BhimaShankar – Stranded at Manchar
Soon after we left the unknown stop, our bus entered a whole new world. We crossed many small towns and smaller villages. The atmosphere felt pure; far away from our techno-world emitting radiations. Our bus headed towards Manchar (Wiki Link). Manchar bus stop was a happening place and filled with people from nearby villages. We didn't know we would be stranded at Manchar, but it was written in our destiny.
Manchar is census town in Ambegaon district of Pune (Wiki Link).
Our bus took another halt here. The bus stand looked no less than any other well-developed bus stands. This was the first we saw after the one at Shivaji Nagar. I looked at Shakti and Amitav and signaled them to get down. We all were on the verge on losing control now. We had already finished our biscuits by then.
"Chalo, chalte hain (Yeah, let's go)." said Amitav.
We got down while the bus conductor was still standing at the doorway; and after careful searching, we found the restroom. I had memorized our bus number by then. We came back relieved only to get the worst shock of the day!
"Arre apna bus kahaan gaya? (Huh? Where did our bus go?)" shouted a tensed Shakti circling himself in 360 degrees.
Seeing them in panic, I shouted our bus number and asked them to look around.
It didn't take time for us to realize that we were stranded at Manchar bus stop.
I was calm and started to analyse the worst-case scenarios -
- What if the bus left actually us here?
- I have my wallet.
- Our bags gone.
- Other stuffs gone.
There were a lot of buses there, ours was a bright red. The only one to get noticed easily, yet we couldn't find it.
We stood in a triangular formation. With Shakti 3-4 footsteps away and Amitav ahead of us 5-6 steps away, I positioned myself in the center to their right. A perfect triangular formation, which allowed all three of us to look in all directions for our beloved red bus!
Amitav saw a bus and shouted pointed to it, "Woh apni to nahi? (Isn't that ours?)".
I shouted back the bus number while running towards him and totally forgot Shakti behind me.
Turning back, I shouted once again, "Ae Shakti, chal bhaag! (Hey Shakti, let's run!)".
It was definitely our bus and we got in quick. They... well, everyone waited for us. We walked to our seats without looking at their faces - embarrassed and ashamed.
Had we known that the bus won't wait long, we would have never got down!
The bus conductor shouted at us while we entered the bus, for being late and for going out without informing him. He spoke in Marathi. I guess my friends didn't understand that and I was the only one who could reply him in Marathi, but I felt too ashamed to reply back. He warned us that they won't wait for us next time if we repeat this.
Once seated, the woman beside me started by saying we should at least tell others. And if travelling in group, one person should stay back so that such cases can be easily avoided. Also our bags were left unguarded, so it was risky to go out like that. She also said that the conductor had asked her and others about us, but she could not explain them since she hardly knew us. I was speechless and I could not even say "Sorry". How stupid was I?
I felt ashamed to tell them that we went for a leak and I know we should have informed the conductor while getting out. That was our mistake, we realized later.
The engine started and we were off again. I sat closing my eyes, pretending to be asleep once again.
If you enjoyed reading this, please visit the Bhimashankar Travelogue Page for the complete series.