Friday, August 1, 2008

Travelling by bus

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.

9 comments:

Praveen G K said...

Yup very much true!!! We still laugh at ourselves when we think about the way we went about trying to get a foothold in the elusive morning bus to go to college :-) I hope you are having a good time at the new place :-)

Ashwin said...

Yeah.. Bus was fun. And although it feels scary now and I'd never again attempt it, footboard too was fun :)

kallu said...

Beautifully put Lakshmi and very honest too. Bus travel is not that charming that you choose to do it . But congenial company or an interesting incident can make up.
And the rare day, when its reasonably empty and you can go bowling along with the wind in your face, then there is nothing like it.

Abraham Menacherry said...

I was really interested by your blog at http://lakshmibharadwaj.blogspot.com/2007/09/why-do-teenagers-blog.html

I loved my teenage days. It is like you have a 'spark'. Those are the days when you still question rules and traditions of society. My theory goes that after about 5-6 years of questioning and rebelling, when you finally lose to society, you end up being 'mature'....:D. People who don’t lose this battle retain their spark. But for most, it is a downward spiral from then on... you put up with all the trash with the 'society works like this' attitude...:(

Yes, teenagers should write... it would remind them how hot-brand they were in their former days and one fine day, maybe when the spark is going to die out, they can read it and be rejuvenated!

Abraham Menacherry said...

I was really interested by your blog at http://lakshmibharadwaj.blogspot.com/2007/09/why-do-teenagers-blog.html

I loved my teenage days. It is like you have a 'spark'. Those are the days when you still question rules and traditions of society. My theory goes that after about 5-6 years of questioning and rebelling, when you finally lose to society, you end up being 'mature'....:D. People who don’t lose this battle retain their spark. But for most, it is a downward spiral from then on... you put up with all the trash with the 'society works like this' attitude...:(

Yes, teenagers should write... it would remind them how hot-brand they were in their former days and one fine day, maybe when the spark is going to die out, they can read it and be rejuvenated!

Abraham Menacherry said...

There is so much fun in togetherness... even things so small as a bus ride!

Good post!

Kadalabal said...

traveling by bus is really gives you various experiences all types of people and you see a mini world with different characters someone who always wants to hang on foot board even when bus is not full and seats are available. others who wants to push people and get in some one who wants to touch your purse and try to pick it if you are lucky u get the sense if not u loose. others who want to drag you to talk someone who does not bother to get up from ladies seat and seat for handicapped or anything. now a days you see youngsters who hang ear phones and just forget world, who do sms so fast on a running bus, who talk on mobile forgetiing you are in a crowd, and ofcourse meeting someone whom u have not met for years is a great experience. you must feel it and enjoy. those who does not absoultely travel by public transport will miss a lot of thigs in life
good memories back lakshmi

Deepti said...

hey lakshmi,
why have u too not started blogging regularly?
weel, take my advice, blog regularly,or else, u too will become like me~!!!!
any ways, wht u have written is awsome and true.....liked it very much!
love,
deeps

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Mr.Praveen: Thanks for your comment. Yup, i'm havin a good time at my new place, finally.
Mr. Ashwin: Yes, sir, it looks like it was great fun, wasen't it? I never tried it myself, though.;-0
Kallu: Thank you for your comment.
Mr. Abraham: Really, yours is a very interesting though. Very well put...and i agree with you. i wish all teenagers would write.
Kadalabal: Thank you for your comment, Mr. Pranesh. yes, we encounter different types of poeple on a bus.
Deeps: Thanx gal...really, i should blog more frequenlty, should i not? Oh come on, your blog is not bad at all!! We could work together to make it more popular. Cheers gal. wear ur smile tight!