I took a bus ride almost 3 years later and it brought back a lot of memories. I have been a sucker for public transport to travel within the city and would find any way possible to travel in one over a cab or auto. Next on my favourite travel mode is an auto and then the Bengaluru Metro.
Back in my school days, none of the bus routes were in way that I could reach home sooner than walking back home, so I used to take the walk to school or on those tired days, took an auto. It was about 4 kilometres one way and if I took the bus, it took nothing less than an hour + 10 mins of walk home from bus stand. Taking a bus was never an option back then. When I started 11th grade, that is when I started taking bus to college everyday and my love for it grew stronger and stronger. The joy of getting your pass application sealed by the college administrator and carrying the pass around as though it was my badge of pride was all a part of the entire package. Though it was a 5 minute ride in the bus, it meant the world to me. My joy grew the strongest when I joined Christ University and had to take a bus for approximately 10 kilometres one way everyday. To add on, I had the best of my friend take it with me everyday.
Depending on the pocket money left, we would ration out for the next few days so that we could take an AC bus that costed 3 times the normal ticket.
Traveling in bus, I have picked up on many life lessons.
There have been a few number of times that I had forgotten to take the change from the conductor before getting down in my stop and have regretted it for the rest of the day and sometimes the week too. These episodes have taught me to be more mindful while traveling and otherwise too.
I have learnt to stand up against wrong because of the bus rides. There were a few incidents that I have witnessed of molestation and I have raised my voice far and high when the victim was too ashamed to do so. My friends and I have made the entire bus stand still till the police came to pick the person up.
Meeting variety of people coming from variety of backgrounds with each going to their own destinations, made me realise how beautiful and diverse this world is. Being able to help get down at the right stop to help them converse with the conductor right, from paying for someone because they dont have the right amount to taking the same favour from someone else because I had forgotten my pass at home, I have been able to do my bit!
From footboarding to being the only one in the entire bus, from sweating in the crowded bus on a sunny day to getting into the bus dripping wet on a rainy day, from calculating the right amount of time the bus needed to reach to trying to take the same bus everyday so that we ain’t late, from reaching college early on some days to running to the gate before it gets shut on the days traffic was bad, I would say none of the rides or days have ever been the same.
Trying to get the window seat in all my rides to giving away my seat to someone older, from asking someone to hold on to my heavy bag to holding a kid or two for the ride, I have made a few temporary friends on these rides.
The bus rides continues when I took up my MSc too. Though the fastest mode transport for me to reach my college was the metro, I would still find ways and days to take the bus because that 22 kilometres ride would bring in such peace to my life.
The saga continues even when I joined internships and work. Some places had the company sponsored bus and I enjoyed travelling in them too.
And then, 1 day COVID happened and that was the last I ever took a bus. It is such a small thing but till I took the bus recently, I didn’t even realise that I missed taking the bus.
Would love to hear from you on any of the following:
- All the fun/interesting stories that you have experience on bus/public transport
- If there is something that you didn’t even know you missed until you did it again recently after a very long time
- Small joys of your everyday life that went away post COVID