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!!
No matter how unexcited I be
and the age keeps pestering me,
Someone said a Happy Birthday in advance
And my smile was back with a dance 💃🏻
My Birthday is my most favourite day of the year; of the month and even of the week. Birthday is a birthday.
I feel less excited than I used to be as a kid. (Mind it, a single Birthday still is more exciting for me than probably someone's entire life incidents may be).
I start waiting for it in phases and I have my different set of countdowns for it:
As soon as the year starts.
27th June tells me it's just a month.
I love July and as it starts.
10th July is my sister's birthday and I just have to wait for another 17 days.
20th July and its seven days and those seven days are my happiest days of the year.
I cannot be calm, literally and figuratively and any adjective may be happily added to it- excitedly 😝
Ohh, how I wait for this day!!
As a kid, I would save my dress for Birthday. Even if it was a dress I got for Diwali. I had to wear a new one on my Birthday. It was never really a party but I loved distributing toffees, candies when in school- wearing the colourful clothes (which were mostly white- white being my favourite colour). And most of all, I've always loved the attention the Birthdays bring with them. I loved all of it.
I had a few rituals for the Birthdays (some remain, some just made peace with time- I had to grow up):
Visiting the temple (its on)
Toffees and chocolates for everyone (replaced by sweets)
Cake cutting (its on)
Calls and messages (they're on and I reply as enthusiastically as it's a kid enjoying them)
Oh, new clothes and dresses (so much more now)
Evening Puja (its on)
Counting of Birthday wishes (I understand they mean much more than the count now) (grew up 😂) – I count my blessings now
I love monsoons and rains and July.
Even when Birthday now means a number which tells me I'm getting old. It bothers me quite a bit only till someone tells me- Happy Birthday in Advance. The happiness of the Birthday is much more than the gloominess of the number which counts my age. There could never be anything which makes me feel like a kid as much as my Birthday.
More on this during the day. Much love for everyone reading through!!
To all the kids I have, I’ve seen and I see in my life- Kaavish, Irya, Avika, Tavish, Tavisha, Tavisha, Anav, Seerat, Veeransh, Lakshit, Osheen, Chakshu, Bhavya. Your innocence inspired me to put it to words. And to the kid that my family raised up with oodles of love- me.
हाय बचपन, प्यारा बचपन
बेरंग बचपन, और कभी रंगीन सा
ज़्यादातर मीठा, और कभी नमकीन सा
कभी भुआ की ऊँची एड़ी के सैंडल चढ़ाता हुआ
और कभी प्लास्टिक की गुड़िया को बाल्टी में डुबाता हुआ
आम को सफ़ेद फ्रॉक को खिलाता हुआ
कभी अपने खिलौनों को टम्बलर से पानी पिलाता हुआ
दादी की गोद में छिप जाता है कभी
सो जाये सब तो खिलखिला जाता है तभी
तिपहिया साइकिल पर पाँव लगाते हुए चलता है ज़मीं पर
मिट्टी में घूमते हुए उँगलियों के फूटते किनारों की नमीं पर
दौड़ते हुए गिर जाता है और रोने लगता है
रोते रोते कभी थक कर सोने लगता है
कभी माँ को पुकारता है, कभी चुप चाप ताकता है
पास में कोई आये तो आँखों के कोनों से झांकता है
कभी तुतलाता है, कभी मन को मचलाता है
कभी आँखों में आँसू भर कर माँ को बुलाता है
दादा के काँधे पर सो जाता है अक्सर ये
चुन्नी की साड़ी बाँध कर खिलखिलाता है ये
घर की हर थाली में खाना खाता हुआ
गली में हर आने जाने वाले को पुकारता हुआ
कभी चाची के बाल खींचता है और कभी सजाता है
कभी ईंटों के घर में गुड्डे गुड्डियों को कागज़ के कपडे पहनाता है
अँधेरे में मोमबत्ती जला के कहानियां बनाता हुआ
रो रो के घर को सर पे उठाता हुआ
कभी चुप हो जाए तो सन्नाटा लगता है
इसका हर एक हसीं का पल खुशियों का फव्वारा लगता है
चाचा का है लाडला और नानी की आँखों का तारा
इसकी नटखट बातों में ही है ख़ुशी का दारोमदार सारा
आ तुझे लगा लूँ गले से और बिठा लूँ अपने पास
दौड़ते दौड़ते थक जाता हूँ मिलाते हुए तुझसे अपनी सांस
खुशनुमा भीनी खुशबू और भोलापन तेरा
नन्हे नन्हे पाँव तेरे और अजब सा अहसास तेरा
तुझे छु लूँ, पकड़ लूँ, भींच लूँ अपनी बाहों में
थक सा गया हूँ, ले चल मुझे फिर से उसी मासूमियत की पनाहों में