You all might be wondering, why I have given the headline as “Bon Voyage to school”. Yes, the fact is that the distance between my school and home was approximately 16 kms which induced me to give such a dramatic headline. We used to stay in Thriuvanmiyur till I completed my 2nd standard of schooling. After that we shifted our house to Madipakkam, which was at that time remotely like an abandoned village. Though many of my mother’s friends advised her to change my school to a local one, she was determined to send me and my sister to the same school in Thriuvanmiyur. There might be many reasons for this decision of hers. Maybe it was the bonding with the principal or teachers or other staff members, or May be it was the beautiful relationship with other parents. Whatever may be the reason, it gave me and my sister wonderful memories for lifetime. (Thank You Ma 🙂 ).
Coming back to my journey to school, it was during class three of my schooling, my everyday trip in bus started. Though the school started at 9:00 AM, I, my sister and my mother, along with all our school bags and lunch boxes, used to start from house around 6.30 AM. This early travel was due to few reasons; firstly, the frequency of the buses were very low, as the area came under panchayat board of government, secondly the buses which came also were very crowded, thirdly my dear sister always used to fight with me and blame me for going late to school, as she always wants to be on time to the place ;). Initially I did not like travelling in crowded bus, where getting in and getting down used to be a major crisis of the day. My mother would keep calling our names after getting down and we used to get stuck up amidst the unknown faces, asking for small gap to come out and take some relaxing breaths and getting few scolding’s from my mother for getting lost in our own way. Besides this, I also remember a phase, when I and my sister started travelling alone. I always had this weird habit of looking and gazing at fights in buses and roads, and due to which I used to miss my buses. And I even remember my sister catching by bag, which would be hanging on my back, and literally dragging me from the place and me begging her to wait with me to view the scene till it gets completely over and in return I would get a deep stare and warning that she would complain to my mother. Hence I would have no other option rather than walking back with her, but with a curiosity in my heart about the happenings in the fight. Looking back now, feels like a dramatic scene of laughter. 🙂
Though initially I hated to travel, eventually, as I grew, this journey became a part and parcel of my life. There was this one standard bus 45K, which used to drop us directly at our school, left with a two minute walk to our destination. Many people of different age groups, some students and some working professionals were used to be standard commuters of the bus in that specific time. As days passed by and as we started meeting every day in bus a small group of 12 members was formed, there was a kind of emotional bond among all of us. We used to share our thoughts about everything under the sky. No age bar to talk anything. Older people used to share their experiences of their school and college days and we used to tell our experiences. Occasions of birthdays, promotions, new jobs, marriages etc. called for a unique, small, cute party in bus with full of sweets and pastries. Even the regular drivers and conductors were invited for these parties. Nevertheless, during crisis, people walked hand in hand and helped to solve each other’s problems. Never knew how these unknown co-passengers became an integral part of my life. Never knew how time flew and I started loving this journey. Every day was nothing less than excursion. Now, when I recall those wonderful memories, I feel that it taught me the most beautiful aspect of life; Not everyone in our lives are meant to stay with us forever, but the time and distance that you travel along with them always has an impact in your life.
Life goes on…
Cheers to those long distance travellers!!!
P.S: This article is a special dedication to My Mother (Anupam Asthana), My Sister (Meeta Asthana – I am sure you will burst out of laughter at some point while you read this piece of mine) and those wonderful people who made my journey memorable….