Its that time of the year in my college when all the third year students suddenly feel important and responsible. Im talking about the department symposiums. A prestigious event that takes place once a year, organised by the third years’, dirty work done by the sophomores, ridiculed by the final years’ and barred of freshers. Every student awaits this chance to prove himself and get some recognition to rid himself of that stubborn loser tag.
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 was now a man on a mission. I had decided to overcome every obstacle god would throw on my path to college. This is of-course not to be mistaken as dedication towards my college or studies, but a love for challenges in which the odds are stacked against me. Just because fate shot me in the balls four times in a row within a span of 30 minutes doesnt mean i’m going let the forces dictate my life.
Heres the deal. I got 35km to cover within 1.5 hours if i gotta make it in time for class. Now if you’re wondering why its such a big deal, its because i live in India where road space is shared between vehicles having various number of wheels and hooves.
You know your life sucks when you have to attend college on a Saturday. And it sucks even more when your early morning ride to the bus stop decides that he cant wait an extra minute for you to show up. So I’m outside my flat at 7:15 calling AJ up.
me: Oy where are you?
aj: Sorry, left without you
me: No problem, just tell your dad to drop me.
aj: .. *click*
That’s that then, i take a brisk 1km walk to my stop covering the distance in about 8min, and am a whole 4 minutes ahead of my college bus’ normal arrival time. I turn the corner of the street and i see my cream colored college bus taking off, minus one student who is left behind cursing at his bad luck. This was turning out to be real shitty as my college is located in an uninhabited place called Pennalur, which happens to be 35kms from where i stand.
Now i’m left with the following options:
1) Get back home – tempting, but I’m not willing to give up at this stage
2) Get an auto to Saidapet for Rs40 and catch the college bus from there.
3) Take a public transport bus to Saidapet for Rs2.
4) Take public transport all the way for Rs15