It was 5.25hrs of a chilly winter morning. I reached Bus stand. It was still dark and most of the buses were taking rest while some others were at platform and getting ready to start the day…! Well, the bus which I wanted to board was at platform, totally empty! I lined up in a que, waiting for the Conductor to arrive at the counter and Distribute tickets. I was second in the line and wanted to board the bus first. Ofcourse to get that seat in the driver’s cabin. (I have mentioned my love for that seat in one of my previous blog 😜)
This time I was heading south towards Kolhapur. I had a very tight schedule and also had to return back on the same day. Pune to Kolhapur distance is 240Kms and it takes atleast 4.5 hours. I needed to reach the destination by 10.00hrs.
MSRTC runs the non stop semi luxury buses also knows as Hirkani or Asiad on this route. Its without Conductor, so you need to buy the ticket at counter and then board the bus. As I got the ticket, I rushed toward the bus to grab that seat and yes, this time it was quite easy. Whoo..! Perfect start for the day..!
The scheduled departure of the bus was 5.30hrs but actually we started our journey on 5.50hrs. Yayyy…! It was so cold, that every window of the bus was closed except that one of driver’s. Sweaters were on! Bus was getting the momentum so as the sleep of the passengers…! I was able to hear some terryfying noises of snoring..! ( Even from the Driver’s cabin) Hahaha it reminded me of my uncle! Ohh my god I was feeling like at Home… 😂😂😂😂😂
Sun was yet to rise. So It was time for me take out my phone and capture the colourful Shades of Sky…( Usually my phone is fully charged at the start of the day). Everything was perfectly set!
It was really cold. Even I closed the window of my side. I was feeling the chilled weather. My hands were cold and I was not feeling them at all.. It took almost two glass of tea to get back my body to normal. Clean air, fantastic views and traffic less highway allowed me to complete my journey in exact 4 hours…
Whooo! Awesome journey indeed. Now whatever happiness and positive energy I earned from this journey, I needed to transfer it into my work.. as I got off the bus my mind suddenly diverted from NH4 to Meeting 1… 😂
All my meeting were in the outskirts of Kolhapur District! It was difficult to complete them with the help of ST. Thanks to my Sir who was there with his Honda City. Really, his car brought a lot of efficiency and saved time.
Kolhapur is dominated with sugarcane farming. Sugarcane fields on the both side of roads. I was on these routes almost after 10 years. So it was kind of nostalgic. From a four lane national.highway, I was thrown at a normal 2 lane road. Luckily, the suspension of Honda City was really good… 😜 First meeting was at Panhala, nearly 35 kms. From Highway. And we were on time.
After this western most side of the District we were now heading towards Jaysingpur, the eastermost part of the Kolhapur District. We again took the same road. Came at Warana Nagar. A big commercial centre, with College Campuses, a big Milk Production Dairy and well planned clean roads. Then finally after travelling for 60 more kms. We were at our 2nd meeting at Atigre..! And finally at 3.30 we ended up with our third meeting of the day and the work for the day was finished on Schedule.
Now we were hungry. So much! ” पोटात कावळे किंवा तत्सम म्हणींमध्ये आढळणारे सर्व प्राणी हलकल्लोळ माजवून ओरडून पार वैकुंठवासी सुद्धा झाले ”
If You are travelling on Sangali- Kolhapur road then always remember, 90% hotels on this road are only opened during evening. So if you have planned to travel on this route at afternoon time, then make sure that you have enough food with you..!
After travelling for 14kms on road towards Kolhapur, and enquiring almost over 10 hotels finally a Dhaba, totally Punjab style named Sardar dhaba was open. We sat down on the Khatiya and ordered some chicken with spicy Tambda – Pandhara Rassa. The food was yum… It was 16.00hrs. however we were ontime as per we planned but we were really late for lunch.
My Sir dropped me at Hatkanangale bus stand, and I caught a bus to Kolhapur city. 26kms. I slept for those whole 26 kms. A little nap was refreshing. At Kolhapur stand, I had the Evening tea and felt it was essential to get back in life. Cause I still needed to cover a 240 Kms journey back to Pune.
I thought there will be no rush as it was friday evening. But surprisingly it was terribly crowded. And it was one & only bad sursprise of the day. Between 17.30hrs to 18.00hrs 3 Hirkani buses were made available on this route which controlled the crowd. I was soo tired that I had no energy what so ever to Rush the bus in that crowd and get the seat! So I decided that I will go for a private luxury bus. But most of those were left and next buses were on 20.00 hrs. So what is the option??????
My mind lighten up with the answer. Whoo. And controller told me that the next Shivneri was on 18.00 hrs. I took round of depot bus I didn’t found a single Shivneri. What the hell??? Is it on 18.00hrs or controller lied to me? Then suddenly a blue Scania entered in bus stand that too straightly from Pune. There were so confusion all around. So finally after a lot of chaos, Shivneri came to platform.
Because of higher rates very few people turned to board the Shivneri. It was a Scania Metrolink Bus.. At this moment I took all the energy which I had to board the bus. I just didn’t cared about anyone else, and boarded the bus first. Ofcourse to get the favourite seat..! Front row left Side window seat..! Yayyy…! I did it again…!
Only 16 passengers turned to Shivneri. However other buses also managed to control the rush. I needed to travel in some comfort. level of my tiredness was near to infinity…
After controlling that rush, the Conductor came to distribute tickets. He was used to the rates of Hirkani buses. So at first as per his habit he shouted the ” the ticket is 336 rs.” Listening to this everybody gone mad with happiness… And later on he corrected himself ” अहो सॉरी 646 ₹ आहे तिकीट. आम्हाला त्या हिरकणी ची सवय झालीये ना, त्यामुळे हे असं होतंय. हि गाडी आजपासून नवीन सूरु झालीये ह्या रूट वर”
This was the first trip of this bus on the route and I consider myself lucky to board the bus on its inaugural trip.. haha..😂 with New bus came new driver who had no idea of routes inside the city. Ofcourse this bus also dont have conductor onboard. So that controller / conductor told us to co operate with the driver and asked people to show him the road.
I stood up spontaneously and told him that I knew the road and I will become his GPS… Controller laughed and told me to guide him. And later on that surprising words of controller made me go mad, as he said to “come and sit at that seat in the Main Door.” These drivers dont allow anybody to seat over there. I jumped out of my first row seat to grab that Main Door Seat, Which is usually a Conductor seat… (Unofficially I became the conductor off that shivneri for next 5 hours, and I was enjoying this new temporary role) . Whooooo, a dream came true…!
Journey started..! I helped driver to reach highway. The human GPS was doing his job superbly. Finally we hit the highway. And the experience of seating in that seat was unbelievably awesome. What a view I was getting .
I was so happy that and I was getting mad, really!!! I started Capturing photos of highway, clicking selfies. Talking to driver. I was behaving like a kid. My tiredness was gone…! It was fantastic feeling..! I was messaging my friends about it.! And this madness was noticed by some fellow passengers too and were smiling looking at me. But who cares..! I forgot all my tensions, sorrows everything. It was pure moments of Euphoria..! Its just a small thing or a big achievement , I dont know! I mean for 90% of people they won’t even imagine seating at that seat.. But I was on that seat and enjoying it.. 😜😎 for me it was the starting of one of the most memorable journey..!
I decided that I am going back to my first row seat because however, I have never travelled on that first row seat too! So as we crossed Satara, I got back to first row seat. ( My mobile battery was also getting drained and needed to charge and charging plug was at first row seat)
By all means this day 23rd December 2016 was one of the memorable day of my life. I travelled for almost 650kms and Attended 3 meetings.
Well, both ways I got my favourite seat everything gone according to me. Nothing went wrong! Very few times things go as smoothly as we want.! I don’t know how this happened… But yes this day taught one thing that be happy with the small things happening around..! Experience new thing everytime you travel! I have been traveling continuously for last two weeks carrying the tensions and burdens of the office. But these small things and new experiences are so valuable that it made me forget all the tensions and gave so much Positive Energy..! Sitting at that seat in the main door, in the dark, gave me a chance to just calm down a liitle and thank god for whatever I have..! It gave me so much that I can’t even express in words..! May be that is why they say that ” traveling have the power to change your life”
I love Traveling alone and with each journey, my bag of experiences is getting richer and richer..! Now I am eager to experience Some specific kind of beautiful experiences..! 😜 But one thing for Sure, In the future I will definitely have some stories to tell. To my children’s and grandchildren..!
Thats why I will always say…
Its all about getting that favourite and Perfect seat…! 😂