I have found a beauty of travelling with public transport in India. Talking about today, I am returning back to my hometown and was using a public transport system of the city where my university is located. It is a bus service called BRTS. I was always a bit afraid and doubtful to use it since I had been told rumours that if you don't know the station where you need to change then you may lose up the bus. There might be chance that you would eventually not reach destination on time.
I always travel with google maps for unexplored paths. This makes me more sure that I am travelling in exact manner. But was this a way to travel ? Today, I was an hour and half early than my scheduled time of journey. I thought to not operate my mobile phone and go with the flow. If something goes wrong, I would just use my phone and have a cab service.
Eventually, It turned out that navigating without looking at Google Maps was actually easier and more fun. I got to see lots of things which tempted me to have some realizations along the way. Let's start from the beginning about what I did in place of removing my mobile phone and searching on Google Maps.
- I went to the nearest BRTS station to my college. I took a ticket for the destination and asked the person on window ticket about which bus to go with.
- He said, Go by bus number 14. Now I entered into the station awaiting a bus.
- When I looked by the screen, It showed me about bus 14. And it clearly mentioned it in the list of upcoming buses.
- I onboarded the bus. There were many passengers and I was lucky enough to get a seat on it. I sat but not on the window side. This tempted me a bit to look for map to double ensure but by this time, I was already dreaming about writing a blog on this way of living. So, I just stopped myself from using Google Maps.
- A station went and so does others one after another. All I was seeing were board signs on the station and landmarks from window however not so clear since I was siting not exactly on window seat and the man sitting with me was using a phone so looking outside window made me feel as if I was staring his phone so I would glance for seconds and roll my eyes back.
- Continuing my landmark exploration, I got to see some famous cinema, malls, temples, restuarents, gardens and circles(In india the intersection of more than 4 road with a rounded architecture on the junction is called circle). Now, I can easily remember it.
- I finally reached my destination and went to ask the ticket collecter about my final location. But he happen not to know about the location.
- I went outside the station and asked a person with fruit cart about my destination. He happened to know it and he showed me the direction.
- And here I arrived an hour earlier, in economic and ecologic way to my location without any fancy tech.
I have tried doing this with google maps several times without taking any help from people but that journey doesn't feels fullfiling and I was not able to recognize the areas since I was always on my phone.
But the journey where I travelled with human support and with signs and landmarks helped me to learn more and more about the city, Interact with fellow humans and observe the traits of people. I saw people coming from all three age groups. I saw well-dressed hospital nurses and I saw kids coming from their evening coaching institute in green uniform (Famous in India for IIT-JEE exams). People with sheer concentration fighting for getting a seat once a passenger left his seat just before their destination arrived and new people rushing in being idle without any idea asking for direction just as I was asking few moments ago.
The journey made me to feel alive.