If you are a regular reader of my verbal fiascos which you almost certainly aren’t, you might have read one of my older posts titled ‘Deluxe torture’ in which I have shared one of the most horrendous travel experiences of mine. Since then my relation with the ministry of transport has been mildly satisfactory. Until last week.
Part of the reason for all the discomfort was I, my employer rather, for hosting that much awaited ceremony in a village, sort of. The mistake was partly mine too; the drinking and enthusiasm I tried to show to interact with the superiors which made me leave the place by half past eleven, in other words small hours. These small hours become even smaller in small places like Hosur.
There I was, standing alongside the highway carrying a bag that weighed about two tons. And immediately there was a problem. The only transport service available inside the town was some stupid looking green coloured mini buses driven by yokels and street bastards and owned by a man who thinks that he earns by moving buckets of sand from a place to another. Naturally all of them were busy at that time raping prostitutes. Worst of all, the government has never been bothered to have a local transport system there.
Initially I felt like a man of adventure and I kept singing those lines by Metallica, “Rover, Wanderer, Nomad, Vagabond, Call me what you will”. But it turned out that I was none of them. I was hopeless, pathetic, stupid and troubled. I stood there as I watched all types of buses passed by not being kind enough to stop for me. After about half an hour I finished covering a couple of kilometers on foot not being able to do anything wiser. Then I spotted a truck, the brand of which I didn’t fancy finding because it was a truck.
Two boys seemed frightened when I was about to ask for help. Of course their fear had nothing to do with the headlamp of a passing bus that made my face much visible in an otherwise dark night. They ran for their lives on their motorcycle. The truck cleaner who was their uncle apparently started an enquiry routine assuming the role of a General, his childhood dream perhaps. Mercifully he offered a helping hand and dropped me off at the bus station. He was nice except he stopped once to withdraw cash and he was discussing with the driver about country cows and agriculture.
That was incredible. I traveled a few kilometers with a truck driver with my purse not nicked, my penis not grabbed at any point of time, my spine not broken and my cash not spent at all. I came to know that my motherland though filled with loonies and communists still provides shelter for some good chaps. I mean there are truckers who aren’t gay and don’t murder prostitutes.
Like I said, the town being useless I found only one bus in the station that would take me to Salem which is right on the middle of the way to my town. It was all jolly comfortable, that bus. When I reached the place I wanted to do what men have to. I found a ‘Pay and use’ toilette all right. It was very expensive, three for a pee. I was obstinate about my spending not more than two and I promised not to use water after the main event. He looked down at my gentleman region for a moment and yielded to my request. This not being a pleasant way of dealing people I expected silence and emptiness inside.
When I stepped inside the first thing I knew was I was wrong about it, very. It looked like there was a huge banging-on-the-door contest. It was an extraordinary sight. When the desperados were doing the heavy banging a gentleman was shouting, telling the people who were relieving themselves inside not to take too much time and try to come out in a jiffy. A midget was all red, a dark man looked like he had already relieved himself amidst the noises, a thin man was drowning in his own sweat and a comb-over head came out of his room all tired, perhaps the ordeal was too much for his stamina. The number-one zone was free though so in no time I took myself away from that cult scene.
The local people were all cheapskates because of which all the buses were horrible. I waited for about a quarter of an hour to get a bus with semi-sleeper seats. When the journey got over, which it did in a surprisingly quick time I was happy.
The most important thing to learn is when you book tickets and travel on time it is just a journey. But what I experienced was an event. I felt like a man and those four words from the song and I knew things always end well and I ploughed on. And best of all, my phone was out of juice.