I can’t estimate the hours and days I travelled by bus in my life time but I can reminisce my experiences so far.
Most of us prefer a window seat while travelling and I am not an exception for that. From memorable childhood sibling rivalries to ever ending friendly betrayals, the quest to grab a seat beside a window has been on since two decades in my life.
I have not travelled much by train, but from my few instances and brief travel in trains so far, I could say that a window seat in bus gives me more pleasure than the same in a train. I feel that bus travel is very close to the nature. Forget about the car, I love the bus which brings in people together while car separates them from public.
There were few instances where I sacrificed my window seat to elder people. That’s OK. In few cases, a couple holding a child in their arms requests me to adjust myself somewhere in a corner of the bus and I had to oblige to their request. But while travelling with siblings and friends, there will be no compromise. You have to fight it out and sometimes you have to bring out your muscle power. I continue that even today with my friends even though other passengers stare at us.
I have a doubt which was bothering me all the time. Who has the ultimate authority over the window? Is it me sitting next to the window or the person sitting next to me or the person sitting behind me or is it the driver or the owner. I want the window half opened, the person next to me asks to open it full and the person behind him wants to have it shut. Whose request should I consider? Or should I consider them at all? But during sultry summers, everyone will stand on the same decision.
Indians are unique in doing few nasty things. They will bring food into the bus to have it when they feel hungry. After filling their bellies, they wash their hands through the window. They don’t even care about the passengers sitting behind them who have to face the wrath of the soiled water. They have this habit of spitting out through the window without looking at any two wheelers coming behind.
Not every time is it beautiful to sit beside a window. When travelling in ghat roads, we enjoy the scenic beauty, but some of us could not control our stomach from vomiting out. We have children stretching their hands out ignoring the strict warnings.
Coming to another exciting location in the bus which is more tempting but not advisable, the foot board, which is the hangout spot for teens, brings us closer to the nature as well as danger.
For whom ever it is, either young or old, romancing the nature through the window is spectacular especially in a diverse country like India.
Feature image: APSRTC bus plying between towns of Kanchipuram and Tirupathi by VtTN (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
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