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True Story - The School Bus And Railway Crossing Gate

Just a hundred yards short the school was a railway crossing gate. This gate also has a true story. Almost every day our schoo bus would cross this railway gate. Unfortunately almost everyday, the railway crossing would be closed for a train to pass exactly at the time when our school bus has to go. If the train is too late then we would all get down against the wish of the school bus conductor and run across the railway track like uncontrolled missiles and try to reach the school before the school bell goes off and the school assembly starts.

If we reach late, the Principal never listens to any excuses. We all had to stand separate and listen to the lecture on punctuality from the Principal. Those days the teachers had cane sticks with them and we were all given one beating each on our palms to make us come on time. We used to reach late because of the railway crossing gate was closed and the school bus conductor not letting us go walking to school crossing the railway gate.

The second reason used to be that we used to get delayed by stopping to pluck the Java Plum on the palace road. If we come just ten minutes earlier, the railway gate would be open and we reach on time. So we found it better to take a cane stick beating on the palm or listen to the Principal's lecture on punctuality secondary to the Java Plum plucking and eating enroute.

The railway station is just about five hundred yards from the railway gate we cross and run to school. We had students from first standard to the tenth standard of the school, boarding our army school bus. The pirmary school students were the reason why the conductor and driver of the school bus were afraid of crossing the railway crossing when the gate is closed. The railway line had thick trees on both sides and it is not possible to see the train coming when the kids are crossing over. But the sound of the steam engine siren used to distinct and can be heard miles away.

The primary Classes from class one to Class ten used to get over by 2:00 pm. After that the primary school children keep playing around the vehicle and in the surrounding areas, till the senior students come out of the school after their classes are over at 4:00 pm. Very often these small kids to go near the railway gate to play. The driver and conductor of the bus normally do not mind it because the railway gate guard keeps an eye on these kids and would often play with them. But if there is a train coming, then he would shoo all the primary school kids back to the school bus.

The school bus drivers generally rest or sleep in the benches inside the school bus or in the driver cabin the whole day. Sometimes, they play cards or chess to pass time. By 4:30 pm when all the children are onboard, the army school bus starts back home. Before we start back, the conductor starts counting how many kids are present in the school bus, because he has to report of the school kids in the bus to the Army check post when we enter the Army Cantonment.

The number of children who went in the morning to school and came back from the school has to match. Else there will be a big problem if even one school kid does not return home. This true story of the school bus and the railway crossing gate was now about to begin that day and give a shock to all of us that evening.

A True Life Story


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