We – Baab and I – had to go visit a friend in Bengalooru. It being India, the commute options were practically unlimited, the main ones being bus, taxi, autorickshaw. I had about made up my mind to take an auto when mother-in-law told me that it might be easier to take a bus to Majestic and another one to the destination. Given that she has lived in Bengalooru since time immemorial (OK, the late 1970s), I decided to take her advice.
Reaching Majestic was a piece of cake as we got a bus within 50 metres of the house. Once in Majestic, I asked a couple of bus drivers/conductors where I would get the bus to my destination. Upon being informed that the bus would be on Platform X, I proceeded towards that platform, Baab in tow. Just to confirm that the bus would be leaving from that platform, I asked the conductor of the bus on the adjacent platform. Upon being asked where exactly I wanted to go, I showed him the address. He said that his bus would drop us off close to the destination, and we would just need to take an auto to the final address, and it would be minimum auto fare from that point on.
Brave travellers that we were, Baab and I, hopped on to the bus. After a good 45 minutes of A/C comfort, we were informed that our stop had arrived and that we should take any bus from the diagonally located stop to get to our destination.
Having thanked the driver and moseyed over the indicated stop location, when we asked the folks waiting at the bus stop which bus we should be taking, most were clueless. The one auto driver who was around appeared to be confused about the address and asked if we knew the directions and could direct him to the destination. As we obviously had no clue of the directions, we decided to wait for the next bus and ask the driver or conductor for information. The driver of the first bus that came along – five minutes later – informed me that he could drop me off at a point along the way from where I would have to take another bus to get to the destination. We hopped on.
No sooner had I purchased the tickets from the conductor than he told me to hop off and take a left at the intersection, from where we could get the bus to take me to the destination. Having waited for five minutes for a bus that we rode for about the same amount of time (a distance of maybe a km), I figured that we might as well walk the rest of the way – after all, how far could it be? My logic was that since we were told to take this bus for about a km or so, at most the rest of the way would be a km (note that we had already come from PhaseIII to Phase V and we needed to only get to Phase VII).
How wrong I was! We started walking – after a few minutes, I decided to confirm that we were walking in the right direction. The dude I asked told me that we were on the right track and it was less than half a km away – just about a five minutes’ walk. As we kept walking, we had a few buses pass us by, each of them with the number we had been told to catch.
A half-hour later, when we were about to get to our destination, after seeking confirmation from a few good folks along the way, what do we see but the same bus number stopping right in front of our destination. Not only was that irritating, but what was doubly galling was when the host informed us that the same bus comes directly from Majestic!
PS: I did get my walking exercise for the day out of the way. 😉
PPS: Next time in Bengalooru, I will invest in a city map and/or bus schedule!