As a child going to a local primary school, I was never required to take any public transport. Often my father would drop all the three of us on a two wheeler (very normal in India) or we would walk for 15 minutes to reach the school (just in time for the assembly).
So, it was a quite an adventure when I had to travel by bus with my elder cousin due to the fact that a very close relative was getting married and my family decided to move to the house where the marriage was to take place. My sisters completed their exams and by sheer luck my exams were still going on.
Those were very memorable days. Every day of the exam, I would get ready with my exam pad, two pencils and an eraser. My cousin was free at that time and he would walk me from the relative's house to the bus stop. Catch a bus from there to my school.
This bus took an unusual route; it went through a new, hilly colony with open expanses with houses few and far between. The journey was magical. The roads were ill-formed and with the bus empty, the ride was much like a roller coaster. The mornings were cold and the seats, colder. The bus itself was freshly washed, with droplets of water still left back on the seat to be wiped off by passengers.
After the bus reached its destination, my cousin would shepherd me to my school to give my exam. While I was writing the exam he would spend time with his friends who were also our relatives. I was to meet him at their house.
One day after I finished my exam, I started for this house. I reached around 1 p.m. and by that time; my cousin would be ready to take me back. But this day, his friend came out and informed that my cousin had already left. I was flabbergasted; I did not know what to do. My vision was fast becoming a blur with impending tears. That is when he popped out from behind the wall. A gush of relief washed over me. And we went back happily.
Somehow, only this day seems clear in my mind. And the fact that I enjoyed all the days equally is a pleasurable feeling even to this day. It is something I will not do again, that is for sure. I would like to thank my cousin for taking care of me during those times, as his companionship was one thing that kept my fear of exams at bay.