Tuesday, March 4

Sleepless In Seat-tilt-le

A couple of months ago, I had shifted to the Garden city for work. Being the ardent Chennaiite that I am, I used to book almost all weekends in trains to get back to my hometown. Now, that wasn’t an easy task either. I used to plan all my trips well in advance, get to that ever chaotic Majestic, only to find myself in waiting list no. 453. I mean what the hell!! So much for trying to get home. Sniff! Anyways, there was this time when all the trains were full and I had to book myself in a bus to get home. So, my brilliant friend (yeah, she’s brilliant ‘coz she might be reading this blog and I really don’t want her getting nasty!!) and me got tickets for a sleeper Volvo. She got the tickets booked, so I assumed it would have been well over 400 Rs. Now now, am not too calculative, but I was still running on my first month salary and I wasn’t very good at savings. So, there was me, catching an auto at Indira nagar to get to Bommanahalli and mind you, the autowalas in Bengalooru are the sweetest. They are so good at that maths that even if the cool meter touches 53 rs, it’s rounded off to 60 rs. Grr. After a very good fight with the ever-ranting traffic, I at last reached my destination. Found my friend amongst a huge crowd of, well, tamilians. Apparently, the whole place was filled with all the tourist buses. You name it, Sheik Travels (Sheik?? I mean, the Arabs haven’t invaded India, rite??), the ever sexy Parbeen Travels (reminds me of the times in Chennai as almost all the software companies used to hire Parbeen for its conveyance), Blue Star( So they say!) and of course, the elite, KPN Travels- ella modelgalilum, ella oorukkum, ella vasadiyudan ungalin sevagan!!

Our bus was scheduled for 11.30 PM, and hence, we waited…waited…waited…Damn, was I hungry. The idiot that I am, had finished my dinner at 7.30. Boo hoo… To pass the time, we started our usual gossip news (with occasional groans from my stomach) and had our fun (the better part that day). I also happened to enquire about the ticket fare to her, and got a reply that literally broke my heart. Why would I wanna pay 790 bucks for a BUS ride when I might have been happy with the 150 Rs cockroaches encroached sleeper class in Chennai mail. Sigh. I prayed God not to send a bus with a leaking roof. It had better be good. I wasn’t let down. There came an enormous bus, well after the scheduled 11.30 and only a handful of people boarded the bus. Man, was the bus huge! Well worth the money, I thought then. In we got, and I see this really large seaters. It was a looker all along, as I’ve never traveled in any other bus than our omnipresent MTC. With huge grins, me and my friend made ourselves comfortable in the luxury seater. The bus was air conditioned and I felt even more excited.

This was just the beginning. After requesting the driver anna to drop me down at the outskirts of the city, I started to pull out my scarf from my bulging bag. And eventually, my sweater, shawl and my blanket(I was taking it home for its monthly bath!) also came out. Yeah, it was little bit cold initially, and became worse further. We could hear our teeth chattering and our stomachs rumbling. Well, I admit it is a bit exaggerated, but hey, its was pretty cold! The trauma traveled to my bladder too, heard it complaining that it was full. Well, a couple of doses of ‘Anna, Please anna, edachum petrol bunkla niruthunga’ helped and the grumpy conductor anna took pity at my plight and stopped the bus at a dingy looking bunk. Again, the journey started and we wondering if we should settle down and sleep. That was the tricky part. One bump and we would slide down till the edge of the damn seat. You couldn’t sleep ‘coz there wasn’t a proper seat, just a slide. Even when you doze off, you couldn’t get to shift to any of the sides. We kept falling down. Thud! My bags fell down. Thud! Now I fell down. Thud, the aunty behind my seat fell down. Couldn’t find a place to keep my legs either; which ended up in cramps. Wondering which genius had designed these seats, I gave him my quota of gaalis that included sweet and lovely words like ‘P******! P*******! Kandupidichaan paru oru seat! Okkara mudila, paduka mudila, summa soinsoinnu pogudhu! K*****!!!!!’

I couldn’t even open my mouth about this to my friend. I tried to be polite as she had been nice and had booked the tickets. But it was just getting out of control. Just as I opened my mouth regarding it, the great driver anna banged on the brakes. Well, what can you imagine. Our brilliant and patient pettai maami was thrown out of the seat to the aisle way along with her bag!! After getting back to the goddamned seat, I tried to stop complaining and get some sleep. Just when I was about to fall asleep, we passed through a sign board saying ‘Poonamallee-10kms’. Boo hoo…So much for coming home for a loving weekend; So much a 790 Rs ride!

Lesson No. 1- Never book yourself in ‘luxury seater’ buses for a meager 6 hour ride!

Lesson No. 2- Never leave home too early without proper dinner or with a full bladder

Lesson No. 3- Never complain about your friends.

Lesson No. 4- Indian Railways Rock!!!

P.S- After the Poonamallee sign, I had actually dozed off and missed my bus stop. Had to get off at the main bus terminus and catch another Bus (Sigh!) to get back home.


Bikerdude said...

Suber ma, full kalakkals only. Keep em coming!

Anonymous said...
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Nitya said...

Semma blog... i actually surprised everybody around by laughing out loud... and u know how rare that is... anyway, the best part is that ippo unnakkum ennoda bus phobia puriyum nenakaren!

Poojitha said...

@Bikerdude: Thanks saare..all your the teachings vonly..

@Nitya: Glad you like it dear..n yes..i totally understand your "phobia"..lol..