories to share like this, please do send.
– Miss Fujoshi