Experience is quite a teacher and I came up with a robust, but delicate plan (Oh! The paradox of it all). The starting point was Vellore and the destination was Kodaikanal. Rather than a lonely layover at the famed K terminal, I chose the more bustling Hosur junction – let’s call this the H terminal. I booked a combo which would give me a 1 hour break between buses. Neat!
I finished work early and called Bus 1 as there was a discrepancy in the boarding times – it was 1 hour earlier than I thought. No problems. I walked to the office with just a small satchel and waited. A little plastic chair and a hundred flies brought a smile to my face – dejavu? The bus was a comfortable 45 minutes late which suited me fine as it made my wait time about an hour at the H junction – maths is tricky but easy!
I had learnt from experience and when this bus stopped for dinner, I grabbed a chappati and a snack. At 10 PM it rumbled to a halt at H terminal and I could instantly make out a more vibrant, busy place. The walk to the boarding gate at H terminal was a mixed bag of roads and gutters. The office was on the ground level and once again the lone source of light in a dark building. It was a busy place though with more people. I plonked myself onto the plastic chair, whipped out my phone and experienced the joy of waiting again. As usual I had insects for company – they certainly acknowledged my existence. This time I had humans for company – we all swiped at our phones barely acknowledging our existence. And then I had a rat peek out from underneath the desk a dozen times – it was waiting for our existence to cease for its late night party time. Dozens of buses swished high above me on the bypass flyover, vehicles crisscrossed in the night. Soon the big pink bus thundered in right in front of me and I entered like a pro bus-traveller. There were no dreams this time – just reality. No funny signs, no typos, no bag of air. My spotify one-month free premium subscription kept me company and finally reality dissolved into a dream.
My body rested and recovered as the mammoth bus slithered its way on the highway to the foothills in a few hours and then wove its way to the top through the dark of the night
…. and once again, there was nothing as refreshing as entering home and feeling the warm embrace of family – followed by a breakfast at Tamara.