The bus-driver looked at the traffic piled up on the road ahead. We had to get to school and we were late anyway. The traffic was impossible, so he suggested that we take a detour through Manjri village. That’s when our adventure began.
We passed custard-apple orchards and a stud farm.
We passed tiny nondescript nursery schools.
We passed fields after fields, bumping our way through roads that had probably been created by bullock carts. I wondered what we would do if a bullock cart came towards us from the opposite direction. There was enough room for two carts to pass, but surely not a bullock cart and a bus!
I was mistaken. Villagers are far more confident than city-dwellers when it comes to cheerfully getting their vehicles off the road and driving on, without even losing the thread of conversation with co-passengers. We passed a tractor that merrily went right off the road to let us pass and then clambered on again.
And then, we got lost.
I imagined us, in our bright yellow school bus with the logo and name of the school printed clearly, asking people the way to our school. I wondered what people would think of us.
The driver was not so adventurous though. He asked the way to Sholapur highway.
He asked a housewife who looked up and down at the bus and shrugged. She said something to the effect that we could go straight or turn right, but she accompanied her words with such a sceptical look that we wondered.
The look was because both the routes were bullock-cart paths.
We found our way.