The ShaikhSpear Himachal Diary 2016: The Road to Khatnol

Enroute Shari, Himachal Pradesh, India, 08 September 2016, 1245 hours:

As a child, the journey to Khatnol used to feel really long. Later on, I was able to travel frequently on this road so I got to know the names of places and duration of the journey would be determined by how many places were left to go. Off late, I’ve been to Khatnol by car a few times so the time and distance factor has become even clearer.

But I had forgotten that while traveling by an HRTC bus, the driver will come to a halt at all standard stops on the main road till Baldeyan. And apart form these regular stops, people from the villages wave hands and since these drivers and conductors come on these routes frequently, the camaraderie and brotherhood makes them stop the bus as a courtesy at undesignated stops. It’s easier for the village folk if the bus stops right under their house. But once in a while, a strict driver /conductor tends to stick to the rules and only stop at designated stops. And the village folk walk from their houses till the bus stop.  The walk is not normal because men and /or women and/or children have loads on their back and heads, either taking stuff to the town to sell or bringing back essentials. Life in the mountains…

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