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Old 13th December 2007, 14:15   #1
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Default An Evening Joyride!

What I am about to describe below is probably not a typical street experience nor is it a travelogue. But then it is about travel. Once you read through it, I am sure many of you will say "I have been through similar experiences". I am sure the guys who take the Mumbai Local trains or the folks who take the crowded Kerala private buses will vouch for such an experience. I had written this way back in 1995, a few months into my first job at Eicher Motors, Pithampur. Found it on my computer and thought I will share this with you all. I had taken those rides many times again, out of necessity.

An evening Joyride!

I was a novice at work (first job) and as typical of one, brimming over with unbridled enthusiasm over work. However, I cannot claim all innocence and say, that my virtuous intention had no association with the not so noble a desire of cutting a good figure before my boss. And so, the decision to extend my working hours beyond the last siren on that particular evening was only natural. And to my surprise there were quite a few, willing to forgo what little remained of their precious evenings. And if every Tom, Dick and Harry were having recourse to the same strategy, to put on the loyal employee act, I had to think up something novel to have an edge over them.

While lost in such thoughts, a sudden rush of footsteps brought me to my feet from my work and I too joined the crowd who was running as if fleeing from some invisible enemy. It must have been half past six. Perhaps there was a fire I thought to myself (had happened before). The race ended rather abruptly at the bus waiting to take us all home and I reached it last, my lungs screaming for oxygen. But I still had no clue as to why everybody had run and I did not wish to make a fool of myself by asking someone why they had run the way they had. So as the old saying goes, I just kept quiet and tried to look wise. I wrote my name in the register in my best hand and signed with a flourish hoping that others (to be read as my boss) would notice it. I later learned that no body cares two hoots about the register or the names in it.

I boarded the bus and stopped short. And then it dawned on me, too late that evening, why everybody had sprinted. The bus was so packed that it would have left any truck loaded with sardine with a blush on its bonnet in shame. The bus started with a gallop much like a horse (perhaps inspired by the logo it bore) and I nearly lost my balance and almost fell. But luckily there was no room even to fall. I found myself hanging in mid-air. And then contrary to my frequent daydreams I strongly wished to belong to the lesser of the mortals and not one of those white-winged angels who could sit on thin air. I still needed something firmer than air to sit and stand on. Two generous souls seeing my predicament held an emergency meeting and then measured out with technical precision a few square inches from their seat and asked me to squeeze myself in. I didn’t know I had such compressibility till I wedged myself between them.

The driver seemed to have graduated from VRDE in driving at break-neck speed on the Belgian Pave Track and seemed to enjoy tossing us in all possible directions. And the roads gave him good company with their potholes. Probably an ex-rally driver well versed in the left-foot braking for the pendulum swing effect! I stopped pitying myself and forgot my pain when I saw a rather generous-bottomed gentleman struggling to hold on to his perch. I imagined myself sitting on the head of a nail and sympathised with the poor man.

There are occasions when against all our wishes time teasingly seem to stand still. This was such an occasion. The one hour journey seemed to last exactly one hour unlike other times when it lasts slightly more than half hour when you are comfortably seated. Somebody loud-mouthed started complaining and in response someone said, “The administration people have come up with a solution that will completely solve this problem”. “What’s that?” A chorus of tired voices asked eager for the solution. “Never stay back for work.” Replied the wise guy with a sly smile.

-Biju

Last edited by pjbiju : 13th December 2007 at 14:17.
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Old 13th December 2007, 21:02   #2
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Good one,biju!
Reminds me of the buses from Calicut to Thrissur. Or to Kottakkal. It'll be amazing to walk out of those buses,given that apart from the speed those guys drive at,the bus is invariably packed with so many people. Good in one way,as you won't fall down when the bus makes a sharp turn at 50kmph.

(Nalla pani aaiyi,alle maashe? )
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Old 13th December 2007, 21:58   #3
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Yes, i still remember those mad Calicut buses. I have no idea how they rip through those winding roads from Calicut to Chathamangalam.

I guess i was plain lucky to escape unhurt. :(
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Old 13th December 2007, 22:40   #4
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Those bus drivers ought to have superb control over their buses. The way those huge metal blocks keep weaving in and out of traffic,doing corners at 50-60kmph,and then braking in time,just inches away from other vehicles.
My mom used to mock at these guys all the time.She'd say..'its a good way to lose weight on these buses.You get thrown around all over the place, every bit of your body gets a work out,and if it wasn't enough,your blood circulation would increase with the heart pounding away to glory.'
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Old 14th December 2007, 09:37   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitin View Post
Those bus drivers ought to have superb control over their buses. The way those huge metal blocks keep weaving in and out of traffic,doing corners at 50-60kmph,and then braking in time,just inches away from other vehicles.
Very true. In fact, I think the Kerala bus drivers are one of the most talented ones around. Imagine the situation if those buses had power steering and other goodies (God save all, if they get hold of a Volvo). To get the real flavour you must travel through one of the winding, narrow rural roads. Anyone travelling first time in those routes will have their hearts in their mouths. I still remember the days of my college when I used to travel by these buses on the Perumbavoor-Alwaye and then Alwaye-Cochin route. But that is for another street experience.

Last edited by pjbiju : 14th December 2007 at 09:39.
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Old 14th December 2007, 12:34   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjbiju View Post
I still remember the days of my college when I used to travel by these buses on the Perumbavoor-Alwaye and then Alwaye-Cochin route. But that is for another street experience.
Why do you think they are all painted RED?



BTW, is this a MALLU thread?

Last edited by Torqy : 14th December 2007 at 12:35.
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Old 14th December 2007, 20:59   #7
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This was simply hilarious. Very nicely written.
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