Monday, 24 December 2018

Almost a Journey

   It is a day before the mini-vacations for the christmas season set in, a Friday... Excited to travel, into the heartland of amazing coastlines and serenity... A trip to Dapoli.
   The 'ShivShahi' buses which take you there have a notorious reputation that precedes them. I take the plunge and navigate the Pune office hours to reach the bus depot. It is just the beginning of a long wait that lies ahead. As I sit by a column there are hints of a drama cooking up around. Drama - Would never have guessed that would define my onward journey to Dapoli. 
   A group of farmers(an assumption I made from their talks of rains playing spoilsport and having dispersed them from their ancestral lands) and their wives sat quibbling about for 'tarp-space'. Even as I pulled my hoodie tighter against the rising chill the group went on with their 'tarp-wars'.. Each had a meager smattering of a tarpaulin which was to serve as their only winter protection. The make-shift tarpaulins were their ways of marking spaces. It was then a nearby vendor came over to exert his authority and literally shooed them away(that's the word, having seen dogs treated much better). The farmers gave in and had to scamper away. As this scene played out a diminutive woman rose from the group tugging at a ragged parcel by her side. Tenderly she extracted a pair of bananas and made her way towards the smug vendor. She inaudibly made a deal for prime tarp-space and turned around to face the recently quarreling group. The bananas had probably done the trick. She called the group over and gave them a piece of her mind and gladly gave away the space for all to share. It was hardly ten minutes before the entire group was fast asleep crowded against each other on the ice-cold floor separated by their tarps.
   The scene had struck a chord somewhere as I sat there waiting for my ride which was by now an hour late. Out of curiosity I made way towards the inquiry counter which housed an exasperated lady. It was sheer luck I overheard the Conductor who was incharge of the bus I was to board. I tagged along to a corner of the now fast depleting bus depot towards my bus. This was by no means the 'ShivShahi' promised... It was the basic state transport bus which was put up as the alternative to the Shivshahi which had crashed supposedly on its previous trip.. There was it living up to its notorious reputation. I found my way to the window seat I thankfully had the wisdom of reserving a week ago. The conductor got in to verify the tickets and then to our surprise got into the driver's seat. There we now had a conductor-driver combo all rolled into one. Little did I know he was to teach me a lesson in patience. He rolled up his sleeves and told us of how he had been promoted to the conductor post a couple of years ago(meaning it had been two years sans driving practice). He sat down and said a short prayer(much aided by our own ones). The engine rumbled to a start and thus began the 6 hour journey that lay ahead(or so I thought...).
    The next stop was to be Swargate bus depot, a 20 min drive from the stop. Here a group of passengers rushed in only to be denied by our conductor/driver as this was to be the 'Shivshahi' replacement. This did turn out to be the last straw for the passengers who had been waiting for the better part of the last 3 hours. Swoop in Mr.c/d(the protagonist of the story our very own conductor/driver) and he hears out all the vents. As we gave up checking on our watches, he stood firm and heard out every syllable being thrown at him. He then asked them to alight and returned to his driving seat(a ritual he was to repeat quite a number of times). It was then followed by an hour long detour through some unknown lanes of Pune as he could never accept that he had lost his way. Then came us the tech-savy generation to the rescue. Switching on our google-maps to lead him on to the highway. It was much magic to him as the blue lines led him out of his misery. 
   It was somewhere around at 3am when a sudden jolt shook me up from a slumber I had managed to steal from the rickety caucus of the bus. It was a barren stretch of a road and a quintessential dhaba for company.


The only picture I managed in the pitch black darkness

Here I had one of the best cups of tea I have ever tasted (given the fact that I drink tea on the rarest of occasions). A range of hills stood stark against the moonlight contrasting the pitch black expanse. It was in this moment of peace in this dark cavern of blackness I felt that the delay was all worth for this very moment. 

Sunday, 7 October 2018

About time


About time for the things we never had time for...
For the ones we thought we had a plan,
Only to find it was leisure now that mocked from afar...

Or was is the simplicity we missed now...
From the high ship of adulthood we saw,
The oceans that once were teeming with excitement

Waves we longed to surf upon now really did wave... 
At us from the shores we now have anchored the ship by,
Waiting for the tide and time to be right

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Finally...



And you thought of it to be a mirage..
As always hung upon the image of the lonely barge...

Out into the seas so fair, sighing at the sky so blue...
Wishing upon a star, for the horizons to come meet you...

But haven't you always been here beside me...
Pining along for the dream, the visions I too seek...

All over a breeze that sets us free now...
To say it out loud, to finally stop wondering how...