Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Queen of the Road

It has been now 2 months that I’ve arrived to India and more specifically Punjab, enough time to get to know the camps, the neighbours, the village and region and not enough yet to still be fascinated by little things of everyday life here. And surprisingly my heart has settled down to one thing, the bus.

They just look like beauty pageant competitors, to who will have the most patriotic painting, the most elegant name as Queen of the Road, the most flowery decorations, the most colourful neon’s. That’s only the tip of the iceberg.

I usually get particularly silent on bus rides, might they be for 10 minutes or 6 hours. I watch what is going out around me. You can meet anyone on the bus, the neighbour with who you start a meaningless conversation about weather, the students having a last look at their manuals before class, the lady and her child with who you share a warm smile, the ticket guy in great performance of his balance skills as the bus goes through rough roads, the old lady who will thank you for let her your place so many times it becomes uncomfortable, the shadow of workers hanging huge bags on the roof, the old man who will talk continuously despite your interrogative and lost looks.

But mostly, it’s outside that I’m staring at. I try to grab a glimpse of the so many landscapes we go through. Nothing is more captivating for me than seeing people in their daily routine for the quarter of a second. And nothing empties more the head than seeing the landscape scrolling through the widow from the fields and jungles of Punjab to the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, from villages as Dholbaha to cities as Hoshiarpur, from the waste dumps and migrant camps around Hariana to the breathtaking view of Naddi.

So now you are warned, I’m a terrible travelling buddy!
Claire de Nale, France
Microfinance Project Manager, Punjab

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