We halted near by the Baga beach, Goa. It is in North Goa. But the railway station Madgaon is in South Goa. Our train was at night. So we checked out from the Hotel and left for the Madgaon station. This time, I proposed my husband to travel by the Goa local bus, just to take the taste of the bus services in Goa. When we asked about the bus services, people at the bus stand suggested us to travel first to Panjim, then to Madgaon, as there was no direct bus service from Baga beach to Madgaon.
Accordingly, we boarded a bus at Baga beach bus stand. After waiting almost one hour, the bus started with full passengers. We thought that since it had standing passengers also, it might not stop at any places further for more passengers. But surprisingly, just after 5 minutes, it stopped and allowed some more people to get in. Among them, some foreigners were also there. The bus became completely packed from all side…still it continued to stop at near by places where people were waiting. This routine continued to Panjim bus stand. As we got the seat, I enjoyed the whole journey from the Baga beach to Panjim. The half an hour journey completed in one and a half hour. The driver used the break more than the accelerator. I also enjoyed the angry face of my husband as people started pushing him from behind. Our journey seemed to be the movie “Bombay to Goa”….but we travelled from Baga beach to Panjim.
Finally we reached Panjim. At Panjim bus stand, we joined the queue before the ticket counter. We noticed the buses standing nearby the counter. People started moving towards the buses and boarded there serially. When all the seats were covered, the bus moved on. Then the next bus came and people again started boarding at the next bus similarly. There was no standing passenger in the buses and the buses ran from Panjim to Madgaon only. I appreciated the system, totally opposite to our previous one. No need to wait for the another bus, no need to wait at the ticket counter, no need to hurry for the seats. The system was maintained so nicely that you would not worry about the crowded bus just like our previous bus experience. While we started the journey, the bus did not stop at any place in between Panjim and Madgaon. There was only two stops…the starting one and the ending one…..that really appreciable.
At my childhood, I still remember one bus journey from my home town Sonari to Dibrugarh. That was via Mahmora, the wide village area. In Bihu season, the upper Assam village area can be imagined easily. That journey was also in the Bihu Season. That bus also moved only for some meters, then again it stopped…either for the passenger or for the bihu festival. I still remember in the whole journey, both the driver and the conductor stopped the bus and entered one home and came out with full stomach of Bihu pitha, ladu or the rice beer. That was the most horrible situation for the passengers who used to wait for the driver and the conductor, did not sound a single word against them. Passengers simply prayed for the safe completion of the journey. Due to those silence, there was hundreds accidents in that road during the Bihu and new year seasons. Now things are a bit changed. People became more conscious than before.
Though I have not travelled much in that route..still I have an unknown fear about the journeys of that route….who knows what may happen in Bihu season???
Who will change the system????