What is it to own your own vehicle, i did not know! (Except a cycle of course!) But finally my days of waiting and wondering were over yesterday and am now a proud owner of an Activa! Feels so good just to say that, you can only imagine my joy as I rode it for the first time.
My vehicle saga is a long one. There were talks of buying one since 2 years, but never really worked out. But after staying over three months in Pune, I realized the only way to save time and live in this place, is to own a vehicle! And being the city which boasts of the highest number of two wheelers, it was only sensible that I got my own soon because the public transport here is not something you can depend on.
Most auto drivers do not agree to a meter and charge a number that pops into their mind that second and every other auto fellow nearby seems to nod his head to it, even without knowing or hearing the price. They do succeed in giving us a lesson on unity though. Sigh! And the bus guys are a bigger disappointment. They do not even stop enough for a person to get on. By the time you manage to read the dusty board with faded paint which indicates the destination and get ready to climb, the bus is gone! And I have found myself wondering, did it even stop???!
The conductors on asking the destination of the bus, look at you like you’ve asked them when they are going to die!!! Otherwise, they look past you, more like look through you, as if you did not exist! I’ve missed so many buses just because I could not figure out where it went!!! And even if I succeeded in doing that, climbing the bus is allowed only from the back door, which the bus driver cannot see and uses his sixth sense to start driving!!! And most of the times, I have a feeling the driver feels no one’s climbing, because he hardly lets the bus stop before hitting the accelerator again. God!
One thing Pune buses have taught me is to climb a running bus. Have gotten used to it. Have also missed and tripped and almost fallen a couple of times which has made me realize how dangerous it is to try to pull a stunt like that, but the question is, can you help it?! I would if I could. The irony is, every entrance of the bus has this ‘DO NOT CLIMB A MOVING BUS’ in Marathi written. What they failed to add is the fact that these buses are always on a move, so do not climb! Then there are those buses which are empty but choose not to stop at the bus stop and pass by as if they’re mocking you. And the buses that stop are the crowded ones!!!
All this to stand sandwiched between men who make sure they make you as uncomfortable as they can handle, making things more difficult than it already is. They wont budge, they wont move and won’t let you pass as well. Even if you have to get down within one or two stops, you are supposed to climb from the back, wiggle your way to the front of the bus and get off from there!!! The challenge is not just getting past weirdos, but also managing to climb down a bus that starts moving even before you’ve alighted. The best time to get off these things are when it stops at a signal, because you can be sure they won’t move till the light turns green!
Well, by now I think I’ve made it clear as to WHY exactly I was so desperate for a vehicle that I could rule!!! One which I could start and stop and move as and when I wanted to without falling off it! I wish public transport was given more attention in a city like this where it’s most needed. There is so much pollution and traffic that good, frequent and regulated transport facilities would be beneficial to the public in more than one way.
Anyway, a good ride availed and there can be no other than me feeling like a free bird now! So singing the serenade of freedom, I take off wishing you guys a beautiful Christmas week. May the spirit be alive, for my next post is gonna be co-incidentally on Christmas Day!!! Until then, wishing you all a happy time!