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 😇
  • 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!!

A.

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Getting married at 27

When you get married at the age of 27, you’re basically looking at certain things in a rather fixated manner than when you’re getting married at age of 21-24 years. Perspectives change and so do people. When someone would tell me, you mature with age; I’d just laugh it off thinking “I’m never going to change”. But then, change isn’t going to ring that doorbell, Knock on the front door, wait for you in the porch or sit on the sofa till you arrive on the same page. It just comes gradually, nimble-footed, judge you and bring about a change in the character of me or you or anyone.

 

Now, when I look at past; I’m still the same person but I come with some ifs, some buts and definitely a bigger butt. So marriages now mean something different from just love of a bygone teenager who’s 21 years old.

 

It is so true (pun totally intended) when someone says girls only have one plan and that is to get married. I probably had similar things in mind ever since (rolling and smoking -lot pot), I think, I had marriage in my mind ever since I switched into that stage of puberty. You date someone, you fall in love, you adore someone; only to get married. That’s the ultimate Nirvana in the holy book of girls. Ever. Even when they are 14 or even when they’re 23. It is absolutely the same desire always (restricting the rest of the words).

 

When it comes to me, after seeing failed stints of some wonderful people, I’ve decided to be single in the coming months as well till my parents decide to marry me off (Indian society arranged marriage), as this is going to help me in the ways that cannot be just put on a piece of paper. I don’t have time for unimportant things and for emotional dehydration.

 

 

I’ve traveled places, exchanged books with numerous people, struggled in my own way and learnt a few lessons and it is now difficult to take this all learning away from me. So, now when I look at perspective of getting married; things I’m going to ignore and rather comparatively, things I would look at now are very different from those that would’ve captured my mind space some 5 years back  (Things that I’m going to look at- I’m still finalizing them 😉 ).

 

 

On the contrary, getting married at an early age has its own set of disadvantages and advantages:

You instantly fall in love. 

Expectations are much lower. 

Compromises and adjustments are much easier. 

You’ve no idea what you’re signing up for.
If asked, my advice would be: Do not get married before 25 because you’re still immature but do not delay it any further because you’re losing out on learning of a beautiful relation called marriage.

Best wishes for married friends and awesomeness for those waiting to be.

4th August’16

Have you ever got up in the morning without a plan for the day?

Almost daily, with both hands up!!

Have you ever travelled unplanned?

Frequently, with one hand up!!

Have you travelled without a ticket?

If you go by what my boss says about me, the number is 90-95%.

This is an absolute lie even if you go by what all the people of the world who see my travelling pattern say. I don’t travel without a ticket, I generally travel on a general ticket: which later, gets confirmed and I hence, travel legally and how everyone else travels.

Have you travelled without a plan?

Yes, and the experience has moved on to covering outside India as well.

Today was a normal day, where the super boss was travelling to my location and I got up early to reach office well in time (15 mins before the leaving time). I have been thinking about doing a course [which course and which college- shall discuss in another post]. The classes have started and they refused to admit me. But but but, I don’t give up. I DON’T.

I persuaded them to talk to me once and, they did. I persuaded them to meet me once and they complied. Took an appointment and thought of travelling on Monday. But Monday is four days away and I’m perennially impatient. So, Thursday morning, 10 minutes before leaving for office- I decide. I’m travelling to Delhi TODAY. Nobody asks me how and why and why not? Guess, people have given up on me for my whimsical ideas and have attained their peace in life. And my peace in life, it’s freedom and independence to choose my life- on a daily basis.

And here I am, in the train: travelling almost 400 kms away from home, for love- again [as my Bestie puts it]. For love of a course that I want to pursue, for love of doing something that I wish to do- breaking shackles of society, breaking the set norms of corporate culture.

And we are ready to soar above the sky. Ready to fly, like a bird. The wild Bird.

Love, 

A.