Our good friend mahesh had fallen in love with his ‘mavana magalu’ and decided to get married. The bride was hailing from Gadag and since most of their relatives hailed from around those areas, it was decided that he gets married there.
After all the initial leg pulling, teasing and invitations, 5 of us friends decided to take off and participate in the proceedings much to the happiness of my friend. Like all friends circle, here too we had lots of if’s, but’s and not much confirmation and hence we said, all people planning to hit this marriage trail will have to assemble 2 hours before 8.30 pm super delux bus to Gadag departs at KSRTC bus stand.
By 7.30 Prashanth and Prabhakar my neighbours with me in toeline, reached the bus stand by 7.30 and found that there was no booking counter and tickets would be issued in the bus itself. So, it meant wrestling and getting into the bus for a seat – traditional first sight , first fight basis!
It was amazing how people behave in public places – some are upto interesting antics and we kept a sharp lookout for that bus of ours. At 7.05, a dusty bus pulled in and the conductor nodded when we asked if it was the 8.30PM semi delux. Silently we three were joined by our other friend vijay and the foursome rushed to get a seat.
People were thursting napkins, hankies, small luggage from outside the bus for booking. One gentlemen wrapped his pair of slippers in a piece of news paper and dropped it right into one of the window seats!!
Luckily prabhakar and vijay got front seats while we two got seats at backside of the bus.
The bus departed at 8.50PM, pregenent with people, hopes and aspirations.
Me and prashanth were discussing about how he should go about giving up his sales job in torrent pharma and start off on his own. Being brought up in the traditional era lacking enthruprunal motivations, we were cautioning him of more negative effects than any positivies at all. They say advice is cheap it does not harm the giver in any ways.
We just dont know when we both dozed off, dancing to the lalluby of the pot holes etc. We stopped around 2pm for a tea somewhere and prashanth loaded himself with one ‘goli solda’ while i continued to be in half coma.
The early sun rays were kissing the window panes when we realized the bus had stopped. Conductor smiled and said ‘gadag innu bandillaree… 20 minute prayana ade…konthukolli’.
Suddenly the bus pulled into a rural bus stop and men and woman just boarded the bus. Later found that it was the weekly shanty and people were trying to catch the early bus for better bargains!
It was quite amusing to find that woman folk at front did not have money to buy tickets and told ‘nammovru – hinde idare ree’ – my spouse is behind and will buy my fare. The tradition is that the woman will not spell her husbends name and it was funny to see the conductor shout from front – ‘yaru iddera – ee yamman rokka kodoke?’. By the time all this matching completed, the bus halted near the main road of Gadag and we saw mahesh’s cousine waiting for us on a chetak scooter.
We all got down and the luggage that was hurridly thrust into overhad compartments were removed from prabhakar and deposited at the kerb of the road. Prabhakar shouted – idu ninda kit bagu? And I nodded saying ‘get down all the 3 bags’.
Rudrappa was running a paint busines off his own and had come to direct us to the house in gadag. The early morning heat was just picking up and sending a steady stream of sweat down my sidelocks.
We all picked up our bags and one brown packet remained.
It took us full 2 minutes to realize the mistake. Prabhakar had taken off somebodies packet. Rudrappa immideatly took the packet and asked us to stay put and went full throttle of 35 kmph the roads allowed the chetak to zoom and went behind the bus to give it back to the rightfull owner.
to be continued….