The Bus Journey

Contd. from.. ..

[We too went to our sleeper berths and slept. I guess, the bus must have started at around one after filling up the rooftop and giving that family a double sleeper seat.]

I was in a tee and jeans. During night I felt cold, but didn’t have anything except for a filmsy cotton shawl. Hey we had not planned to go to Amritsar, where sometimes the temperature goes down as low as 0° C.

I was oblivious of how many times the bus had stopped but when I opened my eyes, it was past seven, and when I moved the curtains from my window, a beautiful foggy wintry morning was welcoming me and the sun was trying to show its bright smile.

On the way, I could see some small villages, children going to school, people fully attired in winter clothes riding scooters for work, some ongoing constructions and small roadside dhabas (kiosks) starting their day.
The bus stopped for 2 minutes at one place on the highway and I could see some of the male fraternity getting down and relieving themselves. No no, I had closed my eyes then !! But lucky, lucky them !! I kept lying and enjoying the north Indian winter. There was another reason why I did not want to get up.

I do not know how you take it but the worst thing I fear in any journey or outings in India is lack of toilets let alone clean. I fail to understand why this basic need is so ignored or shall I say are we shy to even mention about it ? I have written earlier how a toilet made me change my apartment in Geneva.

And this tour (from Delhi to Amritsar to coming back to Mumbai) had just started to test my patience. Remember, it was more than 12 hours since I had visited last, so an urgent need arose for the same. Since I drink lot of water, the need was almost SOS.
Slowly it was eight now. The bus was moving very fast and we did not know where we had reached at that time. I kept telling myself to hold on for some more time, our destination was about to come. It looked an era to me. I tried to sleep again but no, it won’t let me.

This was in Phagwara

Suddenly I saw one board and then reality struck ! We had just crossed Phagwara ! Jallandhar was yet to come ! Amritsar is around 90 KMs from Jallandhar. More than full three hours to go since it was almost office time and the bus had to pass through the cities. I, in no way could hold for that long. I sent PP who was sitting down (I was on the first floor sleeper berth) to ask the driver to stop at any Gas station or restaurant informing about the need. I wondered what other ladies were going through.

Well, after 5 minutes which seemed 5 hours, PP came back saying he could not even reach the driver ! The door to him was closed and he was not responding. I shrieked !! I yelled at him. I wanted to go. PP explained how very large boxes were kept on the passage blocking the entire way and people had either kept their legs on them or sleeping on them. What rubbish !! I was not in a mood to listen to this bullshit.
Immediately I put on my shoes, hitting one person on my way down from the upper berth. I tied my shoe laces sitting besides a lady. Her husband too was trying to reach the driver. They were on their honeymoon trip and what a way to start !!

When she saw me getting up, she joined me as if I was the leader. We climbed onto the boxes, hitting some more on the way and banged on the door. It had become so urgent for both of us that we were ready to tell the driver to either stop or see the scene there itself. Both of us were furious. Fortunately she had a shrill voice and somebody from that side heard her.
And we were further blessed because one gas station came within 5 minutes and people sitting in the front helped us getting down. PP and that lady’s husband also got down and waited for us.

Anyway, the journey thereafter seemed relaxed and comfortable, only worrying factor was loss of time. I had mentally prepared to see three major landmarks in Amritsar before getting back.
We reached Amritsar at 10:30 AM.

To be contd.. ..

12 thoughts on “The Bus Journey

  1. LOL… I can imagine you in aggression mode, jumping over the boxes shouting at the top your voice.. Woh driver ne dar ke maare darwaza nahi khola hoga. 🙂

  2. On another note, I realise it must have been a really horrible time for you.. We guys are really lucky in that aspect.

    Open air ‘downloading’ is ultimate bliss… 🙂

  3. Wow, that sounds like quite an adventure and you were very brave and showed great initiative!

    I like the first picture with the truss bridge and crane 🙂

  4. Hahaha! This totally, totally reminded me of myself during one particular trip in Kenya where I and the other girls on the trip literally forced the bus driver to stop in the middle of nowhere so we could go pee in the bushes. If you’ve ever driven through remote parts of Kenya, you’ll realize that you can go for miles and miles in the wilderness without anything resembling a toilet facility. I used to rant about that all the time. It’s as if women dont need to pee. Geez. I laughed out loud at this post because it is just the kind of scenario I can see myself in. LOL.

  5. Sorry for the absence, but these last weeks were a work nightmare. Just dropped by to wish you a great season! Hope to be back before 2009… 😉 Merry Christmas!
    Meanwhile Blogtrotter is starting its new adventure in India. Enjoy and have a great week!

  6. Hi ! Sorry for the absence, but these last weeks were a work nightmare. Just dropped by to wish you a great season! Hope to be back before 2009… Merry Christmas!
    Meanwhile Blogtrotter is starting its new adventure in India. Enjoy and have a great week!

  7. While I sympathise with the women fraternity, and find my brethren lucky on that aspect, there is one thing I have to say to you: “Prevention is better than cure”. There would have been many petrol pumps (as they are called in India, as against gas stations, but that is irrelevant nonetheless) on the way, and you ladies should have used the loos therein. Or some in those villages you passed through.

    So, while the males in the bus were indifferent about women’s bursting bladders, the women were waiting to reach the destination to relieve themselves. You got my point, right? I am not against building good facilities along highways, or in the favour of fellow men, but since you know this could occur, you should have taken precaution and relieved yourselves as an when opportune, rather than waiting for the crisis.

  8. Abhi,
    Woh driver ne dar ke maare darwaza nahi khola hoga…. Kaash aisa hota.

    The driver was a hefty 6 and half feet tall sardar with a thick blanket covering him completely except for his face. And he had a target time set and he was running against time.

    Thyme,
    Thank you for liking the picture.

    Yes, it was an adventurous trip. 🙂

  9. Vagabond,
    Ok, this is 2030027th time. Let us agree now. We are soul sisters. 😛

    On another serious note, I haven’t been to Kenya but know of quite funny anecdotes from my foreign friends about their experiences in African countries.. .. some of them might sound very hilarious to us.

    Lakshmi,
    Well, I also prefer trains to bus. But we can not do it every time. I don’t think you have read all the posts on this series. It was the most unexpected trip and there was no question of taking a train.

  10. lol @ ‘jumping over boxes and banging a few’
    glad u found a gas station soon enuf… it really is a pain to hold it.

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