I should add: At the age of 66! Seems I am setting up some records. Should try and see if the Guinness Records People would be interested, Haha! Anyway, Travel by Public Transport in India is always Interesting! …But do not resort to them because I just said that!
Yes, I am having to Travel much these days. And a Change of Place is in the Offing. That is Why I am not being Regular to my Blog. You may be Sure I will keep informing You about all the developments!
So let me speak a little of Travel by the Indian Railways; and by the Indian Buses, of which there are Various kinds!
Let me start with Trains:If You are fortunate enough to get a Reservation in a Sleeper; If You have had a hard day at the Office or even at Home, and If You are Under 40, You might even enjoy these trips. Otherwise, 😦
Inside Your Sleeper Coach, You can encounter things like these, as in this picture. This is Not Uncommon:
What Ho! The Indian Railways arranges for Automatic Blessings for You! And No Extra Charges for these either!
Besides such Delights like Feet on Your Face and on Your Head as You try to Keep Your Balance on the Shaking train if You have to go to the toilet or something, We would have to Listen to those who board the train in the middle of the night, talking at High decibels till ‘they’ fall asleep!
There are at times Bhaktas (devotees) who Just Have to Bathe, and for which they would not hesitate to use the Wash basin in the Corridor, so that the Water streams all they way into the Compartment, and what if Your luggage on the floor, Your Bag kind of things, get wet? Just Why did We Not keep our bags on our Laps?
Incidentally, as the toilets are Not meant for bathing, such High use of Water Empties the overhead tanks. …Let me Not speak of more Unspeakable Horrors.
Then We have the Highly Efficient Maintenance of the Coaches. Woe to You if You are not able to get a Berth at about the Centre of the coach. Besides the ‘Fishtailing,’ even which should have been controlled, We are treated to Horrible amounts of ‘Stuttering,’ as the coach is shaken from side to side over the points, the joints between the rails.
Good maintenance would keep this Stutter to about a centimetre or less. What We are treated to is a goodly 4 to 5 centimetres! …Maybe they think it will be good for Your Digestion!
Long distance travel by Road, particularly in Tamil Nadu, (TN), can be done by things called ‘ultra deluxe’ (UD) buses, as also by ‘Ordinary,’ express buses, commonly known as Route buses. By the way, earlier, We had just Expresses, then they introduced the super deluxe ones, and now We have the UDs! Am eagerly waiting to see what new name they are going to come up with for the next batches! Grin.
In my considered opinion, these UDs are the worst maintained services in TN. First of all, they trundle along. Once I saw a Tata Nano overtaking Us! Honest. Then two people with some luggage on a 100cc motorcycle did the same. I gave up. Then, badly kept up as they are, the Seat are just Horrible, having got compressed over long usage, and nothing done about it. And Of course they have not heard of things called Legroom and Knee room.
Traveling distances of 400 Kms in TN is best done at Night, by (Ordinary) Express buses. Try to look out of the words ‘Bye Pass Rider’ on the windshield. This means the bus would not be ‘entering’ too many towns on the way, and would be that much the Faster.
And these ‘Ordinary’ buses travel goodly fast indeed, at about a 100 Kmph. I found this particularly between Trichy and Nagarcoil. I do not know about the other stretches. I do believe the road to Chennai suffers from overcrowding.
If You do not mind giving up Your sleep, and are ready to bear some ‘other’ heads on Your shoulders, and some swollen feet, the Route Bus is what I recommend for You. But in many cases You will have to put up with people parking their backsides on Your shoulders, as well!!!
Inside an Indian bus. But Please be Warned, Many buses are Much more crowded than this.
Image from: http://creative.sulekha.com/fractional-quantum-leap_335056_blog[/
While We are on the subject of my Travels, I think the Indian ‘Speed Breakers’ simply Need to be mentioned. Of course they have other names, like ‘Bone Breakers,’ ‘Shock Absorber Destroyers,’ etc, and We are allowed to give Our Own names to them too. It is an Open market!
speed breaker: http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/illegal-speed-breaker-claims-32-yr-old-s-life-122650[/
The picture is showing us three ‘Speed Breakers’ together. Usually We have just One. (To put up more Costs more!). Most of these are some 25 cms Wide, and about 12.5 cm High! And as We see, Most of them are Unmarked, with No warning of their Existence! (Putting up Yellow Stripes costs Money, Folks!).
All this makes for Frequent use of even Your First gear, and eats up into Your Time.
Now this brave man, which is the Kindest We can say about him, is using his 80cc ‘Scooty’ to transport his children. As using the helmet is considered Bad form in TN, (It destroys Your carefully combed hair!), it is a wonder that too many bad things do Not take place.
If You notice, the Reference to this picture has a Very Sad tale to tell too.
To talk about our Interesting Potholes would make our story too long.
I do not know what the Indian Railways can do about people sticking out their feet into the Aisles. Nor about people using Water meant for the WC for bathing, or People parking their backsides on You, this in the case of the Buses. One wonders if many people even Know the meaning of the word ‘Uncouth.’
All these thing are meant to make our Life Interesting, what! In India, We are Supposed to ‘Grin and Bear it.’ Which, as You know, comes hard to me! Haha. It really Surprises me not a little that people take such Shakings and all in their Stride.
Anyway, 3 trips from my place, Thanneerpalli to Nagarcoil, a distance of some 425 Km each way, plus a trip to Erode, some 105 Km away, all by Public Transport, recently, have just made my life Rich!