B for Bus Journey
Being in India, buses become a part of our daily lives. There were times where cars were a symbol of luxury and shows the financial status of a family. Now its more of a convenience and we can see it became so casual for a normal middle class family to own one or even two.
In my school, college days our daily commute was via buses. Being in an extreme remote part of the city our place was connected only by bus routes. Whether it is to the inner part of city or to a different city our commute means was one or more buses.. I rarely remember going via train; it was a real different experience to write.
My place has buses usually off schedule, though the almost 2000+ populated place completely relies on them. So always it is crowded and overflowing with frustrated / tired people. During college days with a heavy bag I remember many times we stood near the entrance half way through the journey. We heard many love stories happened during the bus commute.
Running into the moving bus and catching places to sit was a usual thing to do, without any hesitations though completely aware of the dangers. Mostly all the shopping was done by my father for the entire family due to that kind of bus commute. We never really complain about not taking us. The fewer visits to my grandma's place in the city were by buses and felt really long though the actual ride time was 40 to 50 minutes.
My dad travels to different cities for Sports camps and took us with him and usually those long journeys were via buses... those 9 to 12 hour rides were most memorable though tiresome. I remember reading the milestones and calculating the distance and the time left.
Days moved on... Moving to a different city for work, again the daily commute was via buses; this time it was so comfy with push back seats and no standing crowd. The journey time of 60 minutes were mostly spent on calls to my family away in a different city, solving Sudoku puzzles and a nice nap. The 9 hour long travel to my home town happened via buses too and mostly spent on sleep as they were night rides usually.
Moving to the United States, the bus route to work was so scenic and fresh in my mind. Again, calls to my family in India and hearing songs become the routine during the nearly one hour journey. The spring, autumn and winter rides were all different and beautiful in its own way.
These days in India, I rarely take bus to work or for any other place. Buying a car became necessary; almost all the commutes happen via car or auto rickshaw. My 3.5 year old son has never really traveled by bus till a couple of days back.
Marking completion of his pre-kinder garden year, an annual day school function was arranged in the school's main branch. The rehearsals happened a day before and kids were taken by school bus along with a parent. I was unsure how my son will react with the hottest March weather ever recorded and non A/C buses. He was used to longer car journeys and even had his first train journey a month back. He was excited though and we packed a lot of snacks and juices for the ride.
The 1.5 hour journey went smooth and he enjoyed the to and fro commute really... we planned to go to the annual day function by car, but my son insisted that we go again by bus. We three enjoyed the ride though the weather was way too hot and it became a memorable ride again.