One fine day in 2004, I made a choice- infact I fought with the family and declared that I will travel by bus. With the school and coaching in Jalandhar, I would travel 25 kms from kapurthala by car. And it felt awkward, really awkward. I was 15 then and car seemed to be binding me. And borrowing this from what Zaakir says, freedom (Badal) important hai. It continued with 2 years of school and then 4 years of grads college where the journey lasted 9 hours at a stretch by bus and further, beyond my own state. This journey gave me perspectives, I met people- wonderful ones as well as creepy stalkers, helpful ones and touchy feely maniacs. I owe a part of me being bold to these bus journeys. It contributed to make me who I am today. The fresh breeze and sweaty smells, the rainy days and burning sun, the wet seats and shattered window panes. It was only these journeys/ travel times that I learnt:
- You can be philosophical and easily, feel high on the roads 😇
- Personal space is important 🚀
- You can hit people if they touch you inappropriately. You can also abuse them. 😈
- The bus drivers and conductors are sweetest people (it was just once/ twice or maybe thrice out of 1000+ journeys they dropped at a totally unknown stop at 5:45 in the morning & late in the night in Chennai )👻
- You can learn to write even when the vehicle is moving and so can You read 📚
- Punjabi songs/ bhojpuri songs/ Tamil songs/ Hindi songs and all the songs that You can ever remember 🎶
- You can also travel to Guna (near Gwalior) from Shimla by a bus and so can you travel to chennai from Tirupati and so is Bangalore to mumbai possible. Mumbai- Shirdi is a common journey though. 🙈
- That I can travel for an hour standing in the bus and so can I, hang almost outside the door (your grip cannot be weak in this case) 🤺
- Bonnet is precious for the driver, but if you’re nice, he’ll make space for you, put a cloth on it and let you sit there.
- The best seat in the bus is seat no. 1,2,3💺
- Seat no. 1 is conductor seat but you have to be nice to the driver and conductor to get that seat
- You can pass a smile to your fellow passengers and the driver/ conductor and this isn’t hazardous for your health 😊
- And, you can fall off inside the bus and right outside the bus- on your face 😭
- Tips on how to get on or get off a moving bus (not recommended)
- You can also propose your love on a long journey because they are a captive traveller now 😜
- Buses are the lifeline when it comes to travelling within the state or even inter-state 🚌
- And despite all this, you’ll get to over-hear some of the funniest conversations during your journey 🤣
- I was always in awe of these conductors and wondered about their level of motivation for the job ✋🏻💁🏻♂️
- The best quotes and wishes you could find on your journey
- Jee aayan nu means welcome😍
Cheers to all these journeys!! Cheers to Pepsu and Punjab Roadways!! Cheers to what they made me!! And to innumerable journeys I took!!
Krit and Ananya never thought how life would span out to be!! But that’s life- unpredictable, yet happening right in front of our lives.
Krit and Ananya were inseparable. Despite growing up in different households, they never really missed each other. All they had to do was to put their head out of the balcony, and there was their partner in crime. Not just their houses shared the wall, they shared their lives both literally and figuratively. Their teachers called them out as Krit-Ananya, their friends had to search for either one and even their college bus had to wait for just one of the two. The “jodi-daar” would automatically be tagging along. Ananya was good at Mathematics, Krit would be helping with science; Ananya would teach him tenses and vocabulary: Krit would figure out the acronyms for History chapters. Theirs was a friendship that nobody had ever witnessed.
Ananya’s mom, Sarika didn’t really appreciate this togetherness. May be it was her gut feeling or her concern for her young daughter that made her do so. Time and again, she would ask Ananya to develop a hobby or anything that was not a part of Krit-Ananya saga. She had enrolled Ananya in a painting class, during her 5th standard. When Ananya would hold the brush, she could make the canvas talk. Krit hated the sight of canvas and the colors and messed-up rooms. The only reason Ananya hated painting was because she couldn’t be with Krit while painting. And thus, Ananya’s interest was limited to completing drawing and SUPW files for both Krit-Ananya.
College wasn’t meant to last forever: and it ended one day. Krit had already decided to go for a training to Mumbai and Ananya’s parents decided that she would train under a friend of Ananya’s dad. Their training woukd start on 1st of August and go on for 5 months. The mere thought of seeing Krit next year was traumatic for Ananya. She had no clue how to live without Krit for a single day and there he was, leaving for 1-5-3 days. She added the days, subtracted, made imaginary calculations so that she could linger on some hope of meeting him sooner. It was 27th of July that Krit left for Mumbai with teary-eyed Ananya catching attention of almost everyone present at the railway station. She wailed, gasped for breath, cried, almost howled while hugging him. Krit had put up a brave face all this while. It was only when the train moved that he jumped up on his bogie and started crying himself. The mere thought of not having this silly stupid girl by his side, pinched him right across his heart. He felt alone: in the middle of some 6-7 people sitting in the compartment- he felt lost. His comfort arm was gaping at the moving train standing at that platform.
Once in Mumbai, Krit got busy commuting and learning and arranging for his basic necessities. The frequency of Facetime and Skype calls covered up for the 1500 kms of the distance and both of them waited for 1st of January. Krit would be busy during the day and Ananya indulged in painting a card for every day that Krit wasn’t around. She would make a story around the days happenings with both of their caricatures. Stories of their fights, stories of their collective struggle of being without each other, stories of longing for each other. She couldn’t contain her excitement of showing it all to Krit. For it was about them. About being with each other while being without each other.
And with great difficulty passed these 153 days. Krit boarded the train after ensuring he packed all the gifts he bought for each day that he stayed away from Ananya. In the meanwhile, Ananya had made a book out of those cards. As the train was approaching the platform, their heartbeats paced and ran ahead of the big Ben hanging on the platform. Krit jumped out of the moving train only to run faster and not waste even a single second, being away from her. Ananya couldn’t contain herself and hugged him tight- to never let him go. While Krit wanted to be free of all thoughts when he was with his silly girl, she discovered a way to be with his memories even when he wasn’t around.
Love was found- when friendship had gone away on a holiday.
Check out this story on Sweek!! https://web.sweek.com/#/story/Bm8CBwkDCwMAAQEKbAEB