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  1. 1.  Vallikkannan, is the pseudonym of R. S. Krishnasamy, a Tamil, writer, journalist, critic, and translator from Tamil Nadu, India.  Born: November 12, 1920  Died: November 9, 2006
  2. 2. In this sensitive story, an eight-year old girl’s first bus journey into the world outside her village is also her induction into the mystery of life and death. She sees the gap between our knowing that there is death, and our understanding of it.
  3. 3.      Eight years old girl Valliammai she was called Valli for short. Her favorite time pass was standing at her doorway of her house and seeing things happening outside. The most attractive thing of all was the bus that travelled between her village and the nearest town. Daily seeing bus, a tiny wish crept in Valli’s mind to ride the bus. Valli started to ask about bus who have ever travelled from it.
  4. 4. The town was six miles from her village.  The fare was thirty paise one way.  The trip to the town took forty-five minutes.  She could take the one-o’clock afternoon bus, reach the town at one forty-five, and be back home by about two forty-five. 
  5. 5. One fine spring day at afternoon Valli left for bus.  Conductor extended her hand for help but Valli said," I can get on by myself. “  The conductor was fond of joking. “Oh, please don’t be angry with me, my fine madam.”  There were only six or seven passenger all looking at Valli and laughing with the conductor. 
  6. 6. It was a new bus, its outside painted a gleaming white with some green stripes along the sides.  The bus was going along the bank of a canal.  Valli asked for ticket.  The conductor punched a ticket and handed it to her.  When bus stopped, some new passengers got on, and the conductor got busy for a time. Afraid of losing her seat, Valli finally sat down. 
  7. 7. An elderly woman came and sat beside Valli.  Valli found the woman absolutely repulsive — such big holes she had in her ear lobes, and such ugly earrings in them. 
  8. 8. Valli had thriftily saved whatever stray coins came her way, resisting every temptation to buy peppermints, toys, balloons, and the like, and finally she had saved a total of sixty paise.  Valli’s next problem was how to slip out of the house without her mother’s knowledge.  A young cow, tail high in the air, was running very fast, right in the middle of the road, right in front of the bus. 
  9. 9.  When the bus stopped and everyone got off except Valli.  Conductor said, “aren’t you ready to get off? This is as far as your thirty paise takes you.”  “No,” Valli said, “I’m going back on this same bus.” and Valli showed money.  Conductor offered her a drink.  “No, no,” Valli said firmly, “please, no.”
  10. 10. Valli saw a young cow lying dead by the roadside, just where it had been struck by some fast-moving vehicle.  “Isn’t that the same cow that ran in front of the bus on our trip to town?” she asked the conductor.  The conductor nodded, and Valli was overcome with sadness. 
  11. 11. The memory of the dead cow haunted Valli dampening her enthusiasm.  Valli no longer wanted to look out the window.  The bus reached her village at three forty.  Valli turned to the conductor and said, “Well, sir, 1 hope to see you again.”  When Valli entered her house she found her mother awake and talking to one of Valli’s aunts, the one from South Street.  “And where have you been?” said her aunt when Valli came in.  Valli just smiled, and her mother and aunt went on with their conversation. 