Travelling alone, is sometimes not so adventurous, especially when a girl is travelling at night. So, it was back 3 years, once while i was travelling in my regular travel bus from Pune to Surat.
Normally, the stop from where i used to board was crowded, so bus usually got half-full. But that day, may be due to off-season, i was the only passenger boarding it. I stepped inside, to see no one except myself, in bus. And then the driver, cleaner and 1 more person along with them boarded the bus. I was looking out of the window of my seat, to see if any passenger coming in, but got none. Out of fear, i asked the driver that why bus is empty. He said people will be boarding from next stop. With fear still crawling in my head, i went back to my seat. The sandwich i took with me, was almost soaked in the sauce, but fear gulped down my throat filling it making no space for anything else.
The next stop was 15 mins away. I called one of my friend Anant Jain, and explained him the scenario, he told me to be calm, be on phone, and asked me the number of the travel operator which he made his friend to call, also said that if no one gets in on next stop, i should get out of it. The operator confirmed that from next stop few passengers will board in. All weird, evil thoughts were running in my mind.
To add fuel to fire, the route the driver was taking was the one i had never seen – seemed he was new. I have been to that travel quite often, so knew few landmarks on the route, but that day i saw none of those. All i could see on the road was trees on both the sides, and very few vehicles on road. I took out the scissor – which i usually carry while travelling as a weapon – and holded it in my hand, and started thinking about ways to get out of bus anyhow. I couldn’t just ask the driver to stop right there, as what if the bus was normally going? Though i got scolded a lot later for this assumption. So going back, i was badly praying god, while Anant was constantly trying to make me calm, as he and his friends tried their means to help me out.
All i could think, was bringing shiver down me. I was cursing myself for not getting off even after knowing it was empty. I was unable to think, speak, listen.
Finally, the bus came to the next stop. My eyes eagerly started searching for the passengers. 4 guys boarded in. Imagine what situation was i in. I started looking out here and there, but no one else was there. I turned back, to get my bag and got off from the seat, just when a lady and her daughter boarded in.
I was standing there, with bag in my hand, still as stone for few seconds. The fear that gulped down my throat rushed out through my eyes, in form of tears. All i could speak on phone was “Ek lady aur uski beti aye hai, i am not alone now” as tears rolled down my face.
After thanking god, and confirming to my friend that everything is OK,and he need not come there to pick me up, thanking him for being with me and doing all that he was doing without me noticing so that i don’t get frightened more, i threw myself on the seat, with the sandwich finally making way down my throat, now soaked in tears.