Saturday, 14 December 2013

Bus number 11.


"At the end of one HYSTERICAL journey #engineering here I
am at the start of another.
#roadtrip to Mt. Abu!"- I Tweeted.

I had always wanted to go out on a road trip. Well I had a lot of reasons.

Let me just try to make a bullet list as to how I decided to go out on one: (Engineering has taught me something! :P)  
  • Firstly,  My Dad was a biker and he had been on many road trips the longest being, a trip from Coimbatore(Tamil Nadu) to Goa. On their bikes! So I had to go.
That's a cool bike he had!
We did not have the audacity required resources to go on bikes so we pooled up to go in a 'compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle' (euphemism for  Chevrolet Tavera) for our trip to Mt. Abu. 
  • My friends and I had been planning out a trip since our college second year. And planning was all we did!
    I could make another bullet list as to why we didn't/ couldn't work out our plans but we'll leave it at that.
  • Engineering.
    Yes. Having slogged for four years we all thought we deserved a trip. If you have been an engineering student you'd understand.
So, as we bade goodbyes to our years as engineering students, we were all looking forward to having a good time.

Road trips are fun and most of the time adventurous. Ours was no different(at least for me). We stayed at a hotel that was on the side of a hill, went out for site seeing, had non-vegetarian food for almost every meal, took detours exploring the place, the sunset point, a musical night, boating - the usual in any road trip to a hill station.

But the Highlight of our trip to Mt. Abu was my introduction to Bus number 11.

It was when we checked in our hotels, that I noticed that most of the attenders in the hotel were boys(12- 16 years old). 
When one of them came to our rooms, One of my friends inquired about him. 
He replied,"Yes bhaiya. I work here. During my vacations. I study in Bikaner and my Uncle brings us here so that we could help him at the hotel."
We didn't press on the topic much. He just kept the water bottles and left. 
 We left the hotel and went about exploring the tourist places in Mt. Abu. I couldn't help but notice a big statue of Jesus, quite like the "Christ the redeemer" statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

So as we came back from sunset point to our hotel that day, I inquired that same boy as to how that statue got up there. 
He wasn't sure as to how the statue got up there, but he sure did say that the view from there was breath taking. I asked him the obvious question I could have asked,"Well, how do you go there?"

He replied, "Bus number 11, of course! We can go up there first thing tomorrow morning."
"What is your name ?"- I asked.
"Ranjit, bhaiya!"- was his reply as he went back to the door.

So as we hit our pillows that night, I couldn't help but wonder about our small little detour my friend Jitesh (Jitu) and I had planned with Ranjit for the next day.

As the next day dawned on us, Jitu and I woke up at 6 in the morning, got ourselves ready, met Ranjit right outside our hotel and started towards what I thought would be a bus-stop where we could board our "Bus number 11". 

After walking some 200 metres, Ranjit just got off the road and started hiking through the bushes and rocks by the road.
"Hey where are you going?"-I asked.
"You wanted to go to the Jesus spot, right? This is the route!"- Ranjit replied.
"Just follow him. It will be fun! Just watch your step."-Jitu said to me as we followed Ranjit. 

Where is he taking us?
After what seemed like an hour of hiking and jumping over rocks, we were there.
No not the bus-stop. But our Jesus stop!
And man! Was it breath taking? Yes it was!
This one I took from the internet! :P But the View!
 "But you said Bus number 11 could have brought us here. Why did you bring us through this route?"- I asked Ranjit.
"Bus number 11 did bring us here, bhaiya!"-he said, stooping down to pat both his knees!
Man! I was speechless. Awestruck at how this little kid counted both his LEGS as a privilege, a luxury that he enjoyed. In an age where owning a BMW or a Merc is considered a luxury, I felt stupid about myself for actually trying to take some bus to reach there, as I thanked God for my "Bus number 11".




Ranjit and I posing with our Bus number 11s

For me, road trips aren't about the bikes, the cars or the MPVs we journey in. It's about learning to enjoy the little luxuries we often fail to acknowledge and the memories of meeting many more Ranjits all through the way.
Coming to think of it , "Bus number 11" is the cheapest, safest and most reliable mode of transport available to us today!
The question remains,

Have you thanked God for Your Bus number 11?

My bus number 11! :D