Ordeal – Chapter 4 – Stepping stones towards success
0830: The bus rattles into the filthy suburb of Poonamallee, proudly advertised at the town’s enterance as a “third grade municipality”. It takes 15 minutes to cover the 2km cratered road to the bus terminus. Finally, i step down into some slush which the municipality has provided in place of sidewalks. I guess this was done keeping in mind that the majority of the residents were bovine creatures. For the humanfolk however, stone slabs were placed at regular intervals. This means the human pedestrian has three options: 1)Walk through a cocktail of dung+mud+urine+rainwater 2)Hop from one stone to another like an acrobat or 3)Get runover by an infinitely long line of buses.
I enquire about the bus to Sriperumbudur and am told that it stops 500 metres down the road. I make the walk and by now i’m dead tired from all the travelling. Fortunately, for the first time today something went my way and the bus arrived. I was able to sneak a 20 minute nap as the road was great upto the college, courtesy Vajpayee’s ambitious road project.
I get off at this place called Pennalur which happens to be a km walk from my college. I realize that i am not alone as 4 more guys alight from the same bus and head towards the gate. Their faces coated with a layer of dirt and their tired eyes reveal that they too have a story to tell. We walk in silence through the gates, each of us contented at having successfully challenged our body and mind through a journey that not all of us have the courage to undertake.
PS: I missed my attendance