Back to Bangalore in Kesineni B11R
Date of Journey: 17/06/2014
Service: Kesineni B11R semi-sleeper.
Service: Kesineni B11R semi-sleeper.
It was 2am on a Saturday morning. I was sitting in my office scouting for a bus to return home. With the launch of Scania services, I had no other operators in mind but to try this one specific operator. With all eagerness I visited their website to book a ticket however something was amiss. The booking option for the bus was missing and instead an option to ‘request’ for the seats was in place. Something did not add up however I was not bothered about the same as work was piling up on my desk and it had to be given the first priority.
As planned I met my friend Saurabh and with time not much time left, I headed straight to the head office of the operator to confirm if the Scania service was available. After a quick search, it was confirmed that the service was cancelled. I was disappointed as this was a service that I was eager to try however I always knew there was a next time.
After having lunch myself and Saurabh decided to search out a service that would take me back home as soon as possible. With the availability of many operators, it was like finding a needle in a haystack however we had a winner. It was Kesineni B11R.
The departure time from National Park, Borivali was at 3:05pm. After booking the tickets, we headed towards the boarding point. 10mins before the scheduled departure, I got a call from the pickup man asking my whereabouts. I have tried their service earlier too and one thing which I admire about their service is punctuality. I reached the bus and Saurabh, introduced me to the crew. The crew recognized me as I was with them when they got the bus registered in Bangalore.
|pic taken during registration|
15:00hrs- Departure time.
The bus departed from Borivali and headed straight towards its next pickup point. Since I booked the seat at the rear of the bus (Seat no 39), I dragged by luggage and settled down in my seat. The blast of cool air from the vents and the lovely weather outside was enough to put me into sleep. When I woke up we were near Sion. We had pulled over to pick up passengers and I headed at the front to have a quick chat with the crew. Checked the pickup list and found a good amount of passengers were boarding here and at Chembur. With all passengers accounted for, we moved on and reached Chembur in no time. En route the way, the pickup man called up all the passengers boarding at Chembur and kept them informed about the location of the bus. We reached Chembur by around 4:40pm and picked up the rest of the passengers.
Though being a weekday, the bus was running almost full with the last row of seats empty. We headed towards Kalamboli and picked up speed immediately. We hit the expressway and the crew showed no sense of urgency. We were cruising at good speeds and the bus rarely hitting 3 digit speeds. We encountered pockets of rain along the expressway however we powered on ahead. We reached the scenic Lonavala Ghats and the power of an 11r was enough to take us through this lovely stretch covered by mist and clouds. We reached Pune and headed towards Katraj to pickup passengers.
Traffic at Pune was at its best and it took a little more time than anticipated; however with all passengers picked up we headed out on the highway.
20:15hrs- Dinner time
We were nearing our scheduled dinner break when the touring talkies inside the bus came alive with the announcement for dinner. We pulled over at Hotel Neelkamal for dinner as it was a regular stop for this service. The crew insisted to have dinner with them and ensured I ate to the brim. After a good 30minutes break, we started our journey back.
20:45- Back on the Highway
We hit the highway and an old bollywood flick was in its climax stage. No sooner the movie got over, the cleaner closed the TV sets and the light in the bus were switched off. The second driver had taken over the bus to drive the stretch towards Bangalore. I was getting ready to resume my journey towards sleep when the first driver came over to my seat and asked me to occupy both the seats 3 and 4 at the front as he would be sleeping in the last row seats. I thanked him and headed towards the front and settled down in my seat. I finally shut my eyes down as the bus cruised on the highway. I vaguely remember waking up at around 3am as the bus had pulled over for a tea break; however I slept back as I was in no mood of losing my sleep
7:15am- Few clicks away from Bangalore
I woke up to find that we had reached near T.Begur and were cruising towards Bangalore. We reached the Nelmangala toll road and in no time we hit the Yeswanthpur –Nelamangala toll way. I started to pack my bag as the bus was quickly covering the 19.5kms stretch. While I got ready to alight, the crew requested me to stay back and offered to drop me at TR mills parking lot. Since I was in a hurry to reach home, I declined and offered to meet them there next time.
I was dropped off at Yeswanthpur at exactly 8:30am.
Will I try this service again ?
This was the second time I am trying their service and needless to say the service remains top class. A well maintained bus, dignified and friendly crew and punctuality at its best. Though being a weekday, the bus was running full, shows that this service is definitely a sought after by passengers. Though I was disappointed initially as I could not try Scania, this journey brought back the smile with an amazing service. If need arises I will certainly try this service and recommend the same.
Few pics of the bus taken earlier this year-