Getting back home – Raja Hamsa

Kempegowda Bus Terminus - A blurry photo Being incredibly lazy, P, S and I didn’t book our train tickets back home. So, Thursday night we found ourselves at Kempegowda Bus Terminus with a confirmed ticket for an ‘Executive Class’ bus arriving at 10:21. We got to the terminus by travelling by auto, and man the place is wild. It’s like a giant bus dumpyard or something, they’re just everywhere and in every direction and in lots of colours and with route plates in all sorts of languages.

We managed to get to the appropriate platform much ahead of time and spent our time looking at the Volvo buses and wondering if they were worth the extra 150 bucks. They look pretty damn awesome. So how this Bus Terminus works is, each bus arrives and the conductor dude starts yelling the time that the bus was meant to arrive at and that’s how people know which bus is which. They’ll wait lots of time and call out for passengers that haven’t yet arrived. So while we waited, we saw 10:10, 10:15 go by and alarmingly, 10:30, 10:35 and 10:50. Naturally, every bus but ours had arrived on time and left. I blame Pipe. You can always blame Pipe. It’s usually his fault and he’s very blameable. Actually, in this case, he was the one who went and got the tickets so I get to blame him however much I like.

The seats - thumbnail At around 11 our bus arrived and we boarded it and promptly made our seats lean back the most we could, reclining peaceably and drinking apple juice. The bus left half empty and so we asked the conductor if any more people would be coming, and after he said that 12 more would be waiting at another stop we grabbed the last row of seats. The good thing about this last row is that the seats are contiguous and so you can use them as a bed… or so we thought. Anyway, the thing is these buses have a button that you press to recline. The problem is that this button is placed between seats, so it’s rather uncomfortable unless you manage to miss those buttons. Just takes a little practice. I managed to sleep at 1:30 that night, not strange considering I had one of those reasonably decent espressos at Café Coffee Day. We reached CMBT at around 6 in the morning. Not bad, pretty quick. Enough time for me to get home, unpack, get ready for college and fall asleep instead. Pipe managed to get to college though. Typical. Though he did collapse that evening. That’ll teach the fellow. Simbly roaming here and there.

Some other pictures:

Sitting at the window - Master of the Blurry photo
Guy carring weapons at Kempegowda
Pipe reading Catcher in the Rye

Getting back home – The Auto Driver

We stayed over an extra day in Bangalore and walked about around where we were staying, checked out some chicks from Stella Maris, ate some cheap and good chicken biryani, had a couple of espressos and generally lazed around. Here’s a little fact for you: Bangalore has lots of traffic signs. Really. Lots.

Anyway, in the evening when we decided to leave for the station we caught an auto. Now this auto fellow wasn’t normal, and he was driving without a headlight. Naturally, we chose to travel by his auto. R’s mom had already told us that one particular road was blocked and so the autorickshaw-wallah was told, so he claimed the other route would be longer and he would have to charge us more, so we said fine. Then, he decides to take the shorter route after all, and has to turn right back when it turns out that the road was blocked after all. Meanwhile, Pipe strikes up a conversation in Hindi with the fellow, and since I can’t speak Hindi, I listen. The conversation goes something like this: (I’ve made lots of changes because otherwise you have to brink the rest of the conversation in and I don’t remember it all)

Pipe: Bhai, how come you don’t have headlight?
Driver: Forgot to pay the electricity bill.

Driver: I want to meet Goundamani, Vadivel, Senthil, they’re really funny. Them and… Jayalalitha.
Pipe: Ah, Jayalalitha, they say she has 400 pairs of shoes.
Driver: She uses them instead of clothes or what?
Pipe: They say she has lots of saris too.
Driver: She’s so big, I bet they weld more than one together for her.

Driver: Before you, I had to transport a couple and then suddenly halfway through she started crying really hard. I wanted to ask her why she was crying but then she’d probably cry even more.

Pipe: Why do all the buses here have only Kannada names on the boards?
Driver: In TN, all the buses are in Tamil, it’s just the same. […something about English…]
Pipe: […something else about English…]
Driver: There was this Nepali, when I took him to this place to which it would cost Rs. 49 my meter showed Rs. 53. He started complaining, he said, “You see, I see…”. What is this UCIC? Some new bank or something?
Driver: He said he was going to file FIR with the police, I told him, “What FIR? Here, police? Go back to Nepal and file it.”. He’s probably a cook or a servant or something anyway. Finally he gave me Rs. 50, so I said, “The five rupees is a tip.” Ha ha, I gave him a tip. Ha ha.

Crazy fellow, all that talk and he finally charged us Rs. 120 for the journey. Not too bad, I suppose. Ah well.

Department Tour – Bangalore, Mysore and Coorg

Tomorrow we leave for Mysore for the first part of our department tour. I missed the last one because I just didn’t feel like going but this being the last year for me and all I thought, “Why not?” . So here I am, all paid up and ready to bunk my requisite two days of college. I was hoping we’d spend more time in cooler places (the original plan was Darjeeling), but I wanted to see Bangalore anyway and was planning to go this past weekend except when the time came I was broke. In any case, I’ll be leaving on the 14th, arriving on the 20th, so that’s 4 days of stuff to do. Yay! I like travelling, it’s lots of fun. As usual, I’ll be accompanied by my trusty still film Canon with rolls that cost 100 bucks each. Yeah, I can feel the pinch now

It’s been a very busy month, what with coming back from CMC Vellore at the beginning and then having to write exams that day and then going for the Fresher’s Auditions (some smart people there) and the College Auditions (this was nuts) and some other stuff. Seems like I’ll be missing Independence Day, but then I never put much store by that pointless ritual of saluting the flag. I’d do it, if only I didn’t have to do it with all those liars and thieves that claim to serve the people. Spoils the fun.

We’ll be back Monday morning and if I know my department they’ll be trying to get us to attend college that day. And if I know my classmates, they, the girls atleast, will. The guys probably won’t, except for one or two dedicated chaps. There’s this fellow who hates one class, so he attends every other class always, on time, never loses attendance and then when he’s calculated the number of days left is reasonable, he just won’t attend that class. Actually that was in the first year, with the Allied Physics class. Fascinating fellow. Clever. I tried that once, it ended with me just missing lots of classes because I used the “If I bunk this, no point attending that” logic which isn’t logic at all.

Anyway, see you on Monday!

UPDATE: Coincidentally, Marc has just posted saying that he won’t be going on his class tour because he doesn’t like the company. Ah well. Poor chap. My sympathies, Z.