There is something magical about a window seat that a travel nervous person like me can understand well. Moving sceneries produce a feeling of emotional high that no drug can replace. Window seat travel is almost an addictive drug that sets my mind dreaming like the opium induced British Poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
There have been innumerable opportunities to travel by the public transportation and it has given immense joy. My trapped spirit finds its freedom with the blowing wind through the window. The dreams that visit during the interim of the travel are spectacular to recall on lull days.
I remember a moment from my Childhood. I used to visit my maternal grandfather during my summer holidays. The house belonged to the old time architecture and so there is a step leading to the kitchen set in a little higher level to the rest of the rooms. I was once seated on the top-most step. As I sat there, I gradually slipped into an almost real-life dream of train travel.
The dream had the complete package of sound, smell, light, things and taste of the Central Station. The dream lasted for a countless time until my grandfather returned from his morning socializing. It was a Sunday and no one to mind me in the house, so I was left to my devices. My travel in the imaginary train was such a pleasure and filled with minute details, that it took me a while to shake off the imaginary train station.
Later, in my years I travelled in a real-train I was surprised that I had captured the vibrant station in my young memory without having travelled in one. The train and flight travels were very limited but it gives the mind the feeling of having explored like a mendicant. The best ones were those on the bus.
I generally tend to panic first and foremost when I am traveling by any mode of transportation. But then, within this limitation is the place, that I find my central sense of peace too. That fact surprises me more than others.
Traveling by Bus happened out of desperation because when I was in middle school and I was a grownup who took more space than the other younger passengers in the autorickshaw. So our natural choice was to take the public transport in Chennai – The Pallavan.
Life is filled with so many first times that it gets really interesting if you are not frightened always. I was so fed up with the auto discomfort that I was willing to venture in the wild of bus travel. My memory of Pallavan was the accident in which I should have been the person who got hurt instead of my little friend who got hurt in the process during the reckless driving incident.
I love traveling in an empty bus in the early hours of the dawn the most, because it comes from my semi-empty bus traveling experience. Actually during my early days I used to struggle in the crowded bus and constantly fear missing the stop. But I would still feel squished and wasted. The best solution, back then was to take the early buses which were not overcrowded.
This feeling of traveling in a semi-empty bus is such fun, that I simply had to start early and enjoy the trip. It always felt like flying on the wings of the butterfly. Gentle and smooth breeze of life crowds my being. Even today, if I start early and the roads are empty with some chill morning breeze, I almost feel that I am new born child in communion with the world.
The semi-empty buses always ensured that I got a window seat and the wind of morning breezes in with gusto. One couldn’t ask for more. Even today I take the window seat, even though, it is rather hard to navigate to the aisle and get down from the bus. But nothing can beat the joy of the window seat travel.