I should have booked the ticket earlier but I had been so lethargic and confident that I trusted southern railways would not ditch me. But it happened this weekend. I visit madurai most weekends but this time I failed to prebook a ticket in the legendary pandian express. So I was forced to go for on the spot ticket booking @ koyambedu bus stand. I managed to get ticket in the infamous “NATIONAL travels” (truly national...somekinda it happens only in india stuff!).
I asked for the earliest bus. He gave me a ticket in the 9pm bus.
Travelling in a pathetic non A/c air bus for a fare of Rs 570+ and seat no:32 would spell “hell in a cell”.
Surprisingly the bus arrived the stands by 8:45 pm. Unexpected, worth a standing ovation. I had already boarded the bus and found my seat 32(last row as guessed!). The 34 seater bus which must have been cleaned last summer with a haunting smell(that’s not a compliment!) was indeed looking like a mobile hell on earth. But to my awe I saw reebok shoes, N75, k750i, 6600 and mobiles of all colours around me boarding the bus. Guess who they were “the young n proud software pro”. Another example to substantiate the fact that IT professional are soft targets for all kinds of cheating. Who else on this world would give 570+ for a bus that must have been dismantled in the junkyard by then.
As I was calming down my mind there came a guy in pursuit of seat no:35. That’s where all the fun began.
It was 9:30 and still there were no signs of the driver. So I started conversing with my co passenger. He too was a pro like me. We talked about domain, practices, managers, pay, and at some point of time our talk he said why aren’t they still taking the 9:30 bus. I corrected him 9 pm bus. No 10 pm bus some one replied from front. I understood its all the same bus!! The funs over baby! I got down the bus and blasted the driver standing there. And finally we sensed air by 10 pm. The bus started crawling in to the roads of chennai.
“appa tv podamatangala pa” some kid asked
“mothala avan gear pottu ottrananu papom” someone said.
There were laughter everywhere. Truly the driver forgot the fourth gear. The bus crawled out of chennai and reached tambaram checkpost by 11 pm. I got so BORED by then that I slept. It wasn’t a bus ride for sure. By the time I reached madurai I sensed some of my body parts aching. I felt like having travelled riding on shadowfax to madurai. I experienced hell that day. Never would I board that bus again. It looked like one long ride on a dragon roller coaster. “u cheat me. shame on you. u cheat me again then shame on me………”