Aamir Khan’s dialogue, “Life mein teen cheezon ke peeche khabi nahi bhagna chahiye … bus, train aur chokri … ek gayi doosri aati hai” in the Bollywood movie Ishq brings out the essence of transport in cities in a comical manner. As part of my travels in the beautiful country of India, I have taken many modes of transport which have interesting experiences attached to them. And yes, this dialogue holds true for me as well!
In this blog, I share my experiences of the various modes of transport that I have travelled in on my journeys.
Yes, autorickshaws in some parts of Uttarakhand are called as Vikrams, as it is manufactured by a company that goes by the same name. Funny-looking blue-coloured Vikrams are the lifeline in the state of Gods. Every time I boarded the Vikram with two backpacks, I got curious looks from locals. It was interesting to observe that they never looked you in the eye, just glanced and moved away their gaze. Yet with their body language you are sure that you and your bags have caught their attention. In a bid to earn extra bucks, the driver takes in as many passengers as possible, sometimes, 14 people squeeze instead of the accepted 8. It is an interesting insight into the lives of the locals who are ever welcoming of the people around them.
Image Source: http://www.tribuneindia.com/
Flights held a charm for me since childhood with the thought of flying in the air like a bird. Now the thought does resonate with me when I travel and explore newer heights on my trips. As part of a project, I got to travel for work in various places like Goa, Lucknow, Haridwar, Kanpur, etc. I usually like to take the train or road while travelling for personal trips but work trips in flights are better! So our client had a tie-up with Jet Airways and we were given conveniently timed flights for our destination. The interiors of any flight are important to me as it adds to the overall experience of flying in the air. Jet Airways, the second-largest airline in India, was classy and sophisticated in its ambiance. Personally, the journeys on Jet Airways are worthwhile especially for Jet Wings, the monthly in-flight magazine which brings to me the stories of fellow travelers and first-hand information about unique destinations across the globe. It leads me to dream further! I remember during one of our flights there was air traffic and we were in-air for 45 minutes more than the usual time. I plugged in the latest music that they had as part of their entertainment set-up and relaxed like a queen!
Private Bus: Standing at Aut, a small settlement of Himachali locals, I was waiting for the Himachal Road Transport Corporation bus to Chandigarh with my travel buddy Krishna. As destiny would have it, these buses were packed and we had to depend on a private bus which would arrive a couple of hours later. Little did we know that it would be an unparalleled experience! The bus arrived, we boarded and soon concluded that there were no seats available here as well. With no other option, we had to sit in the driver’s cabin with another girl already comfortable there. Anxiously, we settled in seeing no other option in view at that hour (9pm) especially when we had a train to board the next day. Sitting on the uncomfortable seat with little support to hold onto we were swaying with every turn on the treacherous road. Soon after, I ditched my sleep and started revelling in this first-time experience. Soon after, we were in the 3km long Aut tunnel on Chandigarh-Manali national highway and it was an adventurous ride with minimal lights, blinding headlights of trucks & buses coming from the opposite direction and rustic Punjabi music blazing on full volume. This experience makes me chuckle every time I think about it. You can read more about my bus journey experience here.
State transport bus:
With the intention of a road trip, buses were the top priority for me and Krishna while we travelled within Himachal Pradesh. The local buses were charming with their imperfections; overcrowded with locals, 4 people sitting in place of 2, flamboyantly coloured interiors, loud local music and the pan-chewing conductor. The lack of space in these buses actually brought out the human element in everyone where people were standing up for an elder or a pregnant lady to be seated. Apart from this what will remain with me forever is the curiosity of the locals on seeing two girls travelling all by themselves to Himachal Pradesh. Never did we face any problem on these buses where everyone came forward to help us with our bags and enquire about our
So, which is your favourite mode of transport while you travel?