Udiapole Bus Stand

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Alternate title: Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum

The first thing I remember when I try to reach the city with my eyes closed is the sunrise at the bus station. There's a popular stall that serves poha, and a stall behind it that serves tea. Almost all of my entries in the city have found me standing on that roundabout facing this scene as the dark night is giving way to another morning.

Even if one gets to Udaipur by train, if one desires to reach the university named after Sir Padampat Singhania, one has to get to this bus station. 

There are a few mornings when I've reached there to find a cluster of dudes huddled together against the cramped ticket counter, rubbing their hands to try to feel a little more warm in the chilly winters, cursing things you wouldn't normally notice. The ticket counter only raises the shutter at 5:30 AM. Until then, we wait.

Chittaur.
There's a certain joy in finding yourself listening to everybody else and not butting in. 

If you're standing with a group of guys, starting from the cockroach trying to find its way to the nearest corner to the latest English movie that PVR didn't put up, they'd cuss at everything. The onlookers wouldn't even care for all the profanities for usually, at this time, nobody has a reason to smile anyway.

If you're standing with a group of girls, which happens like, so rarely, you'd be worried to death about the wax in your ears. They'd all be speaking but you wouldn't hear a thing. Sometimes they don't even speak. One raises her eyebrow, the other winks/nods and somebody bursts into giggles. And you want to put a gun to your head and ask them what just happened. But, good luck blackmailing them. They'd start giggling again.

As hungry as you are at the bus stand, believe me, everything inside you dies when you reach the hostel, unpack your bags and hop to the mess to eat something. It's just their superpower. They can shush the drums in your tummy without having you eat anything sometimes. That's why one never boards a bus in the morning with an empty stomach.

And talking about the bus ride to the university. It's so magical that it makes me want to sleep every time I board it at the end of a long outing in the city. The conductor sits by us and sings a lullaby replete with musical instruments being fiddled by the co-passengers. Before you know it, you find yourself turning your head to see if there's somebody else of your college. You catch their eye, nod at them and go to the deepest goddamned sleep ever because you know they're legally obliged to jerk you awake before getting off now.

The lullaby I was talking about?
There have been crazy times when the bus is so jam-packed that we've all jumped out of the windows. There's an honour in doing that. We show the crude villagers who's the boss of this ghetto. Turn the collars up, face the university and show them the walk. Only if they could see the look of helplessness on your face as you reach the guard room. You hand them your bags, get yourself frisked, see packets of maggi poisons being taken out from the depths of your luggage and watch as the buses pass by on the highway.

You are in the university. You're theirs now. At least that's what they think. You roll on the paved road to your hostel and promise yourself you'll never remember this day again. But you find yourself breaking the promise time and again.

I have realized I look back at the times and wonder if I lived it well enough. Then I read posts like The Boys' Toilet of the CR Block and Sanghamitra Bhatt is Still Pissed and I feel a little better. Yet I feel like I owe it to the city that picked me in my teens and taught me every kind of shit there is to know about the world. Hence, a (possibly) series of posts to honour that time only if anybody's interested. Otherwise, thanks for reading.

2 comments:

  1. Series! Series! Series! Can I write a guest post?

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    Replies
    1. OMG my blog getting a guest post! Yes!

      And I think you got it already, but I'll still tell you what I had in mind.

      The actual alternate title to this post was 'Udaipur, Bhor'. Dopahar, Sanjh and Ratri were to follow in the series. I'll add a button to the top named Udaipur or Nostalgia too if the series happens.

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