I have been fascinated with school buses my entire life, from vintage models to modern ones. This interest was sparked when I first moved to the US with my family when I was 14 years old. I don’t know what it is, but there is something special that I feel when I see the peculiar style and the golden yellow colour of American school buses. Seeing the “normal” looking school buses in India during my initial childhood days, I had no special affinity for school buses. But the moment I saw one in the US, I was naturally attracted by the beauty of the American school bus.
Thus began my special relationship with school buses. I began to look for pictures of old school buses on the internet. I downloaded and printed them to put up in my bedroom. I started collecting models of vintage school buses, old ads of school buses, etc. In short, I was mad about school buses. There’s a memorable incident that happened because of this crazy passion.
It was in 2006 that we moved from Delhi to Kansas City, in the US state of Missouri. There was this museum that had opened in downtown Kansas City that year that was fully dedicated to the history and future of school buses. It had everything from full-sized vintage buses to related memorabilia and other collectibles. I was ecstatic upon hearing this news; it had everything that I had ever wanted from a school bus museum. I desperately wanted to go there, but as is typical of Indian parents, they didn’t allow me. They found it to be a worthless activity to spend my time on, and instead, you guessed it, they wanted me to concentrate on my studies. I was relentless in my effort to get their approval, but all my pestering was in vain. Finally, I decided to skip the school bus one day in the evening and go to the museum with my friend Zain.
We had a pleasant time at the museum, going to every gallery and even buying some souvenirs. Back home, my parents were getting anxious as I had not reached home at the usual time. On further calling some of the students, they learned that I was not on the bus. Zain’s parents also got the news, and together with some other people, they started a search for us. Oblivious to all this, we were having a gala time at the museum. Little did we know that our parents were searching for us on the school campus and throughout the bus route.
After searching for some time, my mother suddenly remembered my fixation with going to the school bus museum. The search party came there and found us in the museum theatre, where they were showing a documentary on the evolution of school buses throughout the past decades. I still vividly remember the entire scene. My mother saw me and suddenly started crying and hugging me. In hindsight, it was a stupid decision on my part; I hadn’t thought through the after-effects of my decision. Me and Zain were pretty sure that we could reach home on time by just strolling through the museum and taking a bus back home.
Anyways, this whole episode had a profound impact on the parent community of our school. It dawned on them that if the school had deployed a school bus tracking solution, this incident could have been averted. All the parents understood the importance and usefulness of such a piece of software. They raised their concerns to the school authorities and demanded a school bus tracker app for the parents, through which they could track their kids’ pickup and drop-off status in the morning and the evening. The school heeded their demands and upgraded its entire fleet of school buses with the latest school bus tracking solution.
So, therefore, the story had a happy ending, all thanks to me. I often take pride in the fact that my silly adventure made the school commute safer for many students in my school 😄. And yes, to those wondering, I am 25 now and still obsessed with school buses.