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Last summer when we had our summer vacation, I went on a trip to Sikkim with my family. While we would usually travel by train, it was a very last-minute plan and hence there were no seats available. Due to this, we had to resort to taking a bus from the length of Kolkata to Kalimpong and from there on we would travel by car.
After packing all of our winter clothes and woolen sweaters and caps, we were off on our journey lasting thirteen hours and thirty minutes long.
It was an air-conditioned sleeper bus where to my surprise we also had charging ports available near our berths. What was supposed to be a bumpy and grueling ride actually turned out to be a mesmerizing and eye-opening journey!
We boarded the bus at 6 in the evening, the conductor checked our tickets, we loaded our luggage into the storage compartment and we were off on our journey to Sikkim.
My mother had prepared and packed a hearty dinner of steamed rice and potato curry that we ate on our way. Meanwhile, I and my brother had come armed with our favorite chips and chocolates and even some packets of popcorn for the long journey.
As the night proceeded I started playing games on my phone to pass away my time. After a while when I got bored I asked my brother to let me watch a movie with him. So with some persuasion and my skills of bargaining, we finally negotiated and watch a Disney animated movie called Ratatouille.
The movie revolves around the life of an aspiring chef who cannot cook for hi-life and how a measly rat teaches him the art of cooking by guiding him through the kitchens of Paris.
After the 2 hour movie, I realized I was not feeling sleepy yet while my brother snored away. Even my parents had fallen asleep by then and I did not wish to disturb them. So I went and sat by the window peering out into the darkness to see the landscape and calculate our progress.
Unfortunately, we seemed to be passing by some villages and there was not a speck of light to be seen. It almost feels very eerie and supernatural of sorts. Gradually, the gentle rocking of the bus managed to lull me to sleep. Not long after, I woke up suddenly due to a strange noise that I could hear through the window.
Looking outside I realized that we were traveling through some bridge that seemed to be suspended over vast areas of land. It took me about five minutes, but then I realized that the bridge was not suspended over land, it was suspended over water.
I was at once intrigued by the vision I saw in front of me as I realize I was looking at a dark and silent stretch of sea. The strange noise that had woken me up seemed to be of the waves crashing against the bridge.
They came with a roar and got silenced each time they crashed onto the rocks. Though we crossed the bridge within a few minutes, it seemed to last for hours as I kept staring into the black mass under a dark sky.
Once we reached stable land again I sighed a breath of relief as throughout the path of the bridge I kept thinking about what if the bridge broke and we fell into the sea. Then once we landed off the bridge we were engulfed into complete darkness once again.
Then I drifted off to sleep again out of sheer boredom. When I woke up the next time, it was already the next day and I could finally see the scenery outside thanks to the daylight.
As we reached closer to Kalimpong we crossed massive forests with canopies so thick that hardly any sunshine seemed to pass through them. With lush green growth on both sides of the road, it was a refreshing change from a city landscape. On our way, we even crossed some tiny waterfalls that joined onto rivers and streams in the valley.
As we reached towards the end of our journey and neared Kalimpong I realized that if we had not booked these bus tickets, then I never would have been able to experience all the new things.
How was this essay on a Journey by a Bus? Please share your thoughts in the comment section!