This incident happened in 2006, during my summer internship with Taegu Tec ( a korean cutting tools manufacturer,now part of the Berkshire Hathway group).
After my initial training in Bangalore, I had a few days off before reporting to the zonal head in Delhi. I decided to go to Mumbai to be with my friends and have some fun filled days before the slogging began. Now, as mentioned in some of my previous posts as well, my laziness ensured that I didn’t go to the ticket counter,stand in a queue and book the ticket.
What I did,in fact, was to tell a friend of mine to go to the Kempe Gowda station and book the tickets on my behalf. The bus I intended to go by was “Airavat”, the state transport’s Volvo. Luck failed me however with all the seats being full on the volvos to Mumbai.Instead,my friend booked me on the next best option, an express service being run by the Maharashtra state transport.While the Volvo would have cost me Rs. 1000/- the express cost me only Rs. 500/-.
The day of the Journey:
I reached the bus station an hour before time. I have always been in awe of the beautiful Volvo buses and so I kept staring longingly at them. The ‘Airavat’ buses to Mumbai came and left. Just as the last volvo to Mumbai was leaving, a shabbily dressed man walked up to me and asked “aapko kidhar jaane ka hai?”(where do you have to go?).
Looking at him suspiciously, I answered Mumbai to which he replied ” par volvo toh jaa chuki hai?” (but the volvo has already left?). I replied saying that I was going by the express. “Sir aap pehle express ko dekh lena, fir decide karna ki usme jaane ka hai ya nahi”
The express eventually rolled in and the comparison was as follows:
The Rs. 500 ticket suddenly made a lot of sense.”Saab isme toh hum jaise log bhi nahi jaate!!”( sir, people like us also dont travel in such buses), the man proceeded to inform me. Faced with the prospect of traveling 21 hours in a rickety old red bus, this shabbily dressed man suddenly became my angel in disguise. I asked him about my options and he instantly referred me to a private tour operator. In the meanwhile the “laal dabba” left and I was left with a ticket that could not be canceled and refunded.
Anyway, thanks to this guy, I finally boarded a private volvo which helped me reach Mumbai in 19 hours and an intact back and spine…the total cost…Rs 1700/-
Well, 2008 has seen the arrival of two sites which give you the convenience and ease of booking bus tickets. So, for all lazy,busy and last minute bums, these sites can be used to book your bus tickets