What makes it so remarkable is that no number of "Have a nice journey" wishes are going to make it nice. Read on to find out why....
This very thing I realized when I actually had to take the turbulent roads to greatness. The destination I'm talking about is my Institution (again, it's not somewhere I want to go...but somewhere I have to)......Situated right in the middle of nowhere...and trust me the journey is something not ordinary.
The saga begins early in the morning each day. I myself have big trouble making it to the bus stop in time (totally my fault...I don't pay any heed to my alarm clock). Even when I do manage to get there, I find myself surrounded with a huge number of sleepy-eyed, drowsy boys and girls, yawning at regular intervals, exasperated expressions pasted on their faces...one can sense that they are silently cursing the rising of the early sun, and deeply regretting the dawning of a new day.
They say, in India, there are three things that are never on time....Trains, Chief Guests and Buses. Our bus was no exception, and made it a point to be at least 20 minutes late, if not more, to pick us up. It's a long wait, and meanwhile there are a lot of things to do: you could stare at your surroundings, at sky, at earth, at fellow college-goers, or ask the person standing beside you the reason which made him/her decide to come to college at all (answers range from practicals to library books to dodging fine but never came across attending classes as being a reason), or you can simply use the time to recall what important thing you forgot to bring along in the hurry (as far as I'm concerned I realize that I've worn mismatching stuff and my hairstyle suggests that I have been electrocuted).
And finally when the bus arrives, and you get on to it, the first thing you notice is that it's running "packed houses", literally. It happens very often with me, and while I stand and scan along rows of people in hope of finding a seat somewhere, the most chivalrous of fellows throw back their heads, close their eyes and fall asleep all of a sudden. Girls show more mercy and invite me to adjust in their seats (eternally grateful to them). Then all well-settled, we begin the long trip.
The "trip" is an experience in itself, being some thirty kilometers long, passing through the countryside and terminating in the jungles (our college is located in these "jungles") and the vehicle itself rickety, having all hinges and nuts loosened by the rough roads. I can say that in the bus I travel in, everything except the horn actually makes noise. Once inside the bus, again there are a lot of things you could do: Stare at fellow passengers (long enough to make them wonder if you are nuts), try to overhear the conversation between a couple seated right behind you, scribble on the plastic sheath behind the seats, pull out big pieces of sponge from a torn edge of a seat, observe how the driver hurls abuses at buffaloes blocking his way, gossip to fill awkward silence, or just fall asleep to resume the dream you abandoned to get to the bus stop on time. I spend most of my time marveling at the scenic beauty of the countryside-the ponds, the hills, the clear sky, the lush green farms, the fresh air, huts and cowsheds, and not to forget the countless cows themselves. In the background I hear the bus's stereo screeching out melodies, probably the favorite collections of our driver, mostly "Bewafai Ke Nagme Vol-I & II" and some "hit" scores in undecipherable languages. At times I'm interrupted by sudden jumps and jerks and acute-angle tilting of the bus, during which I cling on to the nearest rod/railing/seat-edge/human/whatever for dear life(yeah, my bus literally "rocks").
Thus the hour-long journey continues giving me a sense of what it feels like when time stops, space loses dimensions and someone asks after every five minutes....."Are we there yet?"
..After passing on the way numerous temples, slums, open lands, mountains, tea stalls, miniature repair shops, finally the bus slowly "rocks" and "rolls" into the gates of the huge building.
I, one of the few passengers awake, get up with great difficulty from my seat, still wobbly with the inertia of motion, and step down on to the grounds of my Institution. Destination.