The roadways in Punjab and beyond

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 πŸ˜‡
  • Personal space is important πŸš€
  • 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 )πŸ‘»
  • You can learn to write even when the vehicle is moving and so can You read πŸ“š
  • 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. πŸ™ˆ
  • 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. 1,2,3πŸ’Ί
  • 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 βœ‹πŸ»πŸ’πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ
  • 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!!

A.

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Are you ready to die?

Do you know life’s going to end one day, all of a sudden, by itself, without any warning? It won’t knock on the door or peep through window. No doorbells, no calls (whether crank or drunk). No arguments, no love-making, no briefs and no underwear (bad joke).

When I hear such cases, I get a  feeling that they should at least have a clue that the end is approaching. And then I imagine if I get to know one morning that I’m going to die in less than a minute, am I going to have any regrets about it? Honestly, no. 

I read a beautiful statement the other day which I would want to share. Pardon me for plagiarism but I don’t know the source of this statement and it’s slightly changed too. “They say when you’re about to die, your entire life flashes right in front of your eyes. And when my time comes, this flashback would be so embarrassing that I would rather want to die.” Except that I’ll have to leave my Family. Not that they are dependent on me for anything, but it’s just that I love them. I would want to be close to them and not die. 

Just last week, I had a long and exciting trip which may be termed as thought provoking because I met some beautiful people who helped me think through what I’m doing and what I would like to do. I’m still not very clear, but I’m going to spend some time thinking about it. I’ll try to make my life more peaceful, enriching and an experience worth remembering.

And then I met a colleague yesterday, who helped me think more about  it. Rohit, that’s who he is; is fiercely competitive and is at the hilt of his corporate career. Young, 34 years old probably, he’s already promoted to the position of a head. He wants more and more and that’s where he sees his  satisfaction in. I, probably am, unable to understand this thirst and hunger and want to get ahead in  life (I was exactly there 4 years back, though- and I grew out of it). I wonder if he’ll be able to remember this journey once he would be  some 60 year old corporate honcho, Managing director of an  organization. Not that I’ll be able to remember my bufoonery, but that’s mostly because it’s going to be  an overload of embarrassed stories and crazy  adventures. Every one in life has a different perspective, and it’s almost beautiful to watch our co-existence in this world. 

For me, life is all about adventure (bungee and paragliding, that’s how I see it with my little eyes), fooling around (a drunk call, Random plans to travel), excitement (of being at a new place, meeting friends) and mostly about being with family. Tomorrow shouldn’t be regretful, because, There’s no tomorrow. 

Start living whichever way you like to, my friends. 

With lots of energetic love (bundle of energy wishing you) 

A.