On ninth day of March 2013, we alighted at Himachal Road Transport Corporation (H.R.T.C.) Bus Stand Mandi (Himachal Pradesh) on busy Manali highway around 5AM. The bus stand was reeking of urine. The waiting area was somewhat littered. However, the spacious stand was brightly lit. Many passengers were sleeping on the ground and some passengers occupying the plastic chairs were trying to keep themselves awake. The usual din and clatter associated with the public transportation hub was missing because the sun did not yet wake up in Mandi. Barring enquiry counter, all other counters and shops were closed.
The stench of urine was still clung to the bus stand complex in our subsequent visits during next nine days. The love affair between the two was obnoxious. But we had to await the bus. We covered our noses. We noticed that all men, including drivers, conductors and passengers shamelessly relieved themselves against the complex wall. The men seeking all kind of “liberty / openness” need to be sensitized to the problem that the “openness” is causing. Is it not?
On seventeenth day of March 2013, we had to board the H.R.T.C. bus from the bus stand around 11 PM. The man at the enquiry counter did not know the status of the Manali-Mandi-Chandigarh-Delhi bus which we were supposed to board. He was not sure whether the bus would come inside the complex to pick the passengers. Every now and then we had to run to the different gates to ensure that we do not miss the bus, as some buses do not enter into the complex. The chase was annoying, because we had luggage.
However, the journey was comfortable. We were grateful to the driver as he was not in a tearing hurry and he did not drive rashly.