Thursday, November 5, 2020

Stories from Sirohi- Beware! Bus Mafia

 I got out of Ahmedabad Railway Station opting to take bus to government bus to Sirohi. 

Ruck sack’s weight outweighed of all the bags I carried. Desperate to reach to Sirohi,  I looked for an auto to reach bus stand. Turning my wishes into reality, auto guy appeared out of the blue. 

‘Where do you have to go?’ asked the auto guy. Afraid of being duped, I was not ready to go. I was told by the auto person that the bus station is near by. Not in a mood to search on phone, I trusted the guy who said, it’s near by. I haggled the fare and got on to the auto. We moved out of railway station and through narrow lanes, we reached a place where everything is silent other than the travels place. We reached travels office. Private buses. ‘I asked for government busstation.’ I told the auto guy. You get Sirohi buses here.’Replied the auto guy suggesting me to take private buses.  

 I hesitated to go but the wish to reach the home before evening tempted me to opt for the private bus. 

‘Is there a bus to Sirohi’ I asked. ‘How many people?’ he asked showing one finger indicating the number of people. 

‘One person’ I confirmed.  

He phoned and murmurred about Sirohi and talked about the bus at 2.30

It’s 2.10 and I was excited to get on to bus and dance at home for reaching early. 

Pay 550, he said. ‘Is it AC?,’I asked. 

‘No.’He retorted. 

‘It’s okay. I’m going early’ I beamed a smile. 

‘He’ll drop you. Go back and sit in auto,’he instructed. Different counter. Different bus places. I was pondering. The auto guy dropped me at another travels. ‘Show the ticket here’ the auto guy said and asked to take out the luggage. ‘Where is the bus?’ I asked. 

‘It comes. It’s at 3.30’ he said and got into the work. 

"3.30?” The hour delay anger was subsided by the 550 rs I paid earlier to this traveler’s guy. Ridiculous refund policies and lack of time management reminded me of my 550rs. 

I was told 2.30 how is the bus arriving at 3.30 I asked. 'The bus is at 3.30 I do not what you heard.' He retorted.. Already 550 in his pocket I was not understanding what to decide on. I decided to wait for one more. I was okay with 3.30. 

I waited. Waited. And at 3.30 another auto came in and asked to come up with luggage. This time, I saw myself in the bus within few minutes. 

I got onto the bus and was taken to another travels. What’s happening? I don’t want to sit in another travels I decided. Just show the ticket here. Said the auto guy. What’s all these travels showing ticket business. I got frustrated. 

I was taken to the place it all started the RTO circle. 

The show is not over. We were taken to the bus and it’s 4’O clock. When do you start the bus? I was fuming. ‘4.30’ the driver said. And there’s no one who left us. 3 people are left alone who were sold tickets at different prices. Dynamic pricing or what!

Let me atleast settle in the bus I thought. It’s such a bus that I’d never pay 550 for such inconvenient bus. 

I waited and atlast it was 5 and I finally gave it out and entered the bus and sat. 

Wasted solid 3 hours in the conundrum of buses and also, got exploited by many people. 

What is it, I said to myself and decided not to give out to the local agents without asking 1001 questions. 

And finally the bus started at 7.00 PM. Never getting into these private buses without enquiring further. 

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Universe of Music- A R Rahman

 He's always evolving and emptying his cup. Grateful to have him and be a life long learner.