From ordinary to an (extra) ordinary bus journey

My experience of travelling by (ordinary) buses dates back to the time when I was pursuing M Phil at GNDU. Almost every weekend I travelled to and fro between my home town Jalandhar and Amritsar. Even after the completion of studies, my association with buses continued, though the route changed. Now I commuted between Jalandhar and Chandigarh where I joined a college as a lecturer. Who was bothered about the deluxe buses in those days? I would merrily catch any ordinary non-AC bus.

It was only after my marriage when we graduated from a Vespa scooter to Maruti 800 in early 80s that we ventured out of the city in a car for the first time. In the beginning, travelling by our own car on a highway was more like an adventure, but gradually it became a way of life. As the personal vehicle became the preferred means of conveyance, bus journeys became rare. When the children grew up, they refused to travel by any ordinary bus. In fact, they have been the ones who introduced me to travelling by luxury buses, if at all I had to travel by bus.

Coming to my experience of travelling by an extra (ordinary) Luxury Bus, it must have been a couple of years ago when I was to return home from Jalandhar after Bhaiya duj on a Sunday afternoon. Had it been old times, I would have happily boarded any ordinary bus but now I felt it below my status to travel by an ordinary bus. Hence, I decided to wait for a luxury coach. This being a Diwali weekend, there was a big rush at the bus stand. No sooner did a super luxury coach Mercedes Benz arrive, there was a scramble for tickets. Since I was to travel alone and was desperate to reach Chandigarh in time, I joined the fray and felt jubilant when I managed to buy a ticket despite jostling and pushing.

As I boarded the bus, jubilation turned into despair. I was shocked to see around a dozen people standing in the passage of the bus. Even before I could grasp the situation, I found plastic stools being placed in the passageway from one end of the bus to another. Lo! Within minutes seats were created for all the passengers in the bus. Perched on the stools, precariously balancing themselves on small 10’x10’seats, many of the passengers of the so called luxury bus travelled from Jalandhar to Chandigarh. What a luxurious ride by a ‘Luxury Bus’!

Let me clarify it was not a Punjab Roadways Bus but a private bus belonging to a powerful political family of Punjab. Jai ho!


Published in Chandigarh Times on April 14, 2018

7 Replies to “From ordinary to an (extra) ordinary bus journey”

  1. During my graduation days i used to go to hmv college from lajpat nagar by bus no 2 or 3 in jallandhar
    Every day i had some or other experience mainly eve teasing
    It was i big achievement to board local bus but we could do it because we had no other alternative for commuting.

  2. Absolutely Ameeta !
    I remember Eve teasing was actually quite a nuisance in overcrowded local buses during our college days .
    Though, we didn’t face the problem in our school days since we commuted by the school bus .

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