Our school was about 3.5 kms from my home at Ramanthapur. My home was about 0.5 kms from the main road where we get the bus. We need to walk all the way with a heavy school bag up to the bus stand. Few parents had vehicles to drop their children at the school. Going by a dedicated vehicle such as an Autorickshaw was a luxury. There used to be very few buses, plying from either Koti or Charminar to Uppal. Our school Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 2 was in the premises of Survey of India Campus, Uppal. There used to be very few buses and especially during the school hours of around 8 am and 8:30 am and in the evening around 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm. As our bus stop at Ramanthapur was near to Uppal, all the buses used to be full already. There used to be no room to get into the bus. Hardly we used to push ourselves or sometimes need to hang on the footboard and travel. It was very risky and inconvenient to travel.
There used to be a train of bullock carts going from Chadarghat to Uppal empty during the same time. All along the banks of Musi River, the farmers used to grow “Pyare” grass, with the sewage water. Dairy was common within the Hyderabad. They used to go in the evening a day before and sell the grass by the very next day early morning and return home with empty carts to Uppal.
I saw these bullock carts going empty, one day all the buses were coming with full of passengers and there was no room to get in. I saw these bullock carts going towards uppal. Followed one of the bullock cart and placed my bag behind the bullock cart and started walking. The person driving the bullock cart asked me not to follow and go by bus. After reaching some distance, he understood, my problem that we don’t have enough space in the bus to get in, asked me to get on the bullock cart. I got on the bullock cart and while talking to him on the way got down at my stop. It became a regular thing for me, as the same person was coming every day at the same time, and if I missed my bus, just got on the bullock cart and went to school. Once I was half way, saw the bus with less rush coming, my friend brought the bullock cart into the middle of the road and stopped the bus, I got into the bus. Going to school had always been a great experience especially on the bullock cart.
Our buses always tilted on the left side, this is due to carrying more number of passengers always and especially people used to hang on the footboard too, often the women also used to travel on the footboard, the imbalance in weight of the bus caused the shock absorbers bent more on the left side.
Later in my life whenever there was an opportunity, I used to get on the bullock cart for traveling. I enjoyed most during the travel on a chain of bullock carts after the marriage of my uncle’s son while going to his wife’s place after marriage. I had a dream similarly to go after my marriage, so I have chosen for my wedding invitation card with a beautiful picture of bullock cart procession. It did not happen.
While returning from school we had the same problem. Mostly came out of the small gate to catch the bus at Ampro biscuit factory. There used to be a row of beautiful very old ficus trees at this bus stop. The buses used to be full and rarely stopped or stopped far ahead so some to get down and not to pick up. Some children hated the buses so much that they used to throw stones at them. This bus stand used to have mainly school children and we all used to stand by extending our hands for the bus to stop. Used to have a lot of time as the buses were few and did not stop. The ficus trees became our interest so, some of us used to climb them. Eat its red color sour fruits and leaf buds tasted good to eat. Also with a stone used to dig the nodes for some kind of edible material from the tree trunks. Also used to mark initials of our names on these trees at our favorite places on the branches. Now, these trees are completely removed for the expansion of the road.
Sometimes we used to go to the next stop at Modern Bakery, at this stop the buses used to stop. For drinking water we used to go to the modern bakery and request the security and drink water from the cooler inside. Used to get the glimpse of the bread making. Evenings while returning from school, we used to feel hungry. Some workers were kind and upon request used to give us pieces of bread for eating. There used to be a Mirchi bajji and Masala vada selling cart. The stove was lit on coal and the smell of the smoke from stove, Bajjis, Vadas and the oil was so great, we used to just see and feel even more hungry. In those days never had pocket money to buy anything. If anyone had some money used to buy and share pieces of it with friends. Those days of going to school and returning home was a great experience.