Friday, June 11, 2010

The Seventeen M (17M)

Chennai is a city of its own kind. Known to be rather conservative and cold, its quite contrary to this belief once you actually stay there. It grows on to you and you tend to share a love-hate relationship with it.

Madras, as its still called, has been a home for me for the past three years and I have loved every bit of it. I started my so called independent life and became a new person there, strong and ready to face the world.
A major contribution was paid by the buses there. The public transport system is the best that I have ever seen. As a first year college student, my life was limited to my college and my hostel and the travelling involved to get there. Thats where the 17M came into being. The sole bus that went to my college, I sort of developed a relationship with it and loved it till the end.

The 17M gave me confidence to travel and look around, to see, observe and learn. It gave me the reason to question and as for. Even though it was a short ride to my college, I got up every morning, ran to the bus stop and pleaded the bus driver to stop for me, which he did many a time and then get to college. It was a rather long walk from both sides, but a fresh one early in the morning. That was the part of the day I loved the most, I was by myself,with myself and loving myself.

The ordinary ticket was Rs 3 and the two years into college, the deluxe buses came into existence and it became Rs 5. That was the price that I paid for that short and sweet ride everyday. Most times, the bus was crowded and full of people , some who were mean, some kind, some ogglers and some simply ignorant. But all these people came from such diverse backgrounds and walks of life, that it amazed me. I even managed to make some bus-stop friends! There were language issues with the conductor initially but once the basics were learnt, it was fine and dandy!

My bus journeys weren't limited to the 17M only, I did my fair share of travelling by all bus routes and I loved it! The bus services connected most parts of the city to where I lived so it was a very easy deal for me. I saw the whole city (and many outskirts too) in my bus journeys. The everyday routine involved atleast one bus journey, and there was no reason to complain.

Life went on and one day I said my goodbye to the 17M. I felt quite bad because I actually saw my life in that one bus ride. Of all the things that I miss, I miss my bus rides the most and I hope to go back someday with the same innocence and enjoy my ride, the ride called Life.

Colour for this chappal: Green


  1. a good read... keep it up...
    look fwd to reading more such articles :)

  2. Funny how it is. Public transport is strange and scary at first but once you get used to it, it ends up being quite reliable and quite personal!!