Monday, 3 September 2012

A splash and dash to Mandya.

A splash and dash to Mandya.

Date of Journey- 02/09/2012
Service- KSRTC Airavath Volvo.
Distance- 92kms(appox)

My eventful day started up at around 4am in the morning. I had to visit Mandya to take up an exam which was scheduled at 9am. I had to reach Mandya by atleast 8am as I had to search my examination center in the district. Though I have passed through this place hundreds of time on my way to Mysore and back, this trip was an important one. It was a cold, chilly morning when i left my place. My father dropped me to the Mysore road Satellite bus stand.

I reached the satellite bus stop by 5am and there was already a lot of activity with almost all types of services heading to Mysore and beyond. However there were no sign of Airavath Volvo buses. I headed inside the bus stand and noticed a line of Volvo buses parked in a row however most of them had returned from their destination overnight. With time slowly slipping through, I was getting worried as I knew I could not bank on rest of the services if I had to reach my destination on time. Finally saw one of the parked buses in the row cranking to life and the crew started calling for Mysore bound passengers.

I headed out immediately towards the bus and to my surprise it was an old Mark l Airavath maintained in a very good condition. I asked the conductor as to when the bus would depart. The conductor said he would wait for atleast 10 passengers after which it would do a non-stop journey to Mysore. I asked him if the bus stops in Mandya, he replied with a no but said he will drop me off outside the bus stand in Mandya. Me along with around 7-8 passengers boarded the bus. The bus slowly inched out towards the exit of the bus stand and waited for few more passengers.After waiting for few more minutes around 10 passengers boarded the bus and then we finally left. My father who frequently travels to Mysore in Airavath had instructed me that I should buy a ticket till Mysore by paying Rs 240/- and later request for a stop at Mandya since it was a non-stop service. However to my surprise while buying the ticket, I asked the conductor if  he would issue me a ticket till Mandya and he agreed. I paid a total of Rs153/-.

The bus now made a small halt near Nice Road after Kengeri and to my surprise I saw my conductor who issued me the tickets took over the wheel while the driver went straight to sleep on the make shift bed on seat 3 and 4. Turns out that our man is a driver cum conductor and right from the word go he meant business. Though he was driving fast there were no hard overtaking, unnecessary honking and harsh braking. The bus was cruising at speeds of 70-75kmph and rarely the bus touched 80kmph.

After a couple of minutes, I decided to take the co-driver's seat at the front. We got into a little conversation about our lives and after a couple of minutes later he asked where exactly I was going in Mandya. I told him the address of my Examination Center and he said, he will take me there with ample amount of time to spare. We chit chatted all the way through and with little time we crossed Ramnagaram. At this point of time, I went back to my seat to catch up with a power nap as I was feeling a bit sleepy and I did not want to sleep sitting next to him. I asked him to wake me when we reach Mandya. He assured me that he will indeed wake me up. I slept for almost 45mins and when I woke up I noticed that the bus had stopped for a break near Maddur. I got down and was taking few pics of the bus. Just then, the other driver who was sleeping all this while boarded the bus and honked at us to board the bus. The last of the passengers boarded the bus and finally our man boarded the bus with a cup of tea in his hand and came upto me and offered the tea. I declined but he insisted. At this point I noticed all the passengers in the bus had a weird expression on their face.

By the time I finished my cup of tea the bus entered the outskirts of Mandya and slowly made its way on B.M Highway. I got up from my seat, picked up my bag and headed over to the front to alight near Mandya bus stand. But our man, told me that that Examination Center is located up ahead, right next to the highway and asked me to wait. A couple of minutes later the bus pulled over right next to the Examination Center's main gate. He suggested me to get down here, wished me all the very best for my exams and left.

Here's the picture of the bus I took at our break near Maddur.


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