Life is journey which takes to us to various destinations which is programmed by our destiny. When we plan our vacations, we take care of every detail which will create beautiful memories. But some trips get etched in our mind due to unwarranted situations making us high on adrenaline.
One such journey was my Mumbai to Mysore via Bangalore trip without my wallet. Actually, I left my purse at home before heading for the Mumbai Airport. My driver dropped me to the airport. I rushed for check in at the main gate as I was late due to heavy traffic. After taking the boarding card, I went for the security check. Here I could not find my small purse in which I kept money and my debit and credit cards. Once done with all the formalities, I rang home to confirm about the whereabouts of my lost treasure.
Yes, I left that purse on my bed. My daughter nonchalantly replied” Mom, your mobile is your wallet." My tensions were washed down with my sweats. I inspected my phone to see the apps for online payments. But soon I was told to switch off my phone as the flight was ready to take off. This one-and-a-half-hour flight time was utilized in planning my trip from Bangalore to Mysore.
There were three options before me. First was to take a direct bus from airport to Mysore. Second was to book a cab and third was to go city and take train or bus to Mysore. I always used to take the Flybus of KSRTC, direct bus to Mysore. It is women friendly having a reserved seat for single woman passenger with no one on the next seat near the driver seat. It has a small toilet attached on rear end. Then I could book a cab for my uncle's place at the Mysore bus stand with my phone.
As the flight landed the Kempagowda International at Bangalore, I realized that my mobile was about to die due to low battery. After collecting my luggage from conveyor belt, I rushed to the ticket counter of the intercity ticket booking kiosk to book my bus ticket. But unfortunately, due to some technical snag, I could not book my ticket. I was no able ot charge my mobile because I came out of the main airport building. With heavy heart, I sat down on the pavement with my mobile in my hands.
All of sudden the lady luck smiled at me. No, it was not any known face around me to help me but my contingency fund of INR 500 stacked between the mobile and its cover.
With this budget I had to go to Bangalore city to take bus or train journey as the direct bus was out of reach of my pocket. Just the next lane was the city bus stand from where Vayu Vajra buses were available for all parts of Bangalore. These buses are popular as they are cheap compared to taxis which charged INR 1000 to INR 1800 depending on the mileage. For single commuter, bus is the best option as it has ample space for the luggage, and it is cost effective too.
Soon I was on the bus of the route no KIAS 9 which charged me INR 260 for an hour bus ride covering about 35 km for city bus called Majestic bus depot. The conductor returned me INR 240 and left me worried as I had to travel 145 km in this amount.
Since I lived in both cities, I was well versed about all the travel options. Still it was difficult to manage in this meager amount. To board Mysore bus, I had to go to Satellite bus stand about 6 km away by paying INR10 bus fare. From there many types of buses were available for Mysore with minimum fare of INR 125 to INR 320 for AC bus. I decided to take train route because it was the cheapest option left for me. The city railway station is just across the road opposite bus stand. The price of the second-class ticket was INR 60 and INR 210 for AC chair. I needed some money for the taxi at Mysore railway station to reach my destination. Otherwise my cousin would have come to pick me up. But without my mobile, I was traceless for them. So, I purchased the reserved second-class ticket for INR 75 for Chamundi Express train. Without a reserved ticket it is very difficult to get a seat in this train as office going crowd commute every day from nearby places.
I thoroughly enjoyed my three hours journey as I enjoyed the local cuisine sold by the vendors. Soft idlis and hot filtered coffee were enough to replenish my energy. Then I waited for the vendor selling the famous Maddur Vada. After eating my favorite Vada, I also enjoyed the tangy Murmure, a puff rice salty snacks along with roasted peanuts. These edibles are not only cheap but also very tasty and a good time pass if you are traveling alone. All this stomach filling ritual costed me another 100 bucks. I was left with INR 65 only. Paying for taxi was not an issue once I reached my uncle’s home. But I knew the fare for Kuvempunagara colony was less than INR 50 if the autorihksha driver agreed to go by meter. Normally they charge INR 15-20 more than the meter fare.
Luckily I got the auto rickshaw without night charge( after 10 pm all taxis charge 1.5 times more than the meter charge) who agreed to take me home for Rs 60 leaving me with INR 5 which I gave him as a tip for concluding the most memorable trip of my life.
Sometimes, the real pleasure of a journey comes when you flow with the situation and let time take the charge to do something that was not the part of the your planning. Beautiful journeys do come with cheap price tags to give rich feeling of adventure, excitement, fun and suspense. Never worry about the budget and plan your dream destination now.
Punam Sinha Shreyasi on November 27, 2020: