I love travelling. Not from today, from the time I was very little.Major travelling which took place in my life was the time when my sister and I went to my grandparent’s house in Kerala during our summer breaks. I used to look forward to the travelling the most.My dad seldom booked tickets before hand, in short we had unplanned journeys,which we loved of-course!
‘ Pack your bag I’m taking you guys to your granny’s’ , my dad would come in unannounced and order us.
‘Yay! we’re going by bus!’ we would squeal.
Here by bus, we did not mean the super cool volvos, here bus means the govt transport buses.We used to travel 700 kms by splitting our journey into five parts: Bangalore to Hosur, Hosur to Salem, Salem to Coimbatore, Coimbatore to Palakkad, Palakkad to Kottayam. Now the best part of this break journey was the food at every station we got down in: the filter coffees,the saravana bhavan masala dosas and idli vadas with the yummiest sambar and chutney,then the chicken kebab and fries from palakkad and payam pori’s of thrissur , just imagining these food makes my mouth water even now.
Another one thing that stuck to my little mind was the liveliness of the bus-stands when the rest of the world would be sound asleep.The bus-stands and the out-skirts of these bus-stands rustle with the sound of shops and travelers at all hours of the day and night. People selling flowers, snacks, toys, books,men gambling away to glory in one corner,ladies with bright red/pink lipsticks and fragrant jasmine pinned into their hair standing in a group and laughing at some incoherent jokes that someone cracked are the scenes so clear in my memory.This was my encounter from my initial trips during summer vacations with my dad.
As I grew older I became more fond of studying the co-passengers in the bus we traveled along with my love for food at different places. Every bus journey had some women who would push me and my sister into a single seat much to our annoyance! So what if we were small, the conductor didn’t let us sit there for free, we had to take half ticket! How dare that aunty with a huge bum pushed us and sat in our places while we meekly complained to our mother. The worst part about this thing is that it would often happen when we would have finally got some sleep. Apart from this annoying aunty I remember another brave lady, who sat next to my mother.
This lady held her one month old infant in her hand and was breast-feeding it, while she had goods for business that she had brought from Cochin to her home in a village somewhere between Coimbatore and Salem.She got down in a deserted place at one thirty in the night!That too when her husband was away at some other place for business, and she had to walk back to her home about a mile away from that bus-stop all alone holding her infant in one hand and the luggage in the other. All this she does with a bright infectious smile on her face.
There are more such little but important incidents I remember from my usual trips of summer vacation but the journey that is closest to my heart is the one that I went on last October. I was thrilled beyond words when this email popped in my inbox, for you it might not be a big deal but for me it meant the whole world.