Date of occurrence: 09/08/2010
It's early morning, and we are entering the borders of Bengaluru in a KSRTC inter-city bus ( B'luru - Pune) after the two-day Debian Conference.
Well, i wake up just then, when the sun starts hitting me through the tinted glass, and my uncomfortable back was seeking some relief after about 13 hours of journey. And I realize we are in the proximities of B'luru, and in another 40 minutes we would reach the city.
Just then I observe something strange: When almost all the vehicles were taking the service road at a particular junction, the genius of our bus driver and a couple of other four-wheelers, took an under-construction Express Highway, which seemed to be complete till the horizon. Given that, the driver drove 750 km, navigating three states, up and down the Western Ghats, I presumed he knew better than the rest of the traffic who obliged to the signboards and did not take this path.
It was nice to see that because of the smart move of our driver, we were cruising on the new express highway, going up and down on at least three elevated sections for about 4 km, while the traffic seemed clogged up in the service road adjacent to us. But, this joy of being smart was short-lived.
For, at the end of it, we see huge barricades, cranes and other heavy machinery parked in the yet-to-become road appearing in front of us. The few vehicles in front of us, took a small curve through an open section in the divider and reached the service road. Those were four wheelers, which were one-third the length and less than half of our bus.
We were all hoping that the driver had maneuvered this before, but when we came real close to that gut on the road, no moron would have thought it would be doable. So, did our driver; Although he tried to do a little bit of left-and right- twist and shake- up and down- front and back- but, with no respite.
Even when the bus was diagonal on the road, it would stretch between the extremities of the road. When he had to succumb to his naivety (I'm being euphemistic;) , he rode back the bus full distance backwards, in reverse gear, down and up the elevated sections of the road. He must have come about 3 km backwards, then he finds more space and makes a 180 degree turn and we head backwards, from being back backwards...
An amusing experience, ultimately, but it could have gone wrong at some places. Nevertheless, I bet the ones who were plying to B'luru for the first time would relish this experience forever, like the rest of us would do as well...
And I can't deny this fact though: It happens only in India ;)