Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Town bus ride to Salem

“Beep Beep” polam( move) right, said the conductor, and that is how the journey started at our village bus stand.

The government buses are spacious and well ventilated with airy windows,( they have sliding glass shutters) and lots of leg room and enough place for standing passengers , with holding rails overhead.

There are other private buses, but they all blare digital videos of the local buffoon ( I forget his name) I hate to have the journey spoilt with these videos, and the rash young drivers they have rushing to keep timings.

The distance of 20 kms has more then 20 stops, each one more filling than the previous stops.

By the end of the journey u will get meditative mantras called “polam right” and “hold on”into the mind so it continues while u sleep at night, making u feel u are traveling still.

The journey moves from my village on a single road zig zagging close to the kancha malai mountain .

At this time of the season most of the fields are bare and nearly cracking with the heat of the summer, normally we would nearly put out our heads to breathe in the fresh air and wave to the kids on the road side.

The villages are all closing up and the stretch to salem is like a full road of shops and houses, with few fields of interruptions.

At some stops there are basket maids getting their wares to the market and others the kids and family going to salem to see a cinema.

One can hear the conductor yell at the ones at the steps to get on, and at other times making jokes at the passengers, that they have forgotten to get the money for the fare and want a free ride.( 5 rupees to salem)

With these comments and appreciating mother nature at the stops we reach salem, all huffing and puffing at the summer heat and flipping on the umbrella to move to our schedule of shopping, and eating samosas at a north Indian road shop .

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