At times, something as commonplace as a bus-stand can provoke you to write something. I passed one while returning home today and it instantly had be reminiscing. This made me think about how my college didn’t even have a bus—stand! It was this very girl, two years ago, who went to college with a wry face, constantly whining that our busses were not on time despising this mode of transport.
The third week of college, I remember having first boarded a bus from the relatively peaceful NR Colony to Gowdanapalya, with my over-protective mom pleading another student to ‘help me out’. It was a new world to me, travelling alone like that. People pushed you, you somehow forced yourself to hang onto a piece of metal, and that’s all the space you got. You could never sit down, because every bus has fat bossy women or wobbly old men. You were still a kid who was squeezed against the window to make place for four people. Oh, I couldn’t stop ranting about it.
And then, it was monsoon season. My college bus-stand is nowhere, so all of us assembled like stranded travelers in front of this filthy bakery by the roadside (which was great for the bakery, I’m sure). The roads weren’t tarred properly, so the sludge of previous rains still lingered, making everything look muddier than ever. We had street dogs too, some which looked seriously rabid….they were always prompt to clean up that piece of cake you might have dropped. And people who barked worse than dogs, campaigning for a new tutorial which had opened up somewhere, promising you instant success in IIT. Beggars dropped by occasionally, adamant not to go away until you handed them money. I boarded the bus cursing my fate that day, but then someone tapped me on the shoulder, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a classmate from school smiling back at me.
As the days progressed, I chanced upon so many things in bus 210 N. I met my old school friends on it, once, even my tution teacher’s mom, and my biology lecturer. (Didn’t know whether to shout ‘goodmorning mam’ or pretend not to know her!). Sometimes, old men who would start rambling about their college days without any provocation, and even my college friends followed me all the way home on the bus, to wave me off. Life on a public bus can throw weird and unpredictable surprises at you. Two years later, I tell a different story. There is nothing quite like a bunch of college students travelling home by bus, gossiping their heads off about the new movie in town, blissfully unaware of where the journey will take them. There was a charm to that which I had forgotten to realize, and when I did, life had already moved on. Memories are strange….they make you enjoy those experiences which you most despised some years ago, and there is a charm to that too, which is quite difficult to explain.