I am a regular traveller in my school bus service since nursery to class 10th, in the same school. My bus route is the same, but every year the bus number, driver and conductor keep on changing. Even children keep on changing every year. Travelling by school bus is sometimes interesting, sometimes boring and very tedious at times.
On my bus no. 9, about 40 students travel at the same time. The bus halts at 10 stops, picking and dropping children to and fro. In the morning, my mind is always fresh, taking in oxygen and enjoying morning scenes. Everything seems peaceful, except bus mates of Nursery, unwilling to go to school. Even the roads remain clear without much traffic. But the scenario completely changes when we return home in the afternoon by school bus.
At that time, all my bus mates are very energetic. They keep on talking and shouting on the bus. Some fight, some relate their cooked up ghost stories to create terror, and others are busy relating their whole day’s school experience with others. The climate and temperature inside and outside the bus is too hot. Even the children seem very irritated, exhausted, tired; they all are fighting for getting seats near the window, because of the heat. They perspire, sweat and look very dirty.
Outside the bus, streets are overcrowded with a lot of dirt, dust, loo and heat emitted by vehicles and worsened by pollution. Since these are office hours, we find traffic jams every now and then. People honk their horns unnecessarily. While waiting at the signals, people keep on staring at our school bus. Some of us make funny remarks at people or we make funny faces and they smile back at us.
There is a lot of noise pollution outside and within the bus. At times we run short of drinking water, which we borrow from each other. While passing through the vegetable sellers, some of us keep on asking the rates of vegetables to irritate them. Then all of us laugh together. Sometimes, we play Antakshri and Atlas to entertain ourselves. Travelling from school in the afternoon is a mixture of experiences.