Gajju and I went to naneghat yesterday. My brother was also supposed to come, but i guess he is a lot more kaamchor than I know of. He remembered some chores he had to do.
When we were leaving our flat, i had some 300 rupees on me. Gajju did not have any cash. I thought 300 will be allright for a modest trek. And both of us did not take our wallets and phones. Who wanted to worry about keeping them dry and safe. On train to kalyan had some deliciously fresh white milk sweet. They serve it on dry leaves. It cost us 10 bucks each. Awesome it was.
Reached Kalyan, went to the bus stand. Asked the information countervala:
“sir, vaishakhare kaun si bus jaayegi?”
The mousthacheod guy says in marathi,” paune daha la gadi aahe”, when the other one corrects him, “nahi re, paune aath la aahe, sava aath la jaannar aahe”. And then he pointed towards a bus.
It was 8:30 then, we sat there. Around 8 we thought of getting into the bus. While entering I casually asked the conductor, “vaishakhare jaayegi na?”.
He says , “nahi”. I was a little bewildered. But the enquiry guy had said it would.
Then we roamed around asking different conductors if their bus would go to Vaish.., but everyone pointed at other buses.
It was around 40 minutes since we arrived at the stand. I was really becoming desperate. We began asking passengers through the bus windows. One of them said yes indeed it would go. As to confirm, we also asked, “naneghat vala vaishakhare?”. Yes was the answer. We entered bus and even got seats.
We sat there on the seats for half an hour. Then someone came and said, “ye nahi jaayegi, kuch toh jhagdda ho gaya hai.”
Some people began leaving. When we began to leave the driver arrived and started the bus. We were mementarily happy, “oh so there jhagda is over.”. The driver reverses it and drives back to a corner and parks it there. Back to square one.
Now my patience was getting very low. I again went to the enquiry vala and asked him about the bus to vaishakhare. I told him i want to go to naneghat. He points towards four buses. But have’nt i asked those conductors, i thought. But just to make sure, i walk towards them and again ask them if any of them go to “vaishakhare”.
They all reply,”no.”
My heartbeats increased. My muscles tighten. This is fight or flight. I go to the enquiry guy and yelled at him. He yells back, “hum bol rahe hain na ki jata hai, toh jata hai.” i yell back, “Ticket toh vo conductor hi dega na, nahi toh aap de do ticket.” Then one of them says, “ask him for ticket to ‘moroshi’.”
And we finally get our bus. At that time i was still puzzled at what was the whole matter. Later it occured to me that vaishakhare is a small stop on the route nearest to naneghat. Now many fast buses do not stop at vaishakhare, but if you ask them they’ll drop you where the trek to naneghat starts.
The misadventure didnt end there. More to come in part II.