In the past, sometimes people covered even long distances on foot. At another time, they went from one place to another in their bullock carts. But now they travel either by train or by bus. Train is suited for long distance travel, while for short-distance journeys bus is more convenient. Since the bus services on the main roots were nationalized, bus journey has become more and more popular. People now prefer travel by bus to by train.
During the last Dusssehra vacations, some of my friends and I decided to go to Delhi to see the Rajghat, the Qutab Minar and the Tri-Murti Bhawan, the residence of the last Prime Minister Nehru. We decided to travel by bus. Accordingly, we reach the Government bus stand exactly at 8 A.M. Our plan was to reach Delhi by 11 A.M, and return in the evening by the last bus.
On reaching the bus stand, we found a long queue out side the ticket windows. We were told that the bus which was just leaving was to leave in half-an-hour. Hence we waited patiently and surveyed the scene around us. It was a scene of hurry and bustle that met the eye. The entire compound was crowed b passengers. People were moving this way that way. Buses were coming and going practically every minute. There was a long line of passengers outside each of the booking-windows. There was also a big crowed outside the inquiry office. People, tired of waiting, were making frantic inquires. As a bus would arrive, people would rush to ward it. And then return disappointed. Coolies moved about with bundles of luggage on their heads. Hawkers were shouting to sell their goods, and children were weeping and crying.
It was still very hot but fans were out of order. There were only a few benches and they were already full. So we had to remain standing. Even women were standing. We felt extremely thirsty, and looked for water. There was a tap at some distance, but again there was a huge crowed around it. At last, after waiting for full one hour a bus from Dehradun arrived. It was the bus for Delhi. Eagerly we rushed towards the ticket window before us.
Again, there was a long wait in store for us. By this time we were thirsty and hungry as well as tired. We could remain standing no longer. We sat on the floor. It was at 10 A.M, after a wait of another long hour, that we succeeded in getting the tickets. We took our seats in the bus, which was rather over-crowded. When the bus moved, the fresh wind blew in and we got some relief.
It was a non-stop express bus. However, there was too much of traffic on the road so our bus could not gather speed. It had to overtake a truck or a slow moving bullock cart every minute. But we did not mind all this. We talked and joked or playing cards, and in this way the time passed easily. One of us had a transistor and so we could also enjoy sweet music during the journey. At last, Jamuna Bridge, the gate way of Delhi, was reached. We had to wait there for fifteen minutes before we could get the signal to move on.
In this way, we reached Delhi at about 12.30. We all felt that a train journey would have been more comfortable. Government should do its best to make journey by bus pleasant comfortable. More buses should be put on the road. It should also be seen it, that they run on time.