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When I took my Grandma on a bus ride

Posted by Priyanka Lahiri on August 18, 2016

The joy of sleeping till noon on a Sunday is a feeling beyond words; to understand, one need to experience it.

It was a Sunday and I was enjoying my siesta until my mom spoiled it. I could distantly hear her, “Get up Dinno, You need to take Grandma to Trichy, there is urgency”, and please, will you wake up now, it is already noon?”  I regained my senses and wanted to ask, ‘grandma travelling? With me?’But before that I had to rush for the morning calls…. sorry…. afternoon calls.  Through with all that, went searching for my mom and finally found her on the terrace doing appalams.

“Dinno, quickly search whether tickets are available to Trichy. I am not sure whether you can get train tickets, bus is fine. Babu Mama wants to see grandma before he leaves for The US. He is very old – You know he is old and cannot risk a trip to our place and another long one in quick succession. Appa will not be returning from Delhi till Friday and I cannot leave the house as your sister’s exams are on. You driving a car is out of question. If you can quickly book tickets in a bus, you take grandma safely and stay there till we join you. We all will return on Sunday”. Mom was speaking continuously and I just stood there wondering how I will manage a 6 hours trip with my grandma who is going to turn 80 next month, alone.

I hardly remembered how the next few hours went by; all I remembered was going online and thanks to the many sites like travelyaari.com, where A to Z details when it comes to travel can be accessed and used to the full satisfaction. Bingo! Our tickets were ready for travel the next day.

Finally it was me and my grandma on the bus. I could see the excitement in my grandma eyes; a Volvo high-seater with seated, semi-sleeper and the sleeper option, air conditioned, video and audio systems, clean and comfortable surroundings, and she was on a roll. I need to mention here that it had been ages since my grandma went on a bus ride.  She hardly travels and whenever she does, it was either in our car or a train.

I made her sit by the window, freed her leg space, tugged her bag with mine and kept it near my feet.  After all she is now my sole responsibility for the next 6 hours. My mom called me and did some rapid fire round:

  • Did you keep the tickets ready and in a place where you can quickly take and show it to the conductor?
  • Have you charged your phone adequately?
  • Is the food and water bag right next to you?
  • Have you kept purse safely and carrying few loose changes on your pocket for small purchases?
  • Did you check when and where the small break is?
  • Keep to yourself; don’t entertain people whom you feel uncomfortable.
  • Hold grandma’s hands when she gets in and gets out of the bus.
  • Be next to the loo place, ask some ladies to check on her when she is in the bathroom.

I had to interrupt Amma, “Please Amma, the bus is going to start, don’t’ worry I’ll take care of her”. I looked at my grandma; she was grinning like a 4th grade kid.Sometimes we forget what it’s like being a kid and travel provides an opportunity to bring out the child in us. We were all set for the journey.

As the bus progressed leaving behind the city’s concrete jungle, hustle bustle, jarring loud  noise and dust pollution s, my grandma settled near the window  checking out the countryside, staring at passing pedestrians,  searching desperately for a recognizable landmark , slowly taking everything in and having fun all the way.

I finally had some time to listen to my iPod.  After a while, the bus suddenly veered to a nearby green space with a small motel in the centre. I reckoned that it was time for refreshment break. I didnt even know how these 3 hours had flown by. phew! I Helped grandma get down, took her to the restroom and told her that I would be standing right under the nearby mango tree till she comes out.  I quickly went to the men’s room, and took not more than few minutes and rushed back to the spot I had promised.

More than 1o minutes had passed by and I saw no signs of my grandma. Little worried peeped inside the restroom, blaming the awkward moment, and there was no Grandma! My heart missed to beat a moment, I frantically searched inside the rooms, nearby places and to my dismay my grandma was gone.

Time was running out, the 15 minutes break was over and the bus conductor was calling everyone inside and I was there running all over to find to my grandmother. I shouted loudly to the conductor saying that my grandma was missing, requesting to wait for a few more minutes.

Searched thoroughly inside, I just came out to the road wondering what to do next and there I saw her.  She was happily negotiating with a lady selling fresh garden plucked mangoes on the roadside without realizing my nightmare time.  “Dinno, come here, look at these fresh mangoes. Babu Mama loves these types of mangoes, let’s buy 2 dozens of  them” said my excited grandma. For a moment I gasped like I just regained my life.

When we finally made inside the bus, the conductor stared at us. But it was OK!!!  HE WAITED FOR US.  Thank god it was a BUS Journey!

Now for readers here is the conclusion:  Bus travel is not the same as that of a train, car or a plane, but it has its own charm. Just like the Sunday late morning Siesta, you need to experience to understand it.

We are the road trippers, the track bashers, the ones popping our heads out the bus window to soak in that gorgeous view. In the business world, we help you travel by bus across India. But here, we are the friends you make on that long journey home. Come with us, discover the fun of travelling in India by road!

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About the Author

We are the road trippers, the track bashers, the ones popping our heads out the bus window to soak in that gorgeous view. In the business world, we help you travel by bus across India. But here, we are the friends you make on that long journey home. Come with us, discover the fun of travelling in India by road!

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