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The college picnic by the Gurugram’s bus adda

Every afternoon, the city’s main bus stand becomes a college campus, often giving a glimpse of the students who hail from outside the city.

delhi Updated: Aug 22, 2018 10:44 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
HIndustan Times
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Gurugram’s bus stand turns into a college campus around 3 pm when hundreds of students from two nearby colleges troop in there. (HT Photo )

The young Gurugram wallas? Easy. You can spot them in each and every mall of the Millennium City. They usually speak English and dress up in expensive brands.

But there exists another crop of Gurugram youngsters you may have missed. This set probably has similar dreams and ambitions, but congregates in an altogether different planet.

You can mill among them, of course.

Go to the town’s bus stand around 3 pm. At this hour, it turns into a college campus. Hundreds of students from the nearby Dronacharya Government College and Government College for Girls troop in to take over the bus stand’s waiting area.

“Every weekday, from 2 pm to 4 pm, the bus adda fills up with college students going back home in the surrounding villages,” says Veeru. He describes himself as “bus ka munshi”, a sort of clerk for the private bus services.

This afternoon, boys are huddled in their own groups, and girls in their circles, with a few exceptions where you find both sexes together. Perhaps, reflecting the conservative sensibilities of the worlds these youngsters come from, many girls have their faces and heads covered with their dupatta, the only thing visible being their eyes. There are also groups of hearing-impaired students animatedly talking in sign language.

Quite a few students are also leaning against the waiting area’s blue columns, totally immersed in their phones.

This part of the bus stand is an old wing and has ceased to be fully functional. The ticket booths, for instance, are empty. The most daring young men are sitting on what used to be ticket counters, with rusting boards showing old fares to Dharuhera, Pataudi and Rewari, the towns some of these college students are now heading to, after finishing the day’s classes.

“Many of us live in the villages in Gurgaon district,” says a young man from Pataudi who politely refuses to give his name. “We’re waiting for buses to take us home.”

The waiting area’s wall is plastered with fliers promising short courses for airport jobs. There are also promotion posters for a YouTube film.

As minutes pass, the crowd gets thinner. Students are packing into mini-buses and leaving for the towns and villages that circle the city. In another hour, the bus stand will cease to be a college campus.

First Published: Aug 22, 2018 10:44 IST