Bus No. 125

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Twelve years ago, I was commuting to the office by availing public transportation. I remember my old days of travelling by non-AC bus and then upgraded myself to AC bus when BEST introduced Volvo AC buses, first time in Mumbai.

In the first week of Jan 2023, my car was due for service. My preference is always a service center near to my office, so Powai service center is convenient for me. I can drop off the car for service after arriving at the office and pick it up while leaving the office. No hassles! And we all know that time is essence of everything we do.

As usual, I delivered my car to the  Service Centre after reaching the office but couldn’t pick it up on the same day due to a power outage at the service center. The service advisor asked me to come the next day, but that day was work from home day for me, so did not work. After back-and-forth conversations, I was able to convince him for one day after. Though he reluctantly agreed but requested me to rate their service 10-10 on the company’s after-service call. His hidden request reminded me, nothing is free, everything is quid pro quo.

Saw outside, Bus is crossing Airoli Bridge.

Enjoyed the beauty of enormous sized transparent glass windows.

Even though, I was not in my best of mood to come to the office but picking up car was my priority, thus coming to the office is must. Our office bus passes by my house everyday morning like a school bus for children but I am accustomed to arriving late at the office bus stop, so it does not suit me. The next available option for me is either Ola or Uber cab service. I typically haggle between Ola and the Uber fare rate before taking a decision. In our last negotiation article, we talked about how we negotiate 24/7. Haggling is a lower form of negotiation. Many of us have assumed that bargaining or haggling is our fundamental right, especially against street vendors and hawkers. However, that right somehow vanishes when we shop from Branded Store. Even though I spent 15 to 20 minutes between switching both the APPs to get a better deal, but no luck. All of a sudden, my old days of commuting to the office by public transport hit my mind and intrigued me; so, started to feel better and wanted to get rid of this Ola and uber conundrum. Remember, remembering your old days will make you feel happy, no matter how painful and struggling it has been.

I decided to pursue my rekindled interest of going to the office by bus and hurried to same nearby old bus stop. But after arriving at the bus stop, realized that I could not remember the bus No and did not know if that bus was still following that route. Though slightly confused, but no loss of confidence and, eagerly waiting for the bus to come. 10 to 15 minutes have passed but no sign of any bus for the Powai Route. Although, in every minute, other route buses are passing, and passengers are taking and getting down; I am just a mute spectator. Passerby Autorickshaws are constantly checking with me if I go to nearby locations.

Interesting Facts

  • Karl Benz invented the first motorized bus in 1895. In 1906, France started bus line.
  • The first motor bus route in India started on July 15, 1926, and ran between Afghan Church and Crawford Market, Mumbai. Fare twenty-five paisa

Again, saw outside, crossing Powai bridge.

Now days, carrying cash in pocket is no longer my habit. Always use UPI and other wallet services for sundry expenses. A decade ago, nobody would have imagined that we all can move around freely and comfortably without money in the pocket. Today’s possibility is yesterday’s impossibility. Not being sure whether the Bus conductor will accept wallet payment, wanted to have petty cash, and thankfully found an ATM behind the bus stop. As waiting time prolongs, impatience sets in. I am negotiating between waiting and impatience. Impatient is saying that I should have gone by Ola or Uber while waiting does not give me any answer, except hope.

Patience gives necessary resolve to face the blips in the journey of life that are bound to happen: faith gives the realization that this shall too pass [The Speaking Tree]

In the very next moment, my eyes saw a red color AC bus displaying no 125 is approaching the bus stop. Instantly, my subconscious mind recognized it as the same old bus. I was thrilled and felt ecstatic about my accomplishment. But when asked the conductor ticket for Powai stop, pleasantly surprised to hear the fare he asked. I wondered how come the price of public transport will be almost 50% cheaper over 12 years. I assumed the conductor made a mistake and tried to take the unfair advantage of keeping quiet. But after a while, my consciousness broke and compelled me to recheck the fare with the conductor. I used to pay Rs 80 or 90 for the same ride 12 years ago, but now it is Rs 50. Bus conductor told me one year before BEST cut bus fares by 50%. A big sigh of relief to my consciousness.

My stop arrived.

In a world strapped for time, it is hard for us to find time to write our own memorable moments and beautiful experiences. We know we all gaze at our phones and computers for hours nonstop. I could have easily taken a couple of selfies sitting in the bus or standing at the bus stop and uploaded to my Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn posts. That may have generated few likes and wonderful comments. But believe me, if you capture your wonderful experiences and rare moments and try to put them into writing, it will work a miracle for you. I do not know how others will get vicarious pleasure reading your story, but you will certainly be delightful, joyfull, and enlightened.

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3 Responses on this post

  1. Very nice expression of feelings in fluent way.
    A simple way to share every day story that touches feelings.

  2. Beautiful story sir. During the whole course I can imagine things and be part of the story. Thanks again for sharing your experience.