One of the fondest memories of my school days is that of the bus journey back and forth between my home and my school. My school was located a good 10 km away from my house which made sure that I and my fellow building buddies spent at least an hour in the 52 seat single decker bus. Our number far exceeded the capacity. So sometimes, I had to squeeze myself with four others on a 2 seater or stand all the way like a statue. But mostly, I would manage to get a window seat and my day would be set. Summer, monsoon or winter – the window shield of my seat would always be open. Soaking in warm sun rays during spring days, the rushing cool breeze splashing across my face just after a heavy rainfall, the scenic transition of a early dark morning to a bright sunrise during winter – the ride was no less than a magical sojourn.
The view out of a bus window is like a real life movie where the viewer himself is moving continuously like a movie tape. When the bus passes through a busy market place, it reduces its speed to that of a pedestrian. This gives one ample time to take in whatever goes around the place. Haggling vendors, school going kids, breathless housewives, ruthless auto rickshaw drivers – you can see them all and yet they are oblivious to your presence. Those trying to cross the road spot the huge vehicle from a distance, stop and wait for it to pass, without getting impatient at the least because they know that the bus will eventually move ahead and the road will be clear again. Life is like a continuous walk where problems are like buses. Some are big in size while others are miniature and manageable. One needs to have patience and faith to let these buses pass by and get back to the normal routine.
My frantic yearning for bus tours was restored again by the Institute bus services. Who would want to go out of campus when you can ride around the beautiful campus as much as you want, right from 6 in the morning to 10 in the night! The route is hardly 5 km, I agree, but it still manages to evoke the same emotions and makes me nostalgic about the bygone days of teenage and school. Recently, the Saarang 2012 team organised a flash mob at Ampa SkyWalk mall. Being a dance enthusiast, there was no way I could miss such an opportunity. Our institute provided bus transport. The forward journey was a mixed experience. It was raining quite heavily, a super cool refreshing breeze swept across the city and a open window resulted in me getting half drenched! But that was of least concern. Because of water clogging at various areas in Chennai and heavy traffic at peak hour, the ride took more than triple the time it usually takes. For the first time in my life, I was glad that the bus drive had ended. The return journey was even more eventful. By the time, my friend Chitra and I returned from the mall and boarded the bus, it was already full but we were too tired to stand. We sat on the gear box, located right beside the driver’s seat. This meant that I was nowhere near a window so I looked out of the front pane as the bus started moving. The smooth concrete road looked like a clear cut contour and the bus glided effortlessly through the traffic. Some students standing in the passageway started humming some random songs and we also joined. Soon the whole bus was blaring with songs of every possible language and I came back with some wonderful memories.
Well that’s all for now. I have got to catch a bus!