Traveling at the speed of 5 km/ph from Wakad Bridge to the college had been a regular affair. I could never travel beyond a speed of 15 km/ph at any given time during that stretch. Saturdays were a joy when no IT employee travel to Hinjawadi. Lakhs of cars moving towards the same destination at the same time every day made the roads bad and narrow. At the end of the day legs required a massage.
The college bus was the only option to commute. It has fixed timings and a fixed route which made things difficult for those living a at a distance far from the office. And for people like me who stay futrther away from the (about three kilometers away) bus stop. When you travel in the bus people generally take a seat and do not communicate. First thing people do is to put an ear phone which is a clear message that I am not interested in any conversation!
I realized that my problems were problems for others as well. That is when three of us decided to try out car pooling. Two of us had a car and the third person was not confident of driving. So she would share the contribution. We were not sure of its success as there were a number of issues. Timing was the most important. We also were not sure how we would gel well as there were two women and one man. But today we have completed one year and we are happy that we chose this option.
The joy of this experiment is not in saving on cost. We enjoy the comfortable ride back and forth every day. More than this we enjoy the conversations we have during the ride. We talk politics, sociology, technology, marketing and business and the numerous billboards that we forced to see on our drive. We criticize each other’s ideologies, faiths, and superstitions. We make fun of each other. We laugh a lot in the process which we have forgotten in the busy life all of us are preoccupied with. We ideate during our journey.
Today the grueling travel from Wakad to the college which is about 4 kilometers is an experience we share with others. We hope our experiment will be emulated by others as well.
Written by Shaji.
(Peer reviewed by Apoorva and Savitha (my car pool members))